Field Trips can be a great way for kids to learn and have new experiences. Get permission from your host parents before any outings and be sure to take all social distancing precautions. Some museums are requiring advanced tickets or have reduced hours due to the pandemic.
Paint Your Own Pottery Studio
Clay and Ceramics Studio
Online Art Fun – Here is a great website with lots of art activities including ones for older kids.
Webcams – You can do a google search for art websites with webcams. Here are a few to get you started:
Crafts, recipes, activities, and games related to dinosaurs can all be found here on the Camp Au Pair – Dinosaurspinboard.
Field Trips can be a great way for kids to learn and have new experiences. Get permission from your host parents before any outings and be sure to take all social distancing precautions.
Here are a few places to go that fit this theme:
Children’s museum with dinosaur exhibit
Natural history museum
Nature center with fossils
Toys – Many kids have dinosaur toys already. See what your kids have and think of fun, new ways you can play with these toys with them. Imagine taking a plastic dinosaur and making footprints in play dough to form your own fossils.
Webcam – This NPS Paleontology Lab offers a webcam where you can watch paleontologists remove rock from around fossils. The cam is normally working 9 am-5 pm PST, so 12-8 pm our time.
Videos – Look for fun videos on YouTube about dinosaurs and fossils. Here are a few to get you started.
Movies – The Good Dinosaur, Land Before Time, and Ice Age are all great family movies that fit with this theme. For older kids, consider movies like Journey to the Center of the Earth and Jurassic Park (which is rated PG-13).
Books – Check your kids’ bookshelf for books on dinosaurs.
Webcams – You can do a google search for aquariums and zoos across the country (and the world) with webcams that allow you to observe sea creatures. Here is one to get you started.
Field Trips can be a great way for kids to learn and have new experiences. Get permission from your host parents before any outings and be sure to take all social distancing precautions. Search online to see if your area has any of the following:
Any pet store with fish tanks
Television – The Discovery Channel has an annual Shark Week. This year it will be July 11-18, 2021. Much of the programming will be too scary for younger kids, but for nature-loving tweens and teens, it could be a great way to get them interested in sharks and other ocean animals. Check out 15 JAW-some Activities for Shark Week with lots of fun ideas for kids in grades 5 and up, but a few for younger kids too.
If your kids are a little older, check out 10 Crazy Facts About Sea Turtles (below).
Books – Stop by your local library and look for books on sea creatures. The Rainbow Fish is a classic children’s book, your kids may already own. If not, you can find videos like this of it being read aloud.
Crafts, recipes, activities, and games related to all kinds of bugs, insects, butterflies, and spiders can be found here on the Camp Au Pair – Bugs & Butterfliespinboard.
Outdoors – Kids today do not spend enough time outdoors. Take the kids in the backyard or another nature area (approved by your host parents) and do some activities related to this theme:
Allow them to search for bugs and butterflies.
Observe lightning bugs (also known as fireflies) in the evening. Here is a map showing what people call these little guys in different parts of the country.
After it rains, look for earthworms. Not bugs or butterflies, but very interesting creatures you can find in your own backyard.
NOTE: If you are outdoors with the children, be sure to check for ticks when you come back inside. Here is a blog post explaining the health risk ticks can pose and how to find and remove them safely.
Videos – You can find many great videos of butterflies and insects on YouTube. Check out these videos for kids about bees and ants. All about Insects covers lots of tiny creatures who crawl and fly. Here are a few videos to get you started.
Movies – A Bugs Life, The Bee Movie, Maya the Bee, and The Ant Bully all fit this theme.
Webcams – You can do a Google search for websites with webcams that allow you to observe bugs.
When kids are out of school for the summer, it doesn’t take long for them to become bored and sometimes that leads to sibling squabbles and mischief. Even though they don’t realize it, they are usually missing routine and predictability in their daily schedule. One solution is to make fun plans to keep them busy!
Each week this summer we will share a different Camp Au Pair theme. These weekly themes are designed to give you ideas to keep your host kids occupied and engaged all summer long. They will also be learning. (But shhhh, don’t tell them that part.) Check back each Friday, for the next week’s theme. This gives you a chance to make plans and gather materials for the next week. For each theme there will be crafts, games, snacks and activities. You can just use these ideas or add your own and customize the themes to fit the ages and interests of your host children.
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? You’re not alone- many host parents are struggling with the same challenges as school comes to a close for the year.
The flexible schedule is one of many reasons many families champion the Au Pair program. We all know that our au pairs can work no more than 10 hours per day and 45 hours per week. However, summer can be a real challenge for host parents who are working full-time. Once kids are out of school, an Au Pair’s regulation hours may not be enough time to cover all of your childcare needs.
Day camps are a great way to fill in the gaps, and there are many options in the DC area. Below is a list of camps not too far from our part of town. At posting time, all still had some availability. If you know of others your kids have enjoyed, please share on our private Facebook group page. Let’s work together to find options for our cluster kiddos– and make it a great summer for everyone!