Tag Archives: no school

Federal & School Holidays

As you may be aware, the public school children are out of school several days in September and October. These are regular workdays for an au pair, unless your host parents tell you otherwise. As with any “school holiday” start making plans for activities with the kids now.

In addition to holidays in September (Labor Day & Rosh Hashanah,) many public schools are also out additional days for teacher development and the end of the grading period. As with any holiday, it is up to the host family’s schedule whether you will have the holiday off. Please check with your host families before you assume you have this day off. Do not make any travel plans until you have received confirmation that you will not work on this day.

Host parents, please check your schedule to make sure that you are factoring in these hours and make adjustments as needed to stay within the State Department regulations not exceeding 10 hours per day or 45 hours per week (or 30 hours her week for Educare.)

Photo: Dafne Cholet

Snow Days are Here!

Looking for ideas to keep the kids busy on a snow day (when they are home from school for winter weather?)

Here is a simple snow day game plan…

  1. Play in the snow. Do you wanna build a snowman? Here’s a great how-to video.
  2. Come inside and warm up with hot chocolate (don’t forget the marshmallows.)
  3. Make your own play dough.
  4. Play board games or legos together.
  5. Try some Winter Science experiments.
  6. Look for more fun things to do on the APIA Pinterest Boards:
  7. Bake cookies together or make some other fun recipe.
  8. Play in the snow again.
  9. Warm up inside taking turns on the Make a Snowflake Website.
  10. Make a blanket fort.

Stay warm & have fun!

Photo: Yuli Salinas

Create a Spring Break Game Plan

“Game plan” means a strategy for how you are going to accomplish something.  In the case of keeping kids from getting bored and/or into trouble, the best way to prevent it is to keep them busy with safe, fun activities.

When there are days home from school, letting kids sit around watching TV or play video games is not the best use of their time.  Providing fun alternatives will make it much easier to pull them away from the screen.

You need to make a plan of what you will do with them each day and prepare for that. Planning is very important.  You don’t want to tell them you are going some place fun, only to arrive there and see they are not open that day or you needed to bring something and you don’t have it.

If your plan includes a craft or cooking project, make sure you have:

  • all the ingredients/supplies
  • recipe/directions

If your plan includes an outing to someplace fun, figure out:

  • How will you get there?
  • When you should leave?
  • How much it will cost?
  • What will you do for lunch?

Use some of these online resources to find activities and recipes:

Have a wonderful Spring Break!

Image: Canva.com



Snow Ice Cream

snow ice creamMy kids are looking forward to the upcoming blizzard for many reasons, one of which is snow ice cream.  I only make it when we have a lot of snow, because you want to collect fresh clean snow and it needs to be deep enough that you are just getting snow.  Ask your host parents before you try it.  I don’t want anyone freaking out.


Here are two recipes I use to make it, depending on what kind of milk I have on hand.

snow ice cream

Yes, this is actual snow ice cream that I made using recipe #1!

Snow Ice Cream Recipe #1 (my favorite)

8 cups of fresh clean snow
1 (14oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine in a large bowl and enjoy.

Snow Ice Cream Recipe #2

8 cups of fresh clean snow
1/2 cup of evaporated milk (or regular milk)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine milk, sugar and vanilla extract until sugar is dissolved.  Then combine with snow.  Enjoy.

Snow Days are coming!

Looking for ideas to keep the kids busy on a snow day (when they are home from school for winter weather?)

Here is a simple snow day game plan…

  1. Play in the snow
  2. Come inside and warm up with hot chocolate (don’t forget the marshmallows)
  3. May your own play dough.
  4. Play board games or legos together
  5. Ever heard of Snow Ice Cream?
  6. Look for more fun things to do on the APIA Pinterest Boards
  7. Bake cookies together or make some other fun recipe
  8. Play in the snow again
  9. Warm up inside taking turns on the Make a Snowflake Website
  10. Make a blanket fort

Stay warm & have fun!

Photo: Tony Crider (Flickr)

Outer Space Activity Fun

Here is another fun website with ideas to go along with this week’s Outer Space theme.

Get Crafty: Space Mobile

Make your own star mobile!

Space Mobile CraftWhat you need:
  • – Yellow construction paper
  • – String or yarn
  • – 2 plastic straws
  • – Hole puncher
  • – Scissors
  • – Pencil
  • – Eraser
  • – Stapler


1. Draw 6-8 stars on the yellow construction paper. Each one should be a different shape or size.
2. When you’re finished, ask a parent to help you cut out the shapes. Cut around the outside of the lines and then use an eraser to remove the pencil marks.
3. Parent Alert: Using the hole puncher, pierce a hole at the top of each star.
4. Cut a piece of string for each of the stars and tie it around the hole. Tip: Vary the length of the string to help your mobile come to life.
5. Parent Alert: Pick up two straws and make the shape of the letter “X” with them. Staple the straws together where the two meet.
6. Cut and tie a long piece of string to where the staple is and then tie the rest of the strings to one of the four limbs of the X.
7. Hang your mobile by the long string in the middle and in your room from the ceiling or in a favorite corner somewhere around the house. Now, you can look at the stars anytime you want!

Craft from Funschool.com

Also: Printable Space Word Jumble & Shuttle Shuffle

Snow Day Boredom Busters

I know the kids have been home for many snow days this winter.  Believe me I know, since I have 4 kids of my own at home.  The key to keeping things manageable and fun is planning ahead and being proactive.  Don’t wait until the kids are fighting and getting into trouble to find things for them to do. Get them engaged in activities to prevent the boredom and arguing that can happen when everyone is in the house for too long.

I'm bored

I am putting together some blog posts with activity ideas in the following categories:

  1. New Ideas for the Same Old Toys
  2. Indoor Physical Activities
  3. Activities for Older kids
  4. Cooking Activities