Tag Archives: water and summer childcare

Water & Summer Safety Cluster Meeting


20160612_144409_resizedThis Sunday, June 12th the Suffolk County Au Pair in America Cluster learned about Water & Summer Safety.  The meeting was held on a deck overlooking the beautiful Long Island Sound.  It was a very windy day, the water was too rough to swim, but the au pairs learned about being safe around the water from their Community Counselor, Cindy Garruba, who was a swim instructor and lifeguard.

20160612_145345_resizedThey also learned about prevention and treatment of sunburn by how to use sunscreen and when to avoid the sun.  Also covered was identifying poison ivy, preventing exposure and what to do if a rash occurs.  We discussed ticks and Lyme disease.  We also discussed playground safety, and basic first aid.

20160612_145356_resizedA former au pair, Nikoleta Todtova, from Slovakia, talked about her time as an au pair, returning home and then returning to the USA with a student visa several years later.  She is currently attending a local college with a 4.0 average!

20160612_154839_resizedCindy presented Alessia  Agistri with a good bye gift and education completion certificate because she is finishing her 2 years as an Au Pair with APIA!

We finished the meeting with local strawberries on shortcake with cream.  Everyone had time to socialize before heading home.

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Water & Summer Safety Cluster Meeting

IMG_20150614_140727On Sunday, July 14th Long Island Au Pairs gathered at Community Counselor, Cindy Garruba’s beach house for the annual Water & Summer Safety Meeting.  Safe tips on watching children and themselves at pools and the beach was discussed.  Also covered was preventing sunburn by using sunscreen, avoiding high sun times of day and proper clothing.  They au pairs learned how to recognize poison ivy, preventing exposure, what to do if exposed and the care for the rash.  Cindy explained Lyme disease, the difference between a deer and dog tick, the bull’s eye rash, care and treatment.IMG_20150614_145021 (1)

The au pairs enjoyed time on the beach, each other’s company and even had a yoga class.IMG_20150614_152433







We said good byes to au pairs who are heading home soon, and welcomed new au pairs! IMG_20150614_165034









Everyone enjoyed an all American dessert in celebration of Flag Day, June 14th!  Strawberries and blueberries fresh from the farm stand, whipped cream and pastry shells!  Yummy!



Backyard Camp Au Pair in America Animal Safari

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Au Pair in America’s at home summer camp for kids and au pairs  ANIMAL SAFARI!

Take a look at the great ideas for fun this week:


Summer Safety Tips!

water bubblerDehydration: The little ones, especially, forget to drink or to tell you that they need to drink. If you find the children not looking well and/or getting cranky toward the afternoon, it might be because they’re tired, or it might be because they’re dehydrated. Remember: By the time a person feels thirsty, he’s already partly dehydrated, so drink to prevent thirst, not to quench it. Common symptoms of dehydration are crankiness, headaches, aches in the joints and weariness. And don’t allow your child to fill up on juice or soft drinks; these are dehydrators. Water or child-appropriate hydrating drinks are best.

However, if you or your child has severe dehydration (dry mouth, sunken eyes, reluctant to drink, unable to pee or cry, high fever, lethargy), call for emergency help and have your child sip an electrolyte-replacement fluid (such as Pedialyte).

Hot Cars: Don’t EVER leave children alone in the car — not even for a moment. Besides the danger of abduction, the temperature in a car can skyrocket in minutes. And, if you see an unattended young child in a vehicle, please call 911, the police or other emergency personnel. Your call could save the child’s life.

Drowning: Always actively supervise children in and around water. Infants and children can drown in bathtubs, swimming pools, ponds or almost any other water. Toddlers aren’t strong enough to lift themselves back out of a toilet, bucket, container or wading pool.

sunscreenSun Protection: Children’s skin and eyes are more sensitive to ultraviolet rays. Babies should be protected from direct sun entirely. Toddlers, preschoolers and older children should be covered well in sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) at least one half hour before going out in the sun. Sunscreen should be reapplied every hour or so, and it should be reapplied after the child has been in water. Don’t forget ears, hands, feet, lips and under the eyes. Also, make sure your child wears a hat and sunglasses when out in the sun for any length of time.

Summer Fun with Kids

What to do when your host kid says, “I’m bored” this summer!

summer-funSometimes, especially with younger children, cries of boredom are really calls for companionship and attention—their friends may be away on vacation and without the structure of school they may find it difficult to keep occupied during long summer days. Prolonged intervals where the kids have nothing to do can be stressful . When bored, children often become whiny, cranky and demanding.

Here are a few easy tips to help au pairs and host parents combat summer boredom and help kids develop the internal resources that are important for developing creative, resource and time management skills:

  1. Put a weekly calendar together so as not to overwhelm yourself with planning entertainment for an entire summer, just take it one week at a time—day trips, arts and craft activities, play-dates, reading time, nature hikes, picnics, bike rides, a trip to the movie theater etc. This way kids will have something to look forward to during down time. A calendar also helps with getting kids prepared for what comes next.
  2. Ask: “If you could do anything, what would you like to do?” Try and encourage your children to generate their own ideas for activities—they are more apt to have fun when they thought it up on their own! Reinforcing that children use their imaginations will also help them develop a sense of resourcefulness and get them in the habit of making their own choices about how they will spend their time.
  3. Keep an “art box” handy full of supplies: scissors, fabric, felt, glue, paints and brushes, stickers, paper, markers, canvass, needle and thread, beads, yarn, picture magazines etc. Rummaging through a box of art supplies can ignite the imagination and occupy children for long periods of time. They could even begin an entrepreneurial enterprise and sell their wares at the end of the summer.
  4. Inspire them to play with water. Water is very calming and soothing for children and they can while away many hours playing and keeping cool. Get them to wash the car, hose off the deck, or run through a sprinkler. Spend time together at the beach or pool.

4th of July Fun!

Long Island’s 2013 4th of July Guide: Fireworks, Festivities, Food & More!

Long Islanders gather together for some of the largest celebrations in the country. With fast-approaching festivities and fireworks, don’t miss out on the fun – …

The nation’s favorite major summer holiday is just around the corner – that’s right, it’s almost Independence Day! Americans celebrate the Fourth of July in accordance to the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 in Philadelphia – the former thirteen states declared their freedom from British governance. July 4, 1777, the one year anniversary of our independence,  was celebrated with music, ringing bells, bonfires, and fireworks. Ever since, Americans continue the tradition in celebrating their freedom by taking part in some fun and entertaining events in commemoration.
Long Islanders gather together for some of the largest celebrations in the country. These fast-approaching festivities include fairs, carnivals and festivals to concerts and sports games to picnics, cruises, and of course the stars of the day – FIREWORKS! Don’t miss out on the fun – check out what’s happening near you and across Long Island!
Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre
Eisenhower Park, East Meadow 11554
Saturday, June 29, 2013 – 5:30 pm
Check out some world class fireworks displayed by Grucci and presented by TD Bank. Free tickets at TD Bank stores. Gates open at 5 p.m. Show begins at 5:30 p.m. Fireworks at darkness. Performances by Dean Karahalis and the Concert Pops, followed by Somethin’s Fresh, the best ‘80’s R&B, Dance and Funk Classic band on Long Island.
Moore’s Lane, Greenport, NY 11944
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Celebrate the holiday at a carnival fundraiser hosted by the Relief Hose Co. & Phenix Hook & Ladder. The carnival will run through July 6th.  Fireworks are on July 4th and July 6th at 10 pm. The time of the carnival is to be announced.
Chateau Briand
440 Old Country Road, Carle Place, NY 11514
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 – 9 pm
Celebrate the Fourth of July early at Body English’s Annual Celebration. Table reservation and bottle services are available. Call early at 516-398-8777.
Umbrella Beach
Old Montauk Highway, Montauk, NY 11954
Thursday, July 4, 2013 – 9 pm – 9:45 pm
Watch a spectacular show of fireworks in Montauk sponsored by the Montauk Chamber of Commerce. Fireworks can be viewed from any town beach. (Rain date is July 5th).
55 South Bicycle Path, Farmingville, NY 11738
Thursday, July 4, 2013 – 6 pm
Enjoy a tribute to Billy Joel by Mike Del Guidice and Big Shot. Doors open at 6 pm and the concert begins at 7:30 pm. Stick around for amazing Grucci fireworks beginning at 9:30 pm. See event listing for more details.
Captree Park
3500 E. Ocean Parkway, Babylon, NY 11702
Thursday, July 4, 2013 – 6:30 pm
7 in Heaven Singles presents a boat cruise joy ride aboard Captain Tim’s, Northstar II, on the Great South Bay with lots of fireworks. Light refreshments will be provided such as appetizers, sandwiches, water, soda, and some dessert. Bring your own beer or wine. All ages are welcome. Free membership to sign up for the group. Fees apply for the event – pre-pay now for $48 (bring a friend for a discounted price) or $55 (cash) at the door with RSVP. NY State parking fee of $8. If it rains, participants will be issued a refund. See event listing for details.
Firemen’s Memorial Field
E. Fenimore St and Albermarle Ave, Valley Stream,  NY 11580
Thursday, July 4, 2013- 6 pm – 10 pm
The park opens at 6 pm for ticket holders only. The ground show begins at 8 pm. The Fireworks Aerial Display begins at 9:15pm or at coordinator’s discretion. Personal items are subject to search for security purposes.  The rain date is July 5th.
333 Bayville Avenue, Bayville on the Sound, New York 11706
Thursday, July 4, 2013- 6:30 pm
Reserve your table for dinner and fireworks on the beach from the club’s private deck and restaurant.
Finley Middle School and Morgan Memorial Park
City of Glen Cove, 11542
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Spend the morning watching the Annual July 4th Children’s Bicycle Parade from 10 am to 11 am at Finley Middle School. Later in the night, view fireworks at the Morgan Memorial Park at 9 pm.
Bethpage Ballpark
3 Court House Drive, Central Islip, NY 11722
Thursday, July 4, 2013 – 7:05 pm
Watch the Long Island Ducks play against the Somerset Patriots followed by a Grucci fireworks show presented by Atlantic Honda. Purchase tickets online or by calling 631-940-8499. See event listing for more details.
Pettit Ave, Bellmore, NY 11710
Thursday, July 4, 2013 – 8 am
Runners take on the streets of Bellmore to run/walk either a 1-mile course or 4-mile course. The 1- mile run is for runners 12 years of age and under. The 4- mile run is for runners 13 years of age or older. Youth entries are $10 and adult entries are $20 between June 1 and July 3.  Entries on race day are $22. Athletes 70 years or older pay nothing. The 1-mile run starts at 8 am. Refreshments will be available before the race, at every mile of the race, and after the race.The race starts at Pettit Avenue and finishes at Grand Ave.
6164 Route 25A, Wading River, NY 11792
Thursday, July 4, 2013 – 6 pm – 11 pm
Free Admission
Come out with your family and friends to win some prizes, play some games, enjoy festival good, or just go on the rides! Admission is free for the festival. $30 pay-one-price for rides. The festival will go through July 7, 2013. Fireworks on July 5th at 9 pm.
Peconic Riverfront
Riverhead, NY 11901
Thursday, July 4, 2013 – 6:30 pm
Come see 2009 Children’s Grammy nominee, Brady Rymer, rock it out again this year for Independence Day with his Little Band that Could in Riverhead. The evening will be followed by a spectacular fireworks show around nightfall. Make sure to bring your chairs and blanket.
Garvies Point Road & the Harbor, Glen Cove, NY 11542
Saturday, July 6, 2013 and Sunday, July 7, 2013- 11 am to 9 pm
Free Admission
Spend the weekend at the annual Sea-Faire festival on the waterfront in Glen Cove with games, food, live music, and rides ($30 pay-one-price). The festival will be open from 10 am to 10 pm on Saturday. Grucci fireworks show will be held Saturday at 9 pm.
36 Barkers Island Road, Southampton , NY 11968
Friday, July 5, 2013 – 7 pm – 10 pm
Admission by Tickets – Starting at $300 for General Admission
Fresh Air Home is a residential camp offering special recreational programs for physically challenged children. The picnic raises over 40% of the Home’s annual program expenses. Enjoy a benefit picnic dinner at the only Fourth of July fireworks family party in Southampton. Grucci presents fireworks over the Shinnecock Bay. Rain date is July 7th. Tickets can be purchased online. See event listing for details.
Old Bethpage Village Restoration
1303 Round Swamp Road, Old Bethpage, NY 11804
Thursday, July 4, 2013
A re-creation of a Long Island July 4th celebration at the beginning of the Civil War, in honor of the soldier recruits of the New York Volunteers. Festivities will include a National Patriotic Picnic (bring your own picnic lunch), band concerts and fiddle music, children’s games, rifled-musket firings and a patriotic parade and ceremony.
164 Old Montauk Highway, Montauk, NY 11954
Thursday, July 4, 2013 – 9:30 am
Show off your skills by taking part in this year’s sandcastle contest by using sand, water, and any other natural material native to the beach at Hither Hills State Park. Castles will be made on the spot. Prizes will be given to the best sculptors and castles. The contest will be held every Thursday from June 27 to August 29. Registration is held every Thursday from 9:30 am – 10:30 am at the park’s beach house.
Route 25A and Prime Ave, Huntington, NY 11743
Thursday, July 4, 2013- 8 pm – 10 pm
The North Shore Pops Concert Band consisting of  a talented group of musicians perform tunes from Sousa to Gershwin, and Broadway to American Patriotic anthems at Heckscher Park.
The Fishery Parking Lot
1 Main Street, East Rockaway, NY 11518
Friday, July 5, 2013 through Sunday, July 7, 2013
Spend the 4th of July weekend at the East Rockaway festival with family and friends. On Saturday at 3 pm, The Eliot Lewis Trio will be performing live after an opening by Drive performing an ‘80s music tribute plus a tribute to The Cars. Enjoy some food, games, rides, a petting zoo, and fireworks! Friday: 6 pm to 11 pm   Saturday: 12 pm to 11 pm    Sunday: 12 pm to 8 pm
Walker Street
Thursday, July 4, 2013 – 10:30 am
The Chamber would welcome your participation in the 4th of July Parade. Assembly time is 10:30 a.m. The parade will begin at 11:00 a.m. at Walker Street and proceed south on Lake Shore Drive to Park Blvd.
Fourth of July Fireworks: Grangebel Park
Peconic Ave
Riverhead, NY 11901
Thursday, July 4, 2013 – 9 pm
Watch the fireworks light up the skies!
118 East Main Street, Riverhead, NY 11901
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 – 8 pm
$25 in advance/ $30 at the door
Disco and dance the night away with the Terry Hines Band.
118 East Main Street, Riverhead, NY 11901
Thursday, July 4, 2013- 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
FREEdom Fest featuring fabulous food and a FREE musical performance by the swingin’ GI Jivesters! There’s always something to celebrate at The Suffolk Theater, so bring the whole family and join us for great food, fun and music on July 4th prior to Riverhead’s fireworks display!
Doors open at 6pm, so come early and join us for dinner (dinner cost additional) and order up some all American food and enjoy some great music!
118 East Main Street, Riverhead, NY 11901
Friday, July 5, 2013 – 8 pm
$25 in advance/ $30 at the door
Experience the best of both American & British Rock. This rock show is a tribute to the music of the great American classic rock artists & bands who came of age particularly in the late 60s & 70’s.
118 East Main Street, Riverhead, NY 11901
Saturday, July 6, 2013 – 8 pm
$30 in advance/ $35 at the door
Come Join us with our Red White & Swing Summer Saturday Supper Club Series with the Black Tie Affair Orchestra! Join Tom Manuel and the Black Tie Affair Orchestra for their command return performance at the Tom and his 17 piece big band are calling all jitterbuggers to join us for a swingin’ night of big band – USO style! Supper/Show Package $70.00. Dinner Seating at 6:30 pm and 7:00 pm.
Montauk Farmer’s Market
742 Montauk Highway, Montauk, NY 11954
Thursday July 4, 2013 – 9 am – 2 pm
Stock up on fruits and vegetables for a Fourth of July barbeque at Montauks Farmer’s Market presented by the Montauk Chamber of Commerce. Proceeds will benefit the Montauk Food Pantry.

June Tips for Host Families and Au Pairs

summerJune is such a busy month for host families and au pairs here in Suffolk County, Long Island.  School is still in session, but the kids are busy with lots of fun school activities like field day, school concerts and presentations.  Sports are in full swing; lacrosse, Little League, swim team, tennis, horse back riding and so much more keep au pairs and host parents driving kids around and cheering from the sidelines!

Vacation is coming up, school is out on June 22nd!  Schedules are changing for au pairs and their host children.  Day and sleep away camps for the kids are being planned.  Au pairs and host families are planning summer vacations together and separate.  New au pairs are arriving every week, and former au pairs are heading home.  There are welcome and good bye parties, family BBQs and lots of special days to enjoy!

But with all the excitement comes some stress and a need for au pairs and host families to sit down together, discuss the schedule changes, where and how to fit in vacations and how to manage all the activities for the children.  It is very important to continue to have a weekly meeting! Please take time to discuss all the changes so we can all make sure summer here in Suffolk County, Long Island is the best it can be!

It is Strawberry Festival Weekend! June 13 -16!

Strawberry Festival 1Au Pairs at Festival

The 59th annual Mattituck Lions Club Strawberry Festival is coming!

Thursday June 13th –
Hulling – 5PM – 9:00PM Sponsored by Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Carnival – 6:30PM – 10:00PM
Pay-One-Price Ride Bracelet: $20; Single Ride Tickets Available
Free Admission on Thursday

Friday June 14th
5PM until 11PM
Admission – Adults and children age 6 and over – $2.00
Children 5 and under – free
Pay-One-Price Ride Bracelet: $25; Single Ride Tickets Available

Saturday  June 15th
11AM until 11PM
Admission – Adults and children age 12 and up – $7.00
Children 6 to 11 – $3.00
Children 5 and under – free
Pay-One-Price Bracelet – $25 – good from opening to 6pm and a second Pay-One-Price Bracelet  $25 – good from 4pm to closing;  Single Ride Tickets Available
Fireworks – 9:00

Sunday June 16th
11AM until 5PM
Admission – Adults and children age 12 and up – $7.00
Children 6 to 11 – $3.00
Children 5 and under – free
Pay-One Price Ride Bracelet – $25
Single Ride Tickets Available
No admission charge for fathers on Father’s Day when accompanied by paid child
Fireworks – 9:00

strawberry festival 2

Summer & Water Safety for Au Pairs

DSCN1053On Sunday, June 2nd Au Pairs from 2 Au Pair in America clusters gathered to learn about water and summer safety to enhance their childcare skills for Suffolk County, Long Island host families!  They met at Cindy Garruba’s beach house on the Long Island Sound, enjoyed the beach and some mingling before learning important safety tips!

DSCN1048Reminders about using sunscreen always, identifying poison ivy, tick avoidance and treatment needs, and going to a CPR class.  APIA offers scholarships for their Au Pairs who attend Red Cross classes!  Former life guard and water safety instructor, Senior Community Counselor, Cindy Garruba led the group on basic water safety tips.  Most au pairs will spend some time this summer at their host families’ pools or on one of Long Island’s beautiful beaches.  Sometimes with the host children and sometimes just with friends.  Water safety is essential for everyone!

DSCN1042The au pairs also worked on a Flag Day Contest being sponsored by Au Pair in America’s Global Awareness Program.  They created a poster representing Suffolk County and the countries represented by the Au Pairs here in this area!

DSCN1045DSCN1044We ended with strawberry shortcake, it is Strawberry Season here on Long Island!  DSCN1054

So Many Parks on Long Island!


There are lots of parks on Long Island!  You can find one near you by putting in your zip code.  Or enter the name of the park you want to find and you can search for it that way, too!  http://pickapark.org/