Tag Archives: children

Earth Day Activity: Planting Seeds with Children

In honor of Earth Day, our April cluster meeting topic was planting seeds with children. We met on Zoom with several other clusters from the DMV area and discussed different activities we can do with our kids planting seeds.

Here are some of the supplies needed to complete this activity with your host kids:

  1. Potting soil
  2. Cups for planting the seeds (biodegradable cups can be planted directly in the ground. If using small plastic cups, you’ll need to remove the plant from the cup after they sprout before you plant them in a bigger pot or in the ground). There are links below showing how to make your own biodegradable cups out of newspaper.
  3. Seeds (we planted Black-Eyed Susans – the Maryland State flower, but sunflower seeds are easy to find and grow).

Below you will find some of the resources we used during this meeting.

Information sheets on growing seeds.

Making your own biodegradable planting cups from newspaper.

This time lapse videos showing the growth process of a sunflower.

 

Health & Safety – Where are Ticks?

When the weather is nice, we spend more time outdoors with the children. Playing in the back yard, at the playground or walking on nature trails are great ways to get fresh air and exercise.

kids in woods

What are ticks? – Ticks are small mites that attach themselves to skin and suck blood. Click HERE to see examples of ticks.

Where are ticks commonly found? – Ticks are normally found in areas with trees, bushes or tall grass. This includes back yards, parks, nature areas and most places you would be spending time with the children outdoors in the nice weather.

What needs to be done? – When you return home from areas where ticks might live, carefully check the children and yourself (clothing, skin and scalp) for ticks. If you find a tick on one of your host children, notify your host parents immediately.

Most ticks do not carry diseases, and most tick bites do not cause serious health problems. But it is important to remove a tick as soon as you find it. Removing the tick completely and cleaning the area with soap and water or antiseptic spray, may help avoid diseases such as Lyme Disease that the tick may pass on during feeding, or a skin infection where it bit you.

Click HERE for Instructions on Removing a tick from WebMD.com.

How do you reduce risk of tick bites?  – Use a repellent with DEET on skin. Repellents containing 20% or more DEET can protect up to several hours. Always follow product instructions. Adults should apply this product to their children, avoiding the hands, eyes, and mouth. When you come back in from outside, it’s best to wash the repellent off of skin with soap and water. For detailed information about using DEET on children, see recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Fire Prevention Tips

Click here to read more fire safety tips on the FEMA website

October 9-15 is Fire Prevention Week in the USA.

Here are some Fire Safety Tips from http://www.usfa.fema.gov/:

Control Kids’ Access to Fire

  • Keep all matches and lighters out of the hands of children. If possible, keep these sources of fire in locked drawers. Consider buying only “child-proof” lighters—but be aware that no product is completely child-proof.
  • Children as young as two years old can strike matches and start fires.
  • Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles, even for a short time.
  • Teach children not to pick up matches or lighters they may find. Instead, they should tell an adult immediately.

Fire Safety at Home

  • Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home, especially near sleeping areas.
  • Smoke alarms should be kept clean of dust by regularly vacuuming over and around them.
  • Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. And replace the entire unit after ten years of service, or as the manufacturer recommends.
  • Families should plan and practice two escape routes from each room of their home.

Photo: Tony Alter

Health & Safety – What are Ticks?

When the weather is nice, we spend more time outdoors with the children. Playing in the back yard, at the playground or walking on nature trails are great ways to get fresh air and exercise.

kids in woods

What are ticks? – Ticks are small mites that attach themselves to skin and suck blood. Click HERE to see examples of ticks.

Where are ticks commonly found? – Ticks are normally found in areas with trees, bushes or tall grass. This includes back yards, parks, nature areas and most places you would be spending time with the children outdoors in the nice weather.

What needs to be done? – When you return home from areas where ticks might live, carefully check the children (their skin and scalp) for ticks.

Most ticks do not carry diseases, and most tick bites do not cause serious health problems. But it is important to remove a tick as soon as you find it. Removing the tick completely may help you avoid diseases such as Lyme Disease that the tick may pass on during feeding, or a skin infection where it bit you.

Click HERE for Instructions on Removing a tick from WebMD.com.

Charity Event a Huge Success!!!

On Sunday, November 7, we had a lot of fun for a good cause.  Thirteen au pairs from our cluster worked together to make 393 servings of snack mix for the DC Central Kitchen.  The only reason they stopped there was we ran out of cereal and pretzels.  So, I bought some more cereal on my way home and my kids and I used up the rest of the ingredients to make another 77 servings. 

That gave us a grand total of…

470 servings of snack mix!

The snack mix is being donated to the DC Central Kitchen for a program called Healthy Returns.  Healthy Returns brings healthy meals and snacks to agencies serving low-income children and at-risk youth throughout the Washington DC area. To find out more about the program visit the DC Central Kitchen website.

Special thanks to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church for allowing us to use their parish hall for the event.

Here are some more photos:

 

   

 

I had au pairs from France, Guatemala, Sweden, Costa Rica, Thailand, Brazil & Germany all show up and work together for this worthy cause. One au pair just arrived from orientation three days ago and another au pair will finish her extension year in two weeks and au pairs at all different stages of their au pair experience in between.  I was very proud of these ladies!

Update: Sandra and I made a trip to the DC Central Kitchen to drop off the boxes of snack mixes. Here are a couple photos from that.

 

Simple Things That Make Kids Smile

bug on handPhoto by D Sharon Pruitt

It is great to see the world through the eyes of children.  There are simple things in day to day life that can be a thrill for young children.  Below are a few ideas to get you started thinking.  Try to take time for them to marvel at the world and see new things.

  • A car wash (the drive through kind or a bucket and a water hose in the driveway at home)
  • Parking on the street near a construction site to watch the big trucks
  • Feeding ducks bread at the park
  • Collecting leaves, pinecones and rocks
  • Driving across a bridge where they can see the water
  • Driving past a place where you can see animals
  • Any place that has something out of the ordinary, like a fountain or sculpture


City of Bowie International Festival is this Saturday

For the past several years my cluster has participated in the City of Bowie International Festival.  It is a wonderful event that brings people from all over the area who want to sample a variety of cultures from around the globe.  We provide free children’s activities.  Last year my au pairs had over 700 children visit our booth!!!

We are hoping for a sunny day on Saturday, so we will have lots of excited children stopping by for the activities we have planned.

Depending on when you stop by, you might join us to do one of the following:

  • writing your name in Thai or Chinese
  • coloring plastic butterflies
  • learning the colors in various languages
  • map games
  • flag games
  • making beaded bracelets
  • making tissue paper flowers
  • getting your hand painted with the flag of Germany or South Africa

Here are a couple of photos from last year’s event

International Festival 2008

International Festival 2008

International Festival 2008

International Festival 2008

The City of Bowie International Festival will be held on Saturday, October 3, 2009, 11 am-5pm at Allen Pond Park, Northview Drive, Bowie, MD 20716.