Valentine’s day is celebrated in the United States every year on February 14th. There are many stories and legends behind who the real St. Valentine was, but most scholars agree that he was a martyr who was killed by Roman soldiers because he was marrying people in secret at a time when marriage was outlawed. Later in the Middle Ages, a great writer named Geoffrey Chaucer wrote a poem as a present to King Richard II, who was going to be married soon. In it, he mentioned St. Valentine, and over time, the idea of Valentine’s Day became associated with the idea of love.
During the Victorian times (in the 1800s), Valentine’s Day became extremely popular! Men and women spent a lot of time making beautiful Valentine’s cards with ribbon, fancy paper and even lace. In those days, people were very reserved and they did not often say what they were feeling. Valentine’s day gave them a way to express their feelings to someone they were in love with anonymously. The sender would remain a mystery until they could speak more freely.
In the last few decades, Valentine’s day has changed a lot! Today we still exchange cards, but many people buy ready-made cards instead. We also give flowers or chocolates as a gift to remind people of our friendship and love for them. Most Valentine’s gifts and cards make use of the colors red and pink, and are decorated with images of hearts or roses. Another common symbol of love on this day is Cupid, the Roman god of love. He is usually shown as a little angel with a bow and arrow. According to legend, anyone who is struck by his arrows will fall in love.
Here are some links with ideas about how you can celebrate and have fun with the children you care for over the next couple of weeks!
Click here for Valentine’s Day Cards, coloring pages, recipes, crafts, games and puzzles: http://www.dltk-holidays.com/valentines/
Check out our Au Pair in America Pinterest page for Valentine’s Day for more ideas: https://www.pinterest.com/aupairinamerica/valentines-day/
Photo: Nathan Cooprider
Valentine’s Day is February 14th!
Au Pairs give loving care to their host families every day. Au Pair in America has provided 27 years as the world’s most experienced intercultural childcare program.
Au pairs become full-fledged family members, sharing a cultural exchange experience that often leads to a lasting relationship with the host family.
Au Pairs come to the USA for cultural exchange and to provide childcare to busy families. They stay for one year and then have the option to extend for a second year. Au Pairs are 18 to 26 years old when they arrive in the USA. Please check out www.aupairinamerica.com for more information!
Au Pairs will be making Valentine cards with their host children. Here’s how:
What you’ll need:
- 8.5 x 11 construction paper or card stock in various colors and/or patterns
- Valentine and/or heart stickers
- Pinking shears (optional)
- Glue stick or white craft or school glue
- Glitter (pink, red, white)
How to make it:
- Begin by cutting a piece of construction paper or card stock into four equal pieces.
- Fold quartered paper in half to make a card.
- For the easiest version, appropriate for preschoolers, use stickers to decorate or cut out hearts from a different color of construction paper or card stock to glue onto your cards. Experiment with different patterns, florals look great contrasted with stripes on a solid background.
- Younger children love glitter! Use a bottle of glue to “draw” on a heart or phrase (such as “Be Mine”). Sprinkle glue generously with pink, red or white glitter and let dry over night. Tap off excess glitter when completely dry.
- For the older set, let them use pinking sheers to cut out heart shapes and glue onto cards. Again, use contrasting patterns and colors to create a charming design.
- Once glue is dry, cards may curl up a little. Place cards between the pages of a heavy cookbook or phone book and leave over night.
Last weekend’s snow storm pushed our celebration of Chinese New Year a week later, but we enjoyed learning all about it and how to make Chinese Dumplings from Yujue, an au pair from China! She taught us about the Chinese Zodiac, how the new year is celebrated in China. Then she taught us how to make Chinese dumplings, which were delicious.
Cindy Garruba and Nancy Picart combined their clusters at Cindy’s house for the meeting. Cindy led the group in filling out their tax forms, reviewing some school information for classes au pairs can take, safe driving tips from the DMV, childcare activities for fun on days when you have to stay inside, and then we learned some heart idioms in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Nancy Picart made a Valentine dessert for everyone, we handed out candy kisses to all the au pairs.
It was the last cluster meeting for Juliana from Brazil! She will be traveling around the USA for her bonus travel month, then returning to Brazil. Cindy presented her with a certificate, a good bye gift and all the au pairs cheered her accomplishments. Juliana has been an au pair for 2 years! We look forward to hearing more about her trip and her success in years to come!
In honor of Valentine’s Day, some heart idioms!
Idiom definition: an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its separate words but that has a separate meaning of its own.
- To have a heart of gold – to care about other people.
- To have a big heart – to be giving, caring.
- To be cold-hearted – lacking in sympathy.
- To wear your heart on your sleeve – to let everyone know how you feel about someone.
- To cross your heart and hope to die – to promise.
- To cry your heart out – to cry a lot and feel really badly about something.
- To eat your heart out – to be jealous of someone.
- From the bottom of your heart – to really mean something.
- To have a change of heart – to change of your mind.
- To have a heart – to be compassionate, to care about other people.
- To have your heart in your mouth – to be scared or nervous.
- To have your heart set on something – to really want something.
- To set your heart at rest – stop worrying about something.
- To be soft hearted – to be sympathetic.
- To take something to heart – to have your feelings hurt by something someone says or does.
We may not want to pay taxes: those of us born in the USA, or those who live in the USA for a short time. But if you earn money in the USA, then you owe your fair share. At the Suffolk County Au Pair in America February Cluster Meeting the information on how and when to pay taxes was reviewed by Senior Community Counselor, Cindy Garruba. “I am not an accountant, but I need to give the information to all of you,” Cindy stated. “It is important to review the information available on www.aupairinamerica.com and file appropriately.”
A link to the information is available under the Link “Life in the USA” on this blog.
The meeting included egg rolls and fortune cookies to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Cindy discussed why we celebrate President’s Day in the USA and that the host children would be off of school for a week in February. Several au pairs mentioned they were tired of the long winter, and Cindy gave them a handout with some activities to do with the children on winter days.
It was Super Bowl Sunday and Cindy explained how most Americans wil watch the Super Bowl, making it the most viewed show of the year. Many people watch with friends and family, even if just for the commercials and half time. Everyone received a Valentine goodie bag, too!