Visit your local zoo or aquarium or set up a pretend zoo with play animals and blocks. Invite the host parents to visit your pretend zoo. Read One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish or If I Ran the Zoo, both by Dr. Seuss. Encourage the children to make up their own animals and draw them. Think of all the animal sounds you can and play a game guessing what animal you are. You may find that the same animal says one thing in America and something quite different in your own country!
Here are links to our local zoo & aquariums.
National Zoo – Washington, DC
Maryland Zoo – Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore Aquarium – Maryland
Photo: Joseph Bylund
Click here to get the recipe for Animal Face Pizzas on Annabel Karmel’s Blog
Pizza is easy and fun to make and can be a nutritious meal for the children and is easy to make at home.
You will need a ready-made pizza dough or a ready-made crust, shredded mozzarella cheese and a jar of pizza sauce. First the dough or crust goes on a cookie sheet or pizza pan. Then spread the sauce, add the other toppings, and last of all, sprinkle the cheese. Bake as directed for the crust. Be careful, and keep the children away from the oven as the oven must be very hot to make a nice crusty pizza.
If you want to get a little fancier and try these Animal Face Pizzas, click on the photo to get the recipe.
Click here for a coloring page where kids can draw in toppings and make their own pizza.
Click here to read more fire safety tips on the FEMA website
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
Baby Safety Month – There are many safety tips on the Au Pair in America website.
In honor of Baby Safety Month, here are some more specific baby tips:
- Check condition and sturdiness of toys. Discard any with sharp edges or are broken or falling apart.
- Check children’s clothing for loose buttons and strings.
- Is baby’s pacifier still in good condition? If not, toss it. Never use strings to attach the pacifier to baby’s clothes or crib.
- Where do you set baby’s carrier when she’s in it? Not on the counter, or any high surface. Babies can wiggle and tip themselves over.
- Walkers can be dangerous (especially old ones that don’t meet today’s safety standards), they allow baby to move very quickly and reach things they normally can’t. Never use around stairs.
- Stroller check. If your stroller is collapsible, be sure latches are secure before putting baby in. Always check that your child’s arms are out of the way when reversing handle directions so they won’t get pinched. Be sure to use that safety strap. Don’t hang overloaded or heavy bags on the handle of the stroller; this may cause it to tip over.
- Can you name the 12 most common choking foods for kids under five? Popcorn, hot dogs, chunks of meat, raisins, ice cubes, chunky peanut butter, nuts of any kind, hard candy, grapes, raw carrots, potato chips and corn chips. Don’t leave toddlers alone while eating; if they begin to choke you need to be nearby to assist.
- Get a piggy bank: this is a great place to put coins so they don’t end up on the floor, in the couch cushions and then baby’s mouth.
- Never leave your child unattended in the bathtub. If the phone rings, let the answering machine or voice mail pick up.
Photo by Paul Sapiano
Au Pair Competition: win a free Suntrek tour!
1st prize: one free California Discovery tour (SRCD or SRCS)
2nd prize: one free Western Sun tour (SOWS or SOSS)
3rd-10th prize: 40% discount on any 1-3 week USA tour
1) On which trek can you visit the Grand Canyon?
A: Transamerica (SOTA), B: Eastern Discovery (SRED), C: California Discovery (SRCD)
2) Which tour goes to Las Vegas?
A: Eastern Pioneer (SREP), B: Eastern Shores (SOEA), C: California Dreamin’ (SOCL)
3) On which tour can you go to Miami?
A: Southwest (SOTS), B: Sunshine Trail (SOST), C: Florida Fantasy (SRFF)
How you can win: Just answer the quiz questions and mention “APIA competition” by July 31, 2010 by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hint: order our au pair brochure or go online at www.intrepidsuntrek.com. If you’ve already booked your Intrepid Suntrek tour and have not traveled yet, don’t worry, we’ll credit your prize towards your tour payment. Conditions: prizes are non-transferable, not redeemable in cash and travel must be completed in 2010. Credits are not applicable on past travel.