Creating a House-Book: An Essential Tool for Families
Imagine you are thrown into another family’s home. You have no experience with the family’s systems or protocols. You are asked to keep the day-to-day of this family’s schedule as consistent as possible, but you have absolutely no idea of where to begin. In frantic frustration you ask yourself “Doesn’t this house come with an instruction manual?!?” Enter the “House-Book!”
A House-Book is an essential tool for any successfully run home. Think of it as a guide to smoothly running the day-to-day tasks for your family. Not only will this guide ensure that you and your childcare team are on the same page, it will also help guide your family should an emergency arise.
How to create a House-Book:
Supplies: A simple three ring binder and plastic page cover sheets are sufficient for creating a great House-Book, as your family’s schedules and day-to-day protocols will change as the children grow older. Some families include dividers to demarcate each section of the book.
What to include:
Directory of all contacts: Phone numbers and addresses: Emergency contacts, family members, friends, schools and enrichment centers, stores, friends and play-date buddies, on-call babysitters.
Shopping and supplies lists: Where items are bought and when, what a typical order or supply count for the week, where to get items if the first and second stores are out.
Nutrition: Food allergy notes, sample weekly menus, children’s “go-to” snacks and the “avoid” list, to-go menus for favorite delivery joints.
Resources: List of trusted developmental and educational resources.
Medical and safety: Medical release forms, allergy information, immunization records, medical records, medication dosage, your in case of an emergency plan.
Transportation: Directions to activities and important places (doctor, police station, etc.) car care and safety notes.
Schedule: A complete schedule of the children’s week including specific times and days.
Administration forms and records: Credit cards bills, grocery and supply receipts and tracker forms, gas and mileage tracker forms
Feel free to add categories, sheets and sections that pertain to your family. Have fun with creating your book and have the kids help decorate the cover. The possibilities are truly endless.
For more childcare tips, check out our slideshow above!
By Lindsay Heller (@thenannydoctor)
Dr. Lindsay Heller, Psy.D. is a mother of two sweet girls. When she’s not playing “tea party,” she’s a professional nanny consultant known as The Nanny Doctor. She blogs, tweets, and facebooks endless nanny wisdom. Check her out on www.TheNannyDoctor.com and her Twitter @thenannydoctor.