Tag Archives: au pairs

Camp Au Pair Week #5 – Under the Sea

In honor of Shark Week (see below), 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.

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 is one to get you started.

TelevisionThe Discovery Channel has an annual Shark Week. This year it will be August 9-16, 2020. Much of the programming will be too scary for younger kids, but for nature-loving tweens and teens, it could be a great way to get them interested in sharks and other ocean animals. 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.

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

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.

Photo: mimisdollhouse.com

Social Distancing: 5 Online Adventures for Kids

Reading, playing, and doing art projects are always great ways to entertain children and keep them physically active and learning. It’s a good idea to limit screen time. But, in this time of social distancing, technology can play an important role in allowing kids to see and connect with the world outside of their homes. Many online resources are popping up to create those opportunities.

Here are five to get you started:

And if kids have questions about the coronavirus, Live Science has created an ultimate kids’ guide to the new coronavirus that has lots of information and is appropriate for school-aged kids.

What is Global Awareness?

What is Global Awareness?

The Global Awareness program brings expanded educational and​ ​cultural opportunities to the forefront for au pairs. It gives them the​ ​opportunity to share their culture with others.

How do au pairs get involved?

Au Pairs can volunteer in pre-school, elementary and middle school classrooms. They have the opportunity to share their culture, customs and language with young American children. The mission of this volunteer experience is to bring multi-cultural understanding into the classrooms and help children form positive first impressions of people from other countries. Visit the Get Involved page of our website for all the info you need to get started.

Is Global Awareness just for schools?

No. Au pairs have done presentations for scout groups, at birthday parties and at children’s story times.

Are you interested in scheduling a Global Awareness presentation?

Teachers, parents or others who would like to schedule a presentation, please visit the Global Awareness website for more information and a contact link.

How can Global Awareness help host parents?

Global Awareness offers a webinar series for host parents. The goal is to increase their cultural awareness, improve communication with their au pair and ensure the most successful exchange possible. Your community counselor can provide you with the webinar schedule and how to register.

10 Safety Tips for Au Pairs – Staying Safe Out and About

These tips are not intended to scare you, but to make you aware of some simple things you can do to prevent being the victim of a crime.

  • When you get into an Uber or Lyft, make sure the vehicle matches the description and the driver is who the app shows.
  • When riding on metro, try to wait in well lit areas where there are other people and try to get into a train car with other people, rather than being alone.
  • Be very careful using outside ATMs at night or in unfamiliar surroundings.
  • When walking, face the oncoming traffic. It will be harder for someone to pull you into a car and abduct you. You can also see cars coming in your lane.
  • Tell someone where you’ll be and what time you’re supposed to return, or if you will be with someone you don’t know well.
  • If you are meeting someone new for the first time, meet in a public place.
  • Don’t overload yourself with packages. If you must have your hands full, visualize how you would respond if approached, how you would get your hands free, etc.
  • Don’t wear earbuds or headphones, while walking or jogging.
  • Don’t read or get distracted by your cell phone while walking or standing on the street.
  • Pay attention to what is going on around you and be aware of people near you. 

Photo: Antonio Touriño

8 Winter Driving Tips to Stay Safe in the Ice & Snow

Driving in the snow and ice can be a challenge even for experienced drivers. If you don’t have to go out in bad weather, stay home. If you do have to go out, here are some tips from AAA. Check out the full article on the AAA website.
8 Tips for driving in the snow:
  1. Accelerate and decelerate slowly.
  2. Drive slowly.
  3. The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds.
  4. Know your brakes.
  5. Don’t stop if you can avoid it.
  6. Don’t power up hills.
  7. Don’t stop going up a hill.
  8. Stay home (if at all possible.)

Photo: Steve Pisano (Flickr)

Handling Expenses

Host parents often ask for suggestions on how best to handle common expenses that occur as au pairs are caring for the children.

Miscellaneous Expenses

There are different ways to handle the little day to day expenses that come up.  Things like when an au pair takes the kids out for ice cream or picks up a gallon of milk.  Some families keep a cookie jar fund, a little cash that they set aside weekly or monthly for these types of expenses. Others give their au pair a prepaid debit card for this purpose. Below are some suggestions for avoiding problems with expenses.

Host Families

  • It’s important to be clear about how long this money should last and what types of expenses are approved.
  • Let the au pair know whether or not you expect receipts.

Au Pairs

  • Only spend the money on approved expenses.
  • If it is something you are not sure about, ask first.
  • Put your receipts in the cookie jar in place of the money to avoid any confusion.

Gas and Fare Cards 

Host families are responsible for the au pair’s transportation costs: to and from classes, cluster meetings and when driving the kids.

It is a good idea to figure out how much gas an au pair will use for these trips and either put gas in the car or give a gas allowance.   If your au pair is riding to classes or cluster meetings with another au pair, you should offer to share the cost of gas.

Au pairs are responsible for their own transportation at all other times.  You should replace the amount of gas used for personal use.

Photo: Andrea Travillian

30 Hours of Service Update – Sending Smiles

Back in May, we announced that our cluster would be celebrating Au Pair in America’s 30th anniversary year with 30 Hours of Service in 2016. We are counting the time preparing for and carrying out the volunteer projects.

We have done these project so far:
April 10 – Making Sandwiches for the Homeless (5 hours of service)
July 31 – J-Day Shoe Donation (3 hours)
August 9 – Storm Drain Project (6 hours)
September – Preparing for International Festival (4 hours)

And at our November 27 cluster meeting – Making cards for Sending Smiles (2 hours)

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Still to come:
December – Holiday Global Awareness presentation for Cub Scouts, buying and wrapping gifts for needy kids, making scarves and volunteering at a school Santa shop.