The pandemic has changed lots of things this year, but one tradition that experts seem to agree poses a low to moderate risk is visiting a pumpkin patch. Social distancing, mask-wearing and general hand sanitizing precautions should be taken to reduce the risk. We cannot go to the pumpkin patch as a cluster meeting, but it is still a great fall tradition you could experience with your host family or a friend.
From the CDC website:
Below is a list of some local pumpkin patches. Visit their websites for details before you go. Many are requiring advance registration to eliminate crowds and comply with social distancing requirements.
Anne Arundel County:
Prince George’s County:
* These are my personal recommendations.
Photo: Don Graham
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:
APIA Valentine’s Day Pinboard
Photo: Clever Cupcakes (Flickr)
You will find lots of fun ideas for games, crafts, printables, activities and recipes to explore bugs and butterflies. Check out the Au Pair in America Pinterest Pinboard:
Camp Au Pair Bugs & Butterflies
Photo: Plancas67 (Flickr)
Father’s Day will be celebrated on June 21 this year. Dads love handmade gifts from their children. You’ll find lots of great Father’s Day projects here on the Au Pair in America Pinterest Pinboard: Father’s Day Ideas
Photo: ff137 (Flickr)
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 video game.
But, my kids don’t want to do anything but watch TV or play video games.
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 things you approve of.)
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.
I don’t know what to do with school age kids?
Here are a few easy ideas to start with. Look for more on the internet and the library. Google “activities school age kids” or “activities tweens”
-Making things (check craft stores like Michael’s for kits and models that are age appropriate)
-Going fun places (check the Cluster Google Map for all kinds of great places in the local area including pottery making, jewelry making, farms, museums and more)
-Sports (soccer, tennis, swimming, bicycling, roller skating, ice skating, and more)
-Visit places in the area like the library, museums and attractions in DC, mini-golf and go-karts
-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, 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 your host children are in scouts, find out if there are things that they need to complete that you can work on with them. Even if they are not in scouts, I suggest you check your local library for Cub Scout Handbooks (Tiger, Wolf, Bear & Webelos.) They are full of activities appropriate for boys (and girls) from age 7-11.
-If you have a GPS, try taking them geocaching. Here is a website with all the details.
Note: Always get permission from your host parents before taking the kids places.
Looking for fun activity ideas to get the summer started off right with your host kids?
Check out our Au Pair in America Summer Fun Pinboard on Pinterest.
Planning is the key! Bored kids are more likely to get into mischief and fight with siblings. Have lots of ideas ready and avoid those problems as much as possible.
Photo: MissMessie (Flickr)