With winter break and the longest nights of the year approaching, try a magical project that will wow your entire family – ice lanterns and wreaths. Depending on the ages of your children, decide if a simple or more labor intensive project is in order.
For the younger ones, try filling a balloon up partially with water and freeze. After an hour or so, adjust your icy orb to coax some of the remaining liquid up the sides. Once solid, remove the balloon to reveal a vessel that will make Queen Elsa swoon.
Conversely select an aluminum pie pan or plastic take-away tray and fill it with water. Arrange cranberries, pine boughs and sliced oranges then freeze. If you wish to make a hole in the ice to hang your creation, heat the tip of a skewer and carefully push it though the ice before suspending outside.
Finally try filling a bucket or large container with water. Carefully tape a mason jar down to displace the water (or alternatively try using a bundt pan) and freeze. Once solid, remove the containers and add a candle or small light and enjoy! More detailed instructions can be found here.
For other unique craft project ideas, check out our Pinterest page!
When the kids are out of school on summer break there are soooo many possibilities. But, if you don’t make plans, you will often end up in the house with bored kids getting into trouble and arguing with their siblings. Make plans!
Having lots of ideas ready can minimize those problems.
Looking for fun activity ideas to get the summer started off right with your host kids?
The Au Pair in America Summer Fun Pinboard is a great place to start. Together, create a Summer Bucket List. Talk with the kids about things they would like to see and do. Even toddlers and preschoolers can contribute to the conversation. Run these plans by your host parents and clear things like how much you may spend and when is best to do some of these activities.
Check back here next week for information on CampAuPairinAmerica: a weekly blog series with themes for a summer break filled with fun and new adventures.
Valentine’s Day (February 14) is a time of love, friendship, giving, and caring. Americans use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to tell friends and family how much they care. Children usually exchange cards at school.
Are you looking for Valentine’s day activity and craft ideas?
Look no further… Au Pair in America has a Pinterest pinboard devoted to Valentine’s Day:
March 20th is the first official day of Spring, and the city is alive with so much to do. Take advantage of longer days and warmer temperatures to get outside and explore the city with your host kids. From cherry blossoms on the Potomac to Easter egg hunts at Hillwood or even Madame Tussauds, there truly is something for children of all ages.
Valentine’s Day is a time of love, friendship, giving, and caring. Americans use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to tell friends and family how much they care. Celebrated on February 14th, children usually exchange cards at school on that day or one close to the holiday.
Whether you’re staying home with the kids during a blizzard, a polar vortex, or just because it’s cold and dreary, the hours inside the house during winter can seem endless for everyone. But with just a bit of preparation, you can ward off the winter doldrums and keep everyone smiling. Here are some ideas to get your started:
APIA’s Pinterest Pinboards are loaded with indoor craft ideas and activities for kids of all ages:
America’s Test Kitchen has recipes and STEAM-focused, hands-on activities designed to get kids ages 8-13 cooking, experimenting, and exploring in the kitchen. Learn more by visiting America’s Test Kitchen Kids and following them on Instagram.
Making Paper Snowflakes: Cutting paper snowflakes is a fun and simple indoor winter activity. Tip: For younger kids, keep the designs simple to avoid frustration. Here’s a great video showing you how to cut some of your own.
During the last week of December and first week of January, many host kids will have between ten days to two weeks off from school for winter vacation. The thought of having the kids home for multiple days during the winter can send even the most seasoned childcare giver into a panic. Cold weather, shorter days, extra sugar, later bedtimes, and visiting relatives can be a challenge, but with some pre-planning, you can provide your host kids with a vacation to remember.
Play tourist with your host kids. Again, use the free time to explore DC. (Use the DC Guides section to help.) We live in an amazing city!
Tip #2: Dress the Part
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Winter has finally arrived in DC. It’s important to dress for cold weather and to make sure that your host children are dressed warmly too. If this is your first experience with really cold weather, ask your host parents for advice on staying warm. For more info, read this blog post from October: It’s Cold Out There! A 2018 Guide to DC Winter Weather.
Help the kids organize their toys and rooms with these suggestions. With mom and dad’s permission, perhaps your host kids can donate some of the toys they have outgrown. This will create more room for the new toys from Santa.
Looking for a fun baking activity? Gingerbread is a delicious way to celebrate the season!
Tip #4: Make a Date
Playdates can be a great way for kids to socialize and work on the important skills necessary for being a good friend. Talk with your host family about planning a playdate over winter vacation. With their permission, you can use our cluster list to find an au pair who lives near you and has host kids who are compatible ages with your host kids. If hosting doesn’t work, you can also make plans to meet up at the library for a free story hour or crafting session.