The Folklife Festival will take place June 27-July 1 and July 4-8.
The annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival is an international exhibition of living cultural heritage. Attracting more than one million visitors yearly, the two-week long celebration is the largest annual cultural event in the United States.
The Festival is held outdoors on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between the Smithsonian museums. There is no admission charge. Visitors should dress for hot and humid weather. Parking around the Mall is extremely limited, so visitors are advised to use public transportation. L’Enfant Plaza is the closest Metro station to the Festival site. National Archives, Smithsonian, and Federal Center stations are within a half-mile. For assistance planning how to get around, visit www.goDCgo.com. For general Smithsonian visitor information, http://www.si.edu/Visit or call 202.633.1000 (voice).
Festival hours are 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., with special events taking place most evenings beginning at 6:30 p.m. View the schedule here.
Remember to bring along drinks, especially water. Try to get children to drink water every 20 minutes, when they are outside in hot weather.
Pay attention to surfaces that can be hot against children’s skin, such as metal slides and other playground equipment in the sun.
Safety around water is particularly important. A child can drown in just a few inches of water. Whenever you are near water you must never leave a child alone – if the phone rings, take them with you or let it ring! Always stay within arm’s reach when the children are in or near water.
Young babies should be kept out of direct sunlight. Keep the baby in the shade or under a tree, umbrella or stroller canopy.
Dress babies in lightweight clothing and use brimmed hats.
Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside, even if it appears overcast (cloudy).
Try to keep children out of the sun in the middle of the day when the sun is strongest.
Learn what poison ivy looks like and keep children out of it. A good rule to teach the children is “leaves of three, let it be.”
Use insect repellent spray to keep away mosquitos and ticks. Ask your host parents before applying.
Check for ticks when you bring children in from playing outside, especially if you’ve been in tall grass or the woods.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual event which celebrates springtime in Washington, DC as well as the 1912 gift of the cherry blossom trees and the enduring friendship between the people of the United States and Japan. This year’s festival will be MARCH 17-APRIL 15!
The predicted peak blooming period of the cherry blossoms for this year is APRIL 8-12.
During Daylight Saving Time, clocks are turned forward one hour, effectively moving an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. Today, approximately 70 countries worldwide utilize Daylight Saving Time, in at least some portion of the country. The U.S. started observing it in 1918, so it celebrates it’s 100th birthday, this year.
In March, we move the clock forward one hour, losing an hour of sleep. In November, we move the clock back one hour, regaining that extra hour of sleep.
An easy way to remember it is: Spring forward, Fall back.
Before you go to bed on March 10, be sure to set the clocks forward one hour!
It is good to offer kids a balance of independent play time and play where you are actively engaging with them. You can make toys they may be bored with, feel new and exciting, by suggesting different ways to play with them. Try some of the ideas below as a starting point.
Teach your host children how to say the names of some of the food and dishes in your language.
Using English and/or your language play games where you are ordering food like in a restaurant. Take turns with who will be the waiter and who is the customer.
Come up with silly food combinations. For example: Who wants pickles on their slice of cake?
Play a guessing game where the children have to figure out what food you are talking about. For example: I grow under the ground in the dirt. People eat me fried, mashed and baked. What am I? (a potato)
Play a game with setting the table using your language to ask for the different items (plate, spoon, etc.)
Ask the children to divide the foods up into the different food groups (vegetables, meat, dairy, etc.)
Lego Blocks and Other Building Toys
Divide up all of the blocks between the people playing, by taking turns for each person to select block by block.
Suggest specific things to build (robots, houses, mountains etc.) and build together.
Challenge everyone to use all of their blocks.
Sort the blocks by color or shape and make patterns with them (red, blue, red, blue or square, triangle, rectangle.) You can create a pattern and ask the child to fill in what comes next to continue the pattern.
Make the tallest block tower you can and let them knock it down (over and over again, if like most kids, they like destroying things.)
Mr. Potato Head
Teach your host children the names of the different parts in your language and play a game asking them to put on the body parts by name.
Play Hide and Seek with Mr. Potato Head. Have the children cover their eyes and count, while you hide Mr. Potato Head, then they go looking for him. Switch things up by letting them hide Mr. Potato Head and then you are the one to locate him.
Play the same game above, but using Simon Says. Simon Says is a game where the leader gives commands by saying “Simon says” first. For example, “Simon says, put on the nose.” The players are only to follow the commands when the leader says “Simon says.” If the leader doesn’t say “Simon says” first and just says, “put on the nose,” and the player follows the command, they are out of the game. Repeat the game multiple times, so all kids get a turn to be the leader at least once.