We recently helped a childcare whizz land a position with an amazing family in Sherman Oaks. He had actually never been a ‘Manny’ before, but had plenty of experience with children in other settings (camp, coaching, tutoring etc).

The thing that he was most nervous about was that he had never worked in somebody’s home before, playing hide and seek in his bosses closets was not something that came naturally to him. He also mentioned that he didn’t want to overstep his bounds and wasn’t sure what his job was when there were no children around to care for; what then? Mom had a change of plans and wants to see soccer practice, and dad decided an impromptu lunch visit to a museum was called for, or the entire family unit goes out to dinner instead.  That said, you might find yourself with some downtime at their house.  


To reduce the amount of time twiddling his thumbs while they’re out doing the family thing… I’m compiling 50 things a caregiver can do when kids are occupied (it may get repetitive but it’s a work in progress) – help appreciated!


  1. Walk the Dog
  2. Care for non-walkable pets (change water, clean food and water bowls)
  3. Kids laundry (if part of your job description)
  4. Childless Nanny
    Yes, we do all these things too!

    Wash up dishes (or load the dishwasher)

  5. Wipe counters (clean home is a happy home)
  6. Plan some upcoming activities  (or research them to keep in your back pocket)
  7. Sanitize toys (keep them pristine)
  8. Organize toys  (keep them looking tidy)
  9. Prep kids meals (be it lunch, snack or dinner – proactivity is key)
  10. Set up art projects (when you’re back in sole charge, have something ready to go)
  11. Research local activities and upcoming events
  12. Ask other staff if there’s anything you can help with (aka, cultivate those relationships!)
  13. Organize bookshelf (check pinterest for ideas on how to take this up a level)
  14. Organize Tupperware drawer/pantry (do you really need all those lids???)
  15. Organize toys (again, pinterest)
  16. Take out trash/recycling
  17. Clean out/organize kids clothes that don’t fit anymore (prep a kiddie fashion show)
  18. Change childrens bedding if required (if in the job description)
  19. Laundry
  20. Organize (and organize again)Childless Nanny
  21. LISTS! Put together a list of emergency contacts, a list of house repair contacts, etc.  
  22. Plan for the week, prepare crafts
  23. Update parents on how their child has been
  24. Throw out bad food in the fridge
  25. Restock any diapers. wipes, paper products
  26. Clean high chair (if there’s a highchair)
  27. Go gas up the car
  28. Clean and descale humidifier
  29. Sweep, vacuum
  30. Organize the pantry
  31. Tidy up the kids bedrooms and playroom
  32. Clean out the nanny-mobile
  33. Run quick errands for family (grocery, go grab take out etc)
  34. Alphabetize board games.
  35. Bake some cookiesChildless Nanny
  36. Clean and organized mommy diaper bag.
  37. Check expiration medicine.
  38. Make a grocery list
  39. Fold laundry
  40. Pick up the mail
  41. Build a surprise fort
  42. Organize closets
  43. Color coordinate shirts
  44. Read about your kids stage development.
  45. Check for vaccines they may need
  46. Delete some of the 10,000 pictures you’ve taken of the kids
  47. Read (work appropriate books)
  48. Hide in the pantry
  49. Go to the bathroom (precious free time!)
  50. Rest (I’m SURE it’s deserved)


If we’ve missed any, please drop us a line, and if you’re looking for a nanny that is happy to do the above AND care for children, please reach out to us!