The Mary Poppins bag is emblematic of everything it means to be a nanny. Filled with surprises and practical items, presumably containing many handy pockets, and charming as can be – it is the symbol of the nanny that generations have held onto!

Even a modern nanny can have their own special Mary Poppins bag! Your employers can pay for all of the supplies you may need to carry along on outings for your job.

Here are some tips our team has found helpful when cultivating our own nanny bags over the years.  

  1. Consider the type of bag you’ll need! Your charges’ ages can help you hone in on what style is most practical for most occasions. If you’re a baby nanny, you’ll likely want a bag that gives you hands free flexibility, whereas nannies of school aged children can select a handbag style if they feel so inclined. Overall, the more pockets, the better organized you’ll be for the job!
  2. Keep snacks for you and your charges on hand at all times. We’re big fans of chia seed pouches, apple sauce, and trail mix! The snacks will surely save you from a ‘hangry’ kiddo, so you can instantly get back to playing and making memories. 
  3. Don’t forget a water bottle for extra hot days or electrolyte-depleting activities! You can also pack coconut water or electrolyte tablets to replenish yourselves on days when you need an extra boost.
  4. Baby wipes have more than one purpose. They’re also fantastic for a quick cleanup for messy hands and faces after a snack or a day of playing in the sand!
  5. A first aid kit is important to have on your person. Cute band aids, antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizer, and gauze will go a long way if your charges get an owie on an outing. It’s amazing how a dinosaur or familiar character on their bandaids can cheer them right up! 
  6. Sunscreen, sun hats, and sunglasses are necessities for little ones with sensitive skin, and for grown ups, too! Collapsible hats are commonly found online these days. Explore online for the right fit for you and your charges!
  7. As we all know, Bay Area weather can change relatively quickly. Packing in layers will keep you and your charges bundled up and warm for the full array of seasons you may experience in a single day! Packable down jackets and collapsible mini umbrellas can easily fit in most fair sized backpacks. In a similar vein, a change of clothes is always helpful, especially with potty-training toddlers!
  8. Could you possibly have a Mary Poppins bag without sidewalk chalk? The beauty of this art supply is that it can be used just about any place you’re off to, with little to no extra supplies or cleanup necessary! Kids of all ages get a kick out of leaving messages for their neighbors and drawing anywhere and everywhere.
  9. Did you know that there are rechargeable batteries to boost your phone, even when you’re on the go? This will give you the security of being able to contact a child’s family even if your battery is low. For families who are into using tablets for reading or playing educational games, you can also recharge for your nanny kids in a pinch! 
  10. Fidget toys make a wonderful addition to any nanny bag for someone who works with kids over the age of 2. Fidget spinners, cubes, putties, and rings can entertain and soothe kids in a moments’ notice! They’re excellent for long drives, waits in line, or storytimes for kids who like to keep their bodies busy.
  11. Last, but certainly not least, is to pack your emergency items. Important documents to your nanny family may include: permission to seek medical treatment/medical release form, copies of insurance cards, a CPR/first aid instruction guide, a list of important phone numbers (in case of  emergency, if your phone dies or breaks), and your nanny family’s protocol about where to meet in case of a natural disaster. Laminate these documents so they can withstand the test of time and outings! We also suggest packing an extra house key in case it’s lost while out and about, and a mini compass in case of getting lost and you have no cell reception.

Nannies, what do you pack in your Mary Poppins bag?