Monthly Archives: August 2014

Happy Labor Day ~ some great ideas for your children

Labor DayHere are some interesting fact about the upcoming Labor Day holiday that you may not know.  Below are some tips on what you can do with your children to celebrate from cooking recipes to coloring pages.  Use this time to engage is some cultural sharing with your families.

The Workman’s Holiday ~ Dedicated in honor of the worker, Labor Day is also known as the “workingman’s holiday”. The holiday is dedicated to all workers in the United States in respect and appreciation for the work they do in or outside of the home, union or non-union, big companies and small companies and au pairs too. As long as you work somewhere at something, this holiday is for you! It is a day to celebrate your contribution to American working life and the work you do.

The First Labor Day ~ The first Labor Day was celebrated in New York City on September 5, 1882 and was started by the Central Labor Union in New York City. In 1884, it was moved to the first Monday in September where it is celebrated today. Labor Day quickly became popular and one state after another voted it as a holiday. On June 28, 1894, the U.S. congress voted it a national holiday.

The End of Summer ~ Labor Day is also viewed as the official end of summer. While the Fall Equinox is still a couple of weeks away, kids go back to school and summer vacations are over. This day is celebrated with a long weekend off from work and union sponsored parades. Many people celebrate this weekend with one last picnic. It is also the date that many people close up the swimming pool, and put away the boats.

Was it McGuire or Maguire? Either Peter McGuire or Matthew Maguire is the Creator of Labor Day. Peter J. McGuire, was an active labor organizer. He was also general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor. He was believed to be the first to suggest a day be dedicated to American workers and their accomplishments. Matthew Maguire however, was secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York in 1882 and many believed that he proposed the holiday in 1882.

So What do Americans eat on Labor Day? Picnics and barbecues are popular ways  to celebrate Labor Day.  Old standards are hamburgers, corn dogs, coleslaw, potato salad  corn on the cob, baked beans and sliced tomatoes. Finish up with sliced watermelon, apple or blueberry  pie and freshly churned ice cream.  Sound good?

Want to try a recipe?  

Click here for Labor Day coloring pages:

Click here for Labor Day short stories for children:

Au Pairs Experience Sailing in Annapolis!

CSC_1172DSC_1181 DSC_1184 DSC_1188 DSC_1185 DSC_1176 DSC_1204 The Annapolis cluster au pairs went sailing in Annapolis this past Friday on the Woodwind Schooner (  While the weather did not completely participate it was a truly enjoyable evening.  We saw a beautiful sunset, saw some amazing osprey nests (they are actually sea hawks we learned from the captain!), donned rain gear, saw a rainbow and steered the helm!  All in one night ~ a very quintessential Annapolis experience that hopefully will be remembered for many years after their return back home.

Back to School

back to school The first day of school is quickly approaching and buses filled with anxious students will soon be back on the roads. Parents are reminded that back-to-school readiness includes reviewing bus safety and etiquette.

Riding the school bus has longtime been considered the safest form of student transportation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, American students are nearly eight times safer riding in a school bus than with their own parents and guardians in cars.

As with all forms of transportation, dangers do exist. According to HCDE’s Center for Safe and Secure Schools, “The greatest danger is not riding on the bus, but rather getting on or off the bus. In particular, young school children ages 5-7 are the most at-risk for bus-related injury.”

Parents and children should discuss bus safety together to help ensure a safe start to the new school year. The Center for Safe and Secure Schools offers the following bus safety tips to help ease the back-to-school transition:

• Talk to your kids about bus safety and respect. Ridership is a privilege. It can be taken away due to bad behavior, so check with your school district about established guidelines. Refer to the policy as “school bus behavior policy” and go over it with your child.

• Dress appropriately for the weather. Many buses are not air-conditioned.

• Be at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is set to arrive. Tardiness can lead to mistakes in safety measures. Examples might be running in front of the bus; running back to find something left on the bus; or bending over or bending down to retrieve something dropped while getting off of the bus.

• Kids should follow the five giant steps rule: Be five giant steps back from where the bus actually stops until it comes to a complete stop and the driver opens the door.

• Backpacks/bags need to be fully closed and sized appropriately for the child to prevent safety hazards such as dragging straps.

• Always stay seated on the bus. Teach your child to stay in the seat until the bus comes to a complete stop at your child’s destination.

• Show appreciation to the bus driver. Remind your kids to say thank you when they get off. Kindness and good manners go a long way.

• Railroad crossings require drivers to stop, to open the door and to make sure the coast is clear. Teach your kids to be extra quiet during these times.

• Go over your child’s bus routine. Describe the location and street where your child should get off.

• Don’t hang out of the window. Keep body parts inside the bus.

• For younger kids, write down their names, bus number, bus stop and where you may be reached and put that information inside their backpack. Help your children memorize your cell telephone number; putting it to song can help.

• Bullying should never be tolerated. Talk to your child about bullying on the bus. Read your district’s school bus behavior policy to understand to whom you should report such behavior. It may be the driver, teacher, principal or someone else.

Each school district has school bus ridership rules and policies in place. Families are encouraged to navigate their school district’s website to locate and discuss the school bus rules with their student.

Renaissance Festival Opens this Weekend – August 23 and 24 ~ Kids 11 and under are FREE

Renaissance FestivalThis weekend marks the opening of the Renaissance Festival in Crownsville, MD that runs through October 19th.  This weekend they offer FREE admission for children 11 years and younger.  There are lots of wonderful events planned for the entire family!  For more information about this event and to purchase tickets please visit