Tag Archives: fun

Big Kids Need Interaction Too

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 a video game.

Problem:
But, my kids don’t want to do anything but watch TV or play video games.

Solution:
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 good options.
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.

Problem:
I don’t know what to do with school age kids.

Solution:
Look for ideas online. Google “activities school age kids” or “activities tweens”. You can also take part in an au pair webinar on this topic. Below is a list of some ideas to get you started.

  • Cooking
  • Making things (check craft stores like Michael’s for kits and models that are age appropriate)
  • Going fun places (pottery painting, jewelry making, farms, museums, mini-golf, go-karts)*
  • Sports (soccer, tennis, swimming, bicycling, roller skating, ice skating)*
  • 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 you have a GPS, try taking them geocaching. Here is a website with all the details.

*Always get permission from your host parents before taking the kids places and remember to follow social distancing and mask-wearing protocols.

 

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

Camp Au Pair Week #1 – Outer Space

Next week’s Camp Au Pair theme is Outer Space.

Crafts, recipes, activities, and games related to outer space can all be found here on the Camp Au Pair – Outer Space pinboard. Here is a fun one that combines a science lesson, art, and snack time.

https://www.opticscentral.com.au/moon-phases-explained-with-oreos

Webcams – You can do a google search for websites with webcams that allow you to observe space. Here is one from the International Space Station to get you started.

Online Games – NASA has a gallery of free space games for kids.

Videos – Look for fun videos on YouTube about outer space. Solar System 101 and 25 Space Secrets Astronauts Want You to Know are good for school-aged kids. The Planet Song is for toddlers and preschoolers. WALL-E, Zathura, Monsters vs. Aliens & Star Wars are all great family movies that fit with this theme. For older kids, movies like Hidden Figures and the Martian too, both are rated PG-13.

Books – Stop by your local library and look for books on outer space.

CONTEST FOR AU PAIRS – The first au pair to message Lisa or me with your favorite planet will receive a Starbucks gift card.

Photo: alittlepinchofperfect.com

Make Plans for Summer Fun with the Kids!

4133298507_b0f2fecd9a_nWhen the kids are out of school on summer break there are soooo many possibilities. But, if you don’t make plans, you will often end up in the house with bored kids getting into trouble and arguing with their siblings.  Make plans!

Having lots of ideas ready can minimize those problems.

Looking for fun activity ideas to get the summer started off right with your host kids?

The Au Pair in America Summer Fun Pinboard is a great place to start. Together, create a Summer Bucket List. Talk with the kids about things they would like to see and do. Even toddlers and preschoolers can contribute to the conversation. Run these plans by your host parents and clear things like how much you may spend and when is best to do some of these activities.

Check back here next week for information on Camp Au Pair in America: a weekly blog series with themed weeks for the entire summer break.

Photo: MissMessie (Flickr)

Camp Au Pair Week #7 – Art Experiences

This week’s Camp Au Pair theme is Art Experiences.

Crafts, recipes, activities, and games related to art can all be found here on the Camp Au Pair – Art Experiences pinboard.

Field Trips can be a great way for kids to learn and have new experiences. Here are a few places to go, that fit this theme:

Online Art FunHere is an article about the best art museum websites with interactive online fun.

Videos – Look for fun videos on YouTube about drawing and all kinds of art.

Books – Stop by your local library and look for books on famous artists and art.

Image: teachkidsart.com

Camp Au Pair Week #6 – Science (STEM)

 

This week’s Camp Au Pair theme is Science (STEM).

Crafts, recipes, activities, and games related to all things science, technology, engineering and math can be found here on the Camp Au Pair – Science (STEM) pinboard.

Field Trips can be a great way for kids to learn and have new experiences. Here are a few places to go, that fit this theme:

Videos – On YouTube you can find many great videos of with science experiments to do with kids.

Movies – The Lego Movie, Big Hero 6, Wall-E and Hidden Figures all fit the STEM theme.

Webcams – You can do a google search for science websites with webcams. Here is a collection of 22 science webcams from around the world.

Books – Stop by your local library and look for books on science, technology, engineering and math.

Image: sweetpaulmag.com

Camp Au Pair Week #5 – Bugs & Butterflies

This week’s Camp Au Pair theme is Bugs & Butterflies.

Crafts, recipes, activities, and games related to all kinds of bugs, insects, butterflies, and spiders can be found here on the Camp Au Pair – Bugs & Butterflies pinboard.

Field Trips can be a great way for kids to learn and have new experiences. Here are a few places to go, that fit this theme:

  • Two local attractions offer the opportunity to surround yourself with hundreds of live butterflies from all over the world and learn about their metamorphosis and the part they play in our ecosystem.
  • Also at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, you can visit the Orkin Insect Zoo. Don’t miss the tarantula feedings daily at 11:30am and 1:30pm.
  • Rock Creek Nature Center in DC features an active beehive on display.

Videos – You can find many great videos of butterflies and insects on YouTube. Check out these videos for kids about bees and ants. All about Insects covers lots of tiny creatures who crawl and fly. Here is a video showing a Monarch Butterfly metamorphosis time-lapse.

Movies – A Bugs Life, The Bee Movie, Maya the Bee and The Ant Bully all fit this theme.

Webcams – You can do a Google search for websites with webcams that allow you to observe bugs. Here is one from showing life inside a beehive, to get you started.

Books – Stop by your local library and look for books on bugs and butterflies.

Image: minieco.co.uk

Camp Au Pair Week #4 – Cars & Trucks

This week’s Camp Au Pair theme is Cars & Trucks.

Crafts, recipes, activities, and games related to all kinds of vehicles can all be found here on the Camp Au Pair – Cars & Trucks pinboard.

Field Trips can be a great way for kids to learn and have new experiences. Here are a few places to go, that fit this theme:

  • Go Kart Raceway in Crofton has double karts where an adult can drive a child (age 2 & up). To drive their own kart, kids must be age 8 and 54 inches or taller.
  • Smithsonian Musuem of American History has an exhibit with cars and trucks from a variety of different time periods.
  • Port Discovery in Baltimore has a fun gas station exhibit where kids can pretend they are driving a car and filling it up at the gas station.
  • Amusement parks like Six Flags America have lots of rides where kids can give driving a try.
  • Look for construction areas where the kids can observe big machines in action. Kids should observe from the car or a safe area.
  • Keep an eye out for the trash truck and let them watch the truck in action.
  • Playseum in Bethesda or Annapolis has fun interactive activities for kids to try.
  • Go to a drive-through car wash or let the kids make their own car wash at home.
  • Touch a Truck is a free, family-friendly event taking place at the Bowie Baysox stadium on August 3.

VideosAmazing Big Trucks is a kid-friendly video showing big trucks in action. Look for fun videos on YouTube about cars and trucks.

Cars, Cars 2 & 3, Turbo, Bumble Bee, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang & Bob the Builder Mega Machines movies all fit this theme.

Books – Stop by your local library and look for books on cars & trucks.

Image: funlearningforkids.com