Reading, playing, and doing art projects are always great ways to entertain children and keep them physically active and learning. It’s a good idea to limit screen time. But, in this time of social distancing, technology can play an important role in allowing kids to see and connect with the world outside of their homes. Many online resources are popping up to create those opportunities.
Here are five to get you started:
And if kids have questions about the coronavirus, Live Science has created an ultimate kids’ guide to the new coronavirus that has lots of information and is appropriate for school-aged kids.
Make some caramel apples with your kids to get into the carnival vibe and enjoy some yummy treats.
All you need are apples, cubes of caramel, and milk!
- Remove the stem from each apple and press a craft stick into the top.
- Butter a baking sheet
- Place caramels and milk into a microwave bowl and microwave for 2 minutes.
- Roll each apple with caramel sauce and place on sheet to set.
PS – You can use treats like nuts, cookies, etc. to add some extra flavor! (Always check for allergies before serving)
Table your constant stream of morning reminders with this clever place mat, which allows kids to take responsibility for their own must-dos.
- Decorative paper
- Glue stick
- 18- by 12-inch sheet of poster board
- Clear Con-Tact paper (or have it laminated at a copy shop)
- Nontoxic dry-erase marker
- Adhesive-backed Velcro dot
- Cut three 6- by 12-inch rectangles from decorative paper. Use a glue stick to affix them side by side onto the poster board.
- Write a “Do at Home” checklist on the left rectangle and a “Take to School” checklist on the right one (leave a few blank spaces at the bottom of each list for write-in reminders).
- Have the place mat laminated at a copy shop or cover it with clear Con-Tact paper. Your child can use a nontoxic dry-erase marker to check off items or write additional reminders. Affix an adhesive-backed Velcro dot to keep the marker in a handy spot on the mat.
How to Say Goodbye
The English word “goodbye” is derived from the pharse “God be with you.” Parting words in other languages are similar. In Spanish, it’s adios (ah-dee-ohs), in French adieu (ah-dyur). Both words literally mean “to God”.
There are other ways to “goodbye”, however. English children shout “Cheerio” when parting and in Switzerland. Germany and Italy they say ciao (chow) which is the informal way of saying “goodbye” in Italian.
A wave of the hand accompanies most goodbyes, at least in the West. In Japan, people bow when they part, and Hindus press their hands together and say “Namaste”, just as they do when greeting one another.
In some households, in India, it’s considered a bad omen to say “goodbye”. Instead people say, “go and come back”. If you are the one leaving , you announce, “I’m going and I will be back.”
How many languages can you teach your host kids to say “goodbye”. Amaze your host parents at by having the kids say goodbye from around the world at the dinner table.
This week (March 1-5) many schools throughout the United States are celebrating the birthday of Dr. Seuss. To honor Dr. Seuss’ love of reading and his inspiration for kids and adults alike, March 3 is Read Across America Day. The National Education Association sponsors events to inspire reading in children throughout our schools and communities.
Dr. Seuss wrote many childrens books – Cat in the Hats, Green Eggs and Ham, Hop on Pop to name a few. In the cluster monthly Kids Activity Kit for March, there is a Dr.Seuss Reading Rewards Card for each host child. Punch out the colored dots for each book the children read. After 15 books, complete the Dr. Seuss Reading Certificate and reward the children with a Dr. Seuss pencil (included in the kit).
My son’s school developed a week of celebrations based on the themes of the Dr. Seuss books. This is a fun activity to do with your host kids at home. Dig out the Dr. Seuss books – you will be surprised how much fun the books are to read and the rhyming will help improve your english.
Monday – “Red and White Day” – wear red and white to show Seuss Pride.
Tuesday – “Cat in the Hat Day” – wear your favorite hat to school.
Wednesday – “Grinch Green Day” – wear green, but don’t be as grumpy as the Grinch
Thursday- “Fox in Socks Day” – Roll up your pant legs and show off your cool socks.
Friday – “Sneak Up on Reading Day” – Wear your favorite sneakers and participate in “Drop Everything and Read.”
Check out the Dr. Seuss website
for more ideas, printables and on line games to play with the kids. Enjoy!
Host parents often ask for suggestions on how best to handle common expenses that occur as au pairs are caring for the children.
There are different ways to handle the little day to day expenses that come up. Things like when an au pair takes the kids out for ice cream or picks up a gallon of milk. Some families keep a cookie jar fund, a little cash that they set aside weekly or monthly for these types of expenses. Others give their au pair a prepaid debit card for this purpose. Below are some suggestions for avoiding problems with expenses.
- It’s important to be clear about how long this money should last and what types of expenses are approved.
- Let the au pair know whether or not you expect receipts.
- Only spend the money on approved expenses.
- If it is something you are not sure about, ask first.
- Put your receipts in the cookie jar in place of the money to avoid any confusion.
Gas and Fare Cards
Host families are responsible for the au pair’s transportation costs: to and from classes, cluster meetings and when driving the kids.
It is a good idea to figure out how much gas an au pair will use for these trips and either put gas in the car or give a gas allowance. If your au pair is riding to classes or cluster meetings with another au pair, you should offer to share the cost of gas.
Au pairs are responsible for their own transportation at all other times. You should replace the amount of gas used for personal use.
Photo: Andrea Travillian
Here is a fun Halloween treat of the season. Who knew eating spider webs could be so yummy?! These are easy, inexpensive, and cute!
– pretzel sticks
– white chocolate/bark candy coating
– chocolate (baker’s, candy coating, or chips would probably all work)
– baggie or pastry bag
– wax paper
Lay out your pretzels on the wax paper in “starburst” arrangements of 6 or 8 pretzels (it’s a good idea to put it on a cookie sheet for transport stability).
After melting your white chocolate/bark coating, place in a baggie and cut the corner off (or use a pastry bag). Start piping your chocolate in the middle of the pretzel arrangement, making sure to coat all the pretzels.
Continue piping outward around the pretzels, until you have a web. Then, place two raisins in the middle for the body of the spider.
Melt your regular chocolate and pipe over the raisins. I found that the spiders turned out better when I piped the legs of the spider first and then did the body. Place in the fridge for a few minutes until the chocolate is hard. Then, gently peel back the wax paper.…and eat!
We are very proud of the ongoing training we offer our au pairs which provides further educational on a wide range of topics.. Our orientation trainers take great care to research and prepare the topics presented and we get great feedback from au pairs who attend. Please help us spread the word by sharing the information via your FB groups, blogs, newsletters and emails.
Au pairs are sent emails monthly with the webinar details and reminders on the day of training and can register through the webinar link in the email.
Webinar Schedule (All times Eastern time zone)
8 pm Nutrition. Good eating for you and your kids
9 pm It’s Up to You. Making the most of your Au Pair year
10 pm Activities to do with Preschoolers
11 am Language Development: Birth and beyond
12 noon Tantrums are no fun for anyone. Help, my kids are fighting again!
1 pm American holidays: what they are, activities and getting through
the holiday blues
8 pm Managing play with more than one child
9 pm Repatriation
10 pm Feeling Sad or Stressed: Tips for gaining balance in your life
11 am Help! My kids are fighting again
12 noon Activities for School Age Kids
1 pm Homesickness. Making it through
8 pm Activities to do with Preschoolers
9 pm Successfully communicating with your host family
10 am Homework: Finding the right strategy for your child
9 pm Homesickness. Making it through
10 pm Toilet Training 101
8 pm Tantrums are no fun for anyone