Yearly Archives: 2012

Thanksgiving – an American Holiday

Thanksgiving, a uniquely American holiday, dates back to the first European settlers in North America.

After much hardship, illness and hard work, the Pilgrims were finally able to celebrate a successful harvest which they shared with their Native American friends who had helped them through their difficult beginning in America.

Today this day is set aside to feast and to give thanks-something we can all share, as we too celebrate our cross-cultural friendships.

Some activities to share with the children :

Maple-Nut-Berry Popcorn Balls ( for children ages 3 and older): Add some chopped walnuts and  raspberries, blueberries or blackberries. Add enough melted butter to lightly coat popcorn. Stir. Pour maple syrup over the warm popcorn and stir until all the corn, nuts and berries are covered. Shape the sticky corn into balls and place on a plate to refrigerate until the syrup hardens.

Thanksgiving cards and place cards: Fold a piece of paper in half, place a leaf on the inside and close the card. Use a crayon to rub lightly across the front of the card in the area where the leaf is. The shape of the leaf will appear on the outside. Remove the leaf. Write a name on the front for a place card, or a message inside for a Thanksgiving card. Older children might want to make more sophisticated designs using more than one leaf.

Make a chain of paper doll (adults should do the cutting): Fold a piece of paper back and forth over and over again with a width between folds of 2-3 inches. With the paper folded cut out a shape of a person, make sure that the hands and feet touch the fold, but don’t cut through the fold. When you unfold the paper there will be a line of people holding hands. Children ages 3-10 can color the figures to look like Pilgrims(men wore big white collars, belts with buckles, and buckles on their shoes, pants to their knees; women wore white hats and aprons over solid color dresses) or Native Americans (draw feather headdresses  and brightly colored geometric patterns on their clothes).

Tree of Thanks: This Thanksgiving tree is bound to become a new holiday tradition.

Trace leaves onto autumn colored craft’s paper and cut out. Punch a hole into the stem of each paper leaf. Measure and cut a 2” length of wire or twine for each leaf. Thread it through the hole and bend the ends to make a hook for hanging. Place the tree branches in a pot or vase. Let the children or/and guests choose a leaf or two and ask them to jot down things that they are thankful for.

Holiday Reminders for Au Pairs and Host Families

With the holiday season just around the corner, it is important to review this little reminder about program rules for holidays and vacations.luggage malias

Holidays

  • Host families are NOT REQUIRED to give au pairs any specific holidays.
  • Each host family will make different arrangements on holidays, some au pairs will be off and others will be required to work.
  • Au pairs should NOT make plans for holidays without checking with your host family FIRST.

Vacation

  • Au pair earns 2 weeks of paid vacation during the course of her year.
  • The host family can pick a week and the au pair can pick a week, if an agreement is not reached.
  • All vacation should be preplanned (at least 4 weeks in advance.)
  • All au pair’s friends and/or family visits/vacations should be pre-approved prior to purchasing a ticket.
  • If an au pair travels with their host family, it should be discussed UP FRONT whether this is the au pair’s vacation or if she is working.
  • If an au pair travels with the host family to work, the host family is required to pay for her transportation, lodging and meals.

Keep these things in mind as you plan your travel and we wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season!

Important: An au pair MUST have her DS2019 signed PRIOR to her departure from the US. More info. about this can be found on the right side of this page under “Travel Links for Au Pairs.”

Turkey Nut Holder

Turkey Nut Holder Thanksgiving Craft

Total Time Needed:
1 Hour

An egg carton in clever disguise, these individualized cups hold a nutty snack for young gobblers.

Materials
  • Pencil
  • Egg carton
  • Scissors or X-acto knife
  • Tempera paint (brown or yellow)
  • 4-inch pipe cleaner
  • Pushpin (optional)
  • 2 googly eyes
  • Colored feathers (available at craft stores)
  • Glue stick
  • White paper
  • Toothpick
  • Marker
Instructions
  1. Draw a cut line around one of the cups in the egg carton. Then, cut along the line (a parent’s job) and paint the cup.
  2. Fold the pipe cleaner in half and twist the ends together to form a wattle. Push the exposed wire through the top of the turkey’s beak until one third of the pipe cleaner is through the hole. (Tip: Stick a pushpin through the carton first.) To keep the wattle from slipping out, bend down the inserted end.
  3. Glue on the googly eyes and feathers.
  4. To make a name tag flag, cut out a strip of white paper. Cover one side with glue, then place a toothpick in the middle and fold the paper in half so the toothpick is glued inside. When the paper is dry, write on a name, then stick the toothpick through one side of the turkey, and the holder is ready to fill with nuts.

Upcoming Cluster Meetings

Please add the following dates to your calendar!

Sunday – October 21, 2012 – 2:15pm  Eastern State Penitentiary – Philadelphia

Sunday – November 4, 2012 – 4pm to 6pm – Thanksgiving Dessert Party

Sunday – December 2, 2012 – 7pm to 9pm – Holiday Party for Au Pairs

January 2013 – Snow tubing (date to be determined)

Friday – February 1, 2013 – 7:30pm – Philadelphia 76ers Basketball game

It’s time for Goblins and Ghosts….

Going trick-or-treating?

Below are tips to help make the festivities fun and safe for trick-or-treaters

Alphabet letter S Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.
Alphabet letter A Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
Alphabet letter F Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
Alphabet letter E Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.
Alphabet letter H Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always WALK and don’t run from house to house.
Alphabet letter A Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.
Alphabet letter L Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.
Alphabet letter L Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.
Alphabet letter O Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.
Alphabet letter W Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.
Alphabet letter E Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
Alphabet letter E Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult.
Alphabet letter N Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.