Tag Archives: children

Child Proofing

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With shorter days and colder weather, you and the children are probably spending more time inside the house. Please be sure that the house is “childproof” with these simple tips:

  • Children are curious; many small children put everything into their mouths. Be sure no small objects are within the child’s reach.
  • Plastic bags, long cords and very soft pillows can be dangerous to children.
  • If a toy gets broken and has sharp edges, keep it away from children!
  • Be sure that laundry soap and other cleaners are out of reach of the children.
  • Don’t leave any medicines in reach of children, not even vitamins.
  • Keep scissors and knives out of reach.
  • Store the toys that belong to older children out of reach of babies and toddlers.
  • Many cosmetic items and toiletries, such as mouthwash, perfume, nail polish, and hair spray, are poisonous. Keep them out of children’s reach.

Carmel Apples

 

Make some caramel apples with your kids to get into the carnival vibe and enjoy some yummy treats.

applesAll you need are apples, cubes of caramel, and milk!

  1. Remove the stem from each apple and press a craft stick into the top.
  2. Butter a baking sheet
  3. Place caramels and milk into a microwave bowl and microwave for 2 minutes.
  4. 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)

Checklist Place Mat

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Table your constant stream of morning reminders with this clever place mat, which allows kids to take responsibility for their own must-dos.
Materials
  • Decorative paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • 18- by 12-inch sheet of poster board
  • Markers
  • Clear Con-Tact paper (or have it laminated at a copy shop)
  • Nontoxic dry-erase marker
  • Adhesive-backed Velcro dot
Instructions
  1. Cut three 6- by 12-inch rectangles from decorative paper. Use a glue stick to affix them side by side onto the poster board.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.

National Peanut Butter Day

Today is National Peanut Butter Day.  Who would have guessed you can make Peanut Butter Lover’s Day a Craft Day!

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Other Things To Do:

  • Find out more about where peanuts come from.
  • Make home-made peanut butter.
  • Talk about the color brown/tan.
  • Try one of these Open-Faced Peanut Butter Sandwiches.
  • Go on a peanut hunt (hide peanuts all around the room for someone to search for).

How to Say Goodbye Around the World

 

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.

 

Dr. Seuss Week — A Week to Celebrate Reading

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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

Seussville

for more ideas, printables and on line games to play with the kids.  Enjoy!

Know your driving rules

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Au Pairs often find themselves driving the kids around to activities. Be sure to know the rules of the road in order to be safe and avoid getting a fine.  The rules regarding stopping for school buses are:

  • Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to load or unload children. You should slow down and prepare to stop the car.
  • Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and children are getting on or off. Motorists approaching from either direction must wait until the red lights stop flashing before proceeding.
  • It is against the law to pass a stopped school bus while its lights are flashing and its’ stop arm is extended. Vehicles must stop on both sides of the roadway. Failure to stop can result in high fines which the au pair has to pay, not the host family.

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ABC’s of Winter Fun

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A is for Art – try drawing, painting or gluing
B is for Baking – bake a dessert together for dinner
C is for Clay – Use non-hardening clay or play dough to shape and mold
D is for Dance – put on a lively tape
E is for Exercise – be sure to get some everyday
F is for Friends – invite some over
G is for Greenhouse – find a local greenhouse to visit to enjoy the sights and smells
H is for House – make a playhouse from a large appliance box
I is for Ice skating – take the children to a local rink
J is for Jigsaw puzzle – be sure to pick one that isn’t too difficult
K is for Kitchen science – try a safe experiment
L is for Library – borrow some new books
M is for Movie – make one with a video camera, or watch one
N is for Necklace – make one out of cereal or macaroni
O is for Origami – learn to make simple paper creations
P is for Puppets – socks make easy and fun puppets – put on a show!
Q is for Quiet Time – everyone needs some of this
R is for Reading aloud – choose a good book and a comfortable place to sit
S is for Seeds and Suet – put out food for the birds and watch them eat
T is for Tent – make one from old blankets and chairs
U is for Unplugged – do a day with no TV
V is for Variety – try something new everyday
W is for Walk – take one in any weather (be sure to dress appropriately)
X is for Xylophone – make your own with glasses, water and a metal spoon
Y is for Year – make a calendar or scrapbook to remember the year
Z is for Zoo – visit the animals

Miscellaneous Expenses

There are different ways to handle the little expenses that may 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 this kind of expenses.  Here are some suggestions for avoiding problems with that.

Host Families

  • 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.

Au Pairs

  • 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 and cluster meetings
  • 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.