Summer can be a load of fun for au pairs and their host kids provided some thinking and planning is done ahead of time. Bored children are not good companions, so au pairs need to BE PREPARED.
It’s not wise to try and wing it. A much better way is to have a list of possible activities ready for each week.
When deciding on an activity, au pairs need to offer their host kids options but not so many that the kids get confused or overly picky. With young children “either – or” is often the best way to go.
Once the decision is made, everybody can go for it & have FUN!
Put the music on!
And dance. Let the kids pick their own tunes and make their own moves. If host mom or dad decide to join as guest stars that’s all for the better.
Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jump over the candlestick, or a line, a branch, with a jumping rope, on one leg or two, to a tune, to count a hundred jumping jacks… the possibilities are endless.
Have a ball with the ball
Kicking, throwing, passing along, catching, rolling, chasing, bouncing, balancing on the top of the head or the tip of the foot… all the wonderful things you can do with a ball will amuse your host kids for hours on end.
Read aloud with the kids
If your kids are old enough to be able to read, find a book with a lot of dialogue and read it together dividing the roles. Make sure to read like pros with voice modulations, shouts and whispers when appropriate, hushed silences and stern commands. Encourage your kids to get into it and improvise if they wish.
Yoga with kids
It’s okay if you can’t put your legs around your neck, just trying, together with your kids, will provide enough fun and laughter. Then you can switch to dog, cat, snake and crocodile poses and you’ll all feel like in a zoo.
Sticks and stones
Gathering and using sticks, stones, cones, seeds, shells and other natural objects to create sculptures and collages will provide hours of imaginative play.
Most children enjoy doing crafts and are proud of their creations. You can work with simple and inexpensive household items (yarn, old buttons, a piece of string) and with craft store materials. Make sure that the level of skill required to complete the project is appropriate for the age of your host kids.
Get under the table
The best ever idea for a rainy day is making a tent out of a blanket, a table and a couple of chairs. Sharing stories, writing notes, or playing games is so much fun under the cozy cover.
Dressing up, putting on make-up and strutting around in the special getup is a perennial favorite of all children. Encouraging & helping older kids to create their own costumes will fire their imagination and produce amazing results
Cooking up a storm
Making a pudding, fixing Jell-O, peeling hard-boiled eggs, rolling out dough, decorating cupcakes will create a bit of mess in the kitchen, but the yummy results are so worth it! Just make sure the kids stay away from hot oven and sharp utensils.