Tag Archives: Fun

Camp Au Pair – Under the Sea

Next week’s Camp Au Pair theme is Under the Sea.

Crafts, recipes, activities, and games related to creatures who live under the sea can all be found here on the Camp Au Pair – Under the Sea pinboard.

Field Trips can be a great way for kids to learn and have new experiences. Get permission from your host parents before any outings. Check the websites before you go to be sure you understand the hours, costs, and whether advance tickets/reservations are required. Search online to see if your area has any of the following:

  • Pet or outdoor store (Bass Pro Shop) with fish tanks
  • Aquarium
  • Zoo
  • Nature Center

Online Games – NOAA has fun interactive games that help kids learn about sea turtle survival.

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 are a few to get you started.

Videos – Look for fun videos on YouTube about sea creatures. There’s more to see than Baby Shark. Movies like Finding Nemo, Dolphin Tale, and The Little Mermaid also go well with this theme.

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.

Movies – There are lots of movies with under the sea themes.

  • A Dolphin Tale 
  • Finding Dory
  • Finding Nemo
  • Little Mermaid
  • Moana
  • Shark Tale 
  • Song of the Sea

Television – There are some episodes of children’s television shows that talk about life under the sea.

The Magic School Bus is a television series that follows Ms. Frizzle and her class as they set off on field trips. Most episodes can be found on YouTube. Here are some episodes that fit this week’s theme.

Bill Nye the Science Guy has episodes on FishMarine Animals and more on YouTube.

The Discovery Channel has an annual Shark Week. 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.

Photo: mimisdollhouse.com

Camp Au Pair – Art Experiences

This week’s Camp Au Pair theme is Art Experiences.

Crafts, recipes, activities, and games related to art can all be found here on the Camp Au Pair – Art Experiences pinboard.

Culture Sharing – Share any specific forms of art that are popular in your home country (mosaics, origami, murals, fabric dying, etc.) Are there any famous artists from your country that you could share their works with your host kids?

Field Trips can be a great way for kids to learn and have new experiences. Get permission from your host parents before any outings. Check the websites before you go to be sure you understand the hours, costs, and whether advance tickets/reservations are required.

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:

Videos – Look for fun videos on YouTube about drawing and all kinds of art.

Books – Stop by your local library and look for books on famous artists and art.

Check YouTube for books on art being read aloud:

Image: teachkidsart.com

Camp Au Pair – Nature Exploration

This week’s Camp Au Pair theme is Nature Exploration.

Crafts, recipes, activities, and games can all be found here on the Camp Au Pair – Nature Exploration pinboard.

Field Trips can be a great way for kids to learn and have new experiences. You can start observing nature at any local park or in your own backyard. If you want to take it a step further,  Below is a list of other local places to go explore nature. Get permission from your host parents before any outings and check websites before you go for hours and information.

Safety note: When coming inside after you have been outside exploring nature, it’s always a good idea to check the children and yourself for ticks. For more information, take a look at this post.

  • Aviary
  • Farms
  • Nature Preserve
  • Parks
  • Consider joining the Free Forest School to find outings near you.

Virtual Field Trips:

Webcams – You can do a Google search for websites with webcams that allow you to observe nature.

Videos – Look for fun videos on YouTube about nature.

Books – Check your bookshelves and/or stop by your local library and look for books on nature.  You can also find many read aloud book videos on YouTube. Here are a few to get you started.

Image: toddleratplay.com

Welcome to Camp Au Pair in America!

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.

Here are the themes you can look forward to:

  • Nature Exploration
  • Art Experiences
  • Under the Sea
  • Science (STEM)
  • Bugs & Butterflies
  • Cars and Trucks
  • Backyard Safari
  • Dinosaurs
  • Explore the World
  • Outer Space
  • Pirate Adventures
  • Princesses & Knights

Check out Summer Fun & Summer Holidays pin boards for even more ideas.

If you get some great pictures doing these activities with your host kids, please send those to your community counselor. We love to share your accomplishments and inspire other au pairs!

Let’s make this an amazing summer!

Camp Au Pair – Nature Exploration

This week’s Camp Au Pair theme is Nature Exploration.

Crafts, recipes, activities, and games can all be found here on the Camp Au Pair – Nature Exploration pinboard.

Field Trips can be a great way for kids to learn and have new experiences. You can start observing nature at any local park or in your own backyard. If you want to take it a step further,  Below is a list of other local places to go explore nature. Get permission from your host parents before any outings and check websites before you go for hours and information.

Safety note: When coming inside after you have been outside exploring nature, it’s always a good idea to check the children and yourself for ticks. For more information, take a look at this post.

  • Aviary
  • Farm
  • Natural History Museum
  • Nature Preserve
  • Park
  • Wildlife Rescue Center
  • Consider joining the Free Forest School to find outings near you.

Virtual Field Trips:

Webcams – You can do a Google search for websites with webcams that allow you to observe nature.

Videos – Look for fun videos on YouTube about nature.

Books – Check your bookshelves and/or stop by your local library and look for books on nature.  You can also find many read aloud book videos on YouTube. Here are a few to get you started.

Image: toddleratplay.com

Camp Au Pair – Cars & Trucks

Next week’s Camp Au Pair theme will be Cars & Trucks.

Crafts, recipes, activities, and games related to all kinds of vehicles can all be found here on the Camp Au Pair – Cars & Trucks pinboard.

Field Trips can be an excellent way for kids to learn and have new experiences. Get permission from your host parents before any outings. Here are a few field trips that go with this theme:

  • Go kart track (even if they aren’t old enough to drive, watching the cars is fun)
  • Look for construction areas where the kids can observe big machines in action. Kids should observe from the car or a safe area.
  • Keep an eye out for the trash truck and let them watch the truck in action.
  • Go to a drive-through car wash or let the kids make their own car wash at home.

VideosMighty MachinesAmazing Big Trucks are kid-friendly video channels showing machinery and big trucks in action. Look for fun videos on YouTube about cars and trucks.

Movies – Here are some movies that fit the cars and trucks theme.

  • Bumble Bee
  • Bob the Builder Mega Machines
  • Cars, Cars 2 & 3
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • Go Karts
  • Speed Racer
  • The Love Bug
  • Turbo

Books – Check your kids’ bookshelf for books on cars & trucks. You can also find many read aloud book videos on YouTube. Cool Cars , Little Blue Truck, Trash Trucks, and With Any Luck, I’ll Drive a Truck  are a few fun ones to get you started.

Image: funlearningforkids.com

Camp Au Pair – Bugs & Butterflies

Next week’s Camp Au Pair theme will be Bugs & Butterflies.

More than 100 crafts, recipes, and activities related to all kinds of bugs, insects, butterflies, and spiders can be found here on the Camp Au Pair – Bugs & Butterflies  pinboard.

Field Trips can be an excellent way for kids to learn and have new experiences. Get permission from your host parents before any outings. Check the websites before you go to be sure you understand the hours, costs, and whether advance tickets/reservations are required. Search online to see if your area has any of the following:

  • Butterfly Garden or Exhibit
  • Nature Center
  • Parks with Nature Areas
  • Wildlife Refuge
  • Zoo

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.

Webcams – You can do a Google search for websites with webcams that allow you to observe bugs. Here are some to get you started.

Books – Make a trip to the library and/or check your kids’ bookshelf for books on bugs and butterflies. You may find some classics like The Very Hungry Caterpillar or The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle. You can also find books being read aloud on YouTube videos like this one.

Movies – There are lots of movies with insect themes.

  • The Ant Bully
  • Antz
  • A Bugs Life
  • The Bee Movie
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • James & the Giant Peach
  • Maya the Bee
  • Miniscule: Valley of the Lost Ants
  • Wings of Life (documentary)

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.

Image: minieco.co.uk

Camp Au Pair – Backyard Safari

Next week’s Camp Au Pair theme is Backyard Safari  These activities focus on animals you might find in the a variety of environments: jungles, savannahs, safari parks and zoos.

Crafts, recipes, activities, and games can all be found here on the Camp Au Pair – Backyard Safari pinboard

Field Trips can be an excellent way for kids to learn and have new experiences. Get permission from your host parents before any outings. Check the websites before you go to be sure you understand the hours, costs, and whether advance tickets/reservations are required. Search online to see if your area has any of the following:

  • Local Zoo
  • Animal Rescue Park
  • Drive Thru Safari

Webcams – You can do a Google search for websites with webcams that allow you to observe nature.

Books – Stop by your local library and look for books on animals you might find on a safari or in the zoo. You can also check YouTube for some books on this subject being read aloud.

Movies – There are lots of movies with animal themes.

  • Back to the Outback 
  • Madagascar 1, 2 & 3
  • The Jungle Book
  • The Lion King
  • The Wild
  • Zootopia

Videos – Look for fun videos about animals on YouTube. Here are some to get you started.

Image: Jumble Tree

Camp Au Pair – Under the Sea

Next week’s Camp Au Pair theme is Under the Sea.

Crafts, recipes, activities, and games related to creatures who live under the sea can all be found here on the Camp Au Pair – Under the Sea pinboard.

 

Field Trips can be a great way for kids to learn and have new experiences. Get permission from your host parents before any outings. Check the websites before you go to be sure you understand the hours, costs, and whether advance tickets/reservations are required. Search online to see if your area has any of the following:

  • Pet or outdoor store (Bass Pro Shop) with fish tanks
  • Aquarium
  • Zoo
  • Nature Center

Online Games – NOAA has fun interactive games that help kids learn about sea turtle survival.

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 are a few to get you started.

 

Videos – Look for fun videos on YouTube about sea creatures. There’s more to see than Baby Shark. Movies like Finding Nemo, Dolphin Tale, and the Little Mermaid also go well with this theme.

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.

Movies – There are lots of movies with under the sea themes.

  • A Dolphin Tale
  • Finding Dory
  • Finding Nemo
  • Little Mermaid
  • Moana
  • Shark Tale 
  • Song of the Sea

Television – There are some episodes of children’s television shows that talk about life under the sea.

The Magic School Bus is a television series that follows Ms. Frizzle and her class as they set off on field trips. Most episodes can be found on YouTube. Here are some episodes that fit this week’s theme.

Bill Nye the Science Guy has episodes on Fish, Marine Animals and more on YouTube.

The Discovery Channel has an annual Shark Week. 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.

Photo: mimisdollhouse.com

Big Kids Need Interaction Too

Just because a child is old enough to occupy themselves, doesn’t mean that they should be expected to do so the majority of the time.  Host families have a certain expectation of activity and involvement for their children. Get the kids engaged and active. You can be more fun than the TV or a video game.

Problem:
But, my kids don’t want to do anything but watch TV or play video games.

Solution:
Instead of saying,  “Would you like to (fill in the blank with any activity)?  The answer will often be, “No.”

Try this, “Now we are going to (fill in the blank with any activity.) or “Would you rather do  _____ or ______?”  Make sure both the choices are good options.
Your chances of co-operation are greatly increased. Even kids who are reluctant to try new things will usually get in the spirit of things and have fun if you pick a good activity.

Problem:
I don’t know what to do with school-age kids.

Solution:
Look for ideas online. Google “activities school-age kids” or “activities tweens”. You can also take part in an au pair webinar on this topic. Below is a list of some ideas to get you started.

  • Cooking
  • Making things (check craft stores like Michael’s for kits and models that are age-appropriate)
  • Going to fun places (pottery painting, jewelry making, farms, museums, mini-golf, go-karts)*
  • Sports (soccer, tennis, swimming, bicycling, roller skating, ice skating)*
  • Let them teach you to do something they enjoy. Kids this age love being the expert.
  • Get outdoors and visit local parks.* You can even make a project of reviewing all the local parks (what kind of equipment they have, is there shade, water fountain?)  They can write this up and keep it so they remember which ones they want to go to again and which ones to skip in the future.
  • Let them help you search and plan some activities.
  • Check on the APIA Pinterest page and here on our cluster blog for ideas.
  • If you have a GPS, try taking them geocaching. Here is a website with all the details.
  • Use technology to get them off the couch and sneak in some exercise. The phone app Pokémon Go includes activities that are unlocked by taking steps. There are Pokéstops and gyms at many places they might enjoy going for walks like parks, nature trails, walk/bike paths, and downtown areas.

*Always get permission from your host parents before taking the kids places and remember to follow social distancing and mask-wearing protocols.