Monthly Archives: June 2017

Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival will take place June 29-July 4 and July 6-9. 

The Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival is an international exhibition of living cultural heritage. This year will be the 50th anniversary of this popular event. 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 7th and 12th Streets and inside the Arts & Industries Building. 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. Smithsonian is the closest Metro station to the Festival site. L’Enfant Plaza, National Archives, and Federal Center stations are within a half-mile. For general Smithsonian visitor information, or call 202.633.1000 (voice).

Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with special events taking place most evenings beginning at 5:30 or 7 p.m. View the schedule here.

I highly recommend that you visit their website to plan your visit

Keeping Our Kids Safe and Healthy This Summer (2017)

Illustration: MLARGE (

If you ask my children what they think their parents’ most important job is, they’ll say “to keep us safe and healthy.” We use that phrase to explain everything from why our daughter can’t cross the street alone to why our son needs to go to sleep at night. While our children have been known to roll their eyes when they hear it, this all-purpose phrase is one that explains a lot of our decisions as parents. We encourage our au pairs to use it as well.

When my son was worried about his upcoming swimming lesson, I heard our au pair tell him that he was going to be safe because that was her job. Immediately, he smiled and relaxed a bit, and while he was still worried, he knew that he was safe because his au pair was there to keep him out of harm’s way.

Summer can be a wonderful time of year full of adventure and fun, but it can also be a time when routines are unsettled and rules are relaxed. I encourage you to think about ways that you can keep your children safe and healthy. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Healthy Children website has many excellent articles on how you can help your family have a wonderful and healthy summer. Below are some highlights with links to the full articles.

Summer Safety*

Sun Safety

  • Keep infants 6 months or younger out of direct sun.
  • Cover up with protective clothing and hat and dress in cool layers. Wear protective sunglasses.
  • Play outdoors in the early morning and limit your exposure to sun between 10 am and 4 pm.
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen and apply it often.

Heat Safety*

  • Reduce the intensity of outdoor activities during times of high heat & humidity.
  • In Washington, DC smog can also cause days when the air is unsafe for young children to be outdoors. You can check the daily index here.
  • Children and adults should be allowed to drink water liberally and freely. When outdoors take a break for water every 20 minutes.
  • NEVER leave a child in a car. Heatstroke and death can occur quickly. Always check the backseat to make sure all children are out of the car. Leave your purse or wallet on the back seat when you are driving to remind you to check when you arrive at your destination.


Summertime brings an onslaught of bugs- some of which can cause diseases like West Nile Virus, Lyme Disease, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Stay up-to-date on your region and how to prevent these diseases spread by insects.

Prepare a summer first-aid kit for bug bites and more:

  • Be prepared for allergic reactions from bug bites. Benadryl is probably the most important over-the-counter medication to have in your first aid kit to treat insect bites, hives, and other allergic reactions.
  • Hydrocortisone ointment can help the itches that come from bites.
  • Use bug spray containing DEET or picaridin.

 Swimming Safety

  • Review swimming rules with your children.
  • Always make sure an adult who is able to swim is watching children when they are in the water.
  • Take steps to prevent drowning*.

*These articles have been updated by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Healthy Children website for 2017.

DC’s Eventful Summer (2017)

Lorenzo Tlacaelel (Flikr)

From paddling down the Potomac to tasting the world’s best barbecue, take full advantage of the many, many great happenings in DC this summer.

Know of any other fun events or activities in DC this summer? Share below in the comments!  Continue reading

Summer Fun for DC Kids (2017)

Image: anokarina (Flickr)

In need of some ideas to keep the kids entertained this summer? Here’s a roundup of several great local blogs full of suggestions designed to keep whining to a minimum. 

Indoorsy DC

KidFriendly DC

Our Kids

  • Don’t miss this comprehensive list of the DC area’s local seasonal activities.
  • Wondering if it’s worth taking the kids to one of the many local happenings? Read the reviews before you go!

Red Tricycle

And last, but not least, our very own cluster blog…

Capital City Au Pairs

2017 Summer Day Camps

Illustration: (Flickr)

Illustration: (Flickr)

Does it seem like the days are getting longer, but the hours are getting shorter?

Too much to do and never enough time to do it all? Continue reading

Preventing Dehydration in Hot Weather

Dehydration means that the body lacks the necessary amount of fluid. Infants and small children are more likely to become dehydrated than older children or adults, because they can lose relatively more fluid quickly.

Here are some steps to take to make sure children remain hydrated in the summer months:

  • Encourage your child to drink plenty of water. On hot days, children should drink significantly more water than usual, as they are losing more due to the heat.
  • Do not wait until your child is thirsty to give him water. By the time they feel thirsty, they are already becoming dehydrated.
  • If your child is resistant to drinking enough water, have other liquids on hand for your child to drink throughout the day.
  • Be alert to changes in behavior. A child may act confused or more irritable when they are becoming dehydrated/overheated. Get them into cooler temperatures and drinking more fluids.
  • Dress your child in lightweight clothing in the summer months, particularly if she’ll be playing outdoors in warm weather. You may also consider clothes that are well ventilated as they do not trap heat close to the body.
  • When there are heat and/or air quality advisories because the weather is dangerously hot, you should avoid taking the children outdoors. Check with your host parents for further guidance on this topic.

Remember to follow these tips for yourself too, so you stay well hydrated.

Photo: Darwin Bell (Flickr)