Yearly Archives: 2016

Independence Day Celebration

Independence Day is annually celebrated on July 4 and is often known as “the Fourth of July”. It is the anniversary of the publication of the declaration of independence from Great Britain in 1776. Patriotic displays and family events are organized throughout the United States.

Find out what is going on in and around Washington DC (Fourth Of July Guide ) and enjoy this long weekend end with your host family or friends.images


Wear a Helmet

  • We have a simple saying: “Use your head, wear a helmet.” It is the single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes.

Find the Right Helmet Fit

  • Make sure your child has the right size helmet and wears it every time when riding, skating or scooting. Your children’s helmet should meet the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s standards. When it’s time to purchase a new helmet, let your children pick out their own; they’ll be more likely to wear them for every ride.
  • Make sure the helmet fits and your child knows how to put it on correctly. A helmet should sit on top of the head in a level position, and should not rock forward, backward or side to side. The helmet straps must always be buckled, but not too tightly. Safe Kids recommends kids take the Helmet Fit Test.
  • EYES check: Position the helmet on your head. Look up and you should see the bottom rim of the helmet. The rim should be one to two finger-widths above the eyebrows.
  • EARS check: Make sure the straps of the helmet form a “V” under your ears when buckled. The strap should be snug but comfortable.
  • MOUTH check: Open your mouth as wide as you can. Do you feel the helmet hug your head? If not, tighten those straps and make sure the buckle is flat against your skin.

Use Appropriate Helmets for Different Activities

  • Children should always wear a helmet for all wheeled sports activities.
  • A properly-fitted bike helmet is just as effective when riding a scooter, roller skating or in-line skating.
  • When skateboarding and long boarding, make sure your child wears a skateboarding helmet.

Proper Equipment and Maintenance Are Important

  • Ensure proper bike fit by bringing the child along when shopping for a bike. Select one that is the right size for the child, not one he or she will grow into.
  • When children are sitting on the seat of the bicycle, their feet should be able to touch the ground.
  • Before the ride, make sure the reflectors are secure, brakes work properly, gears shift smoothly, and tires are tightly secured and properly inflated.
  • Long or loose clothing can get caught in bike chains or wheel spokes. Dress young kids appropriately to ensure a safe ride.

Keep an Eye Out

  • Actively supervise children until you’re comfortable that they are responsible to ride on their own.
  • Every child is different, but developmentally, it can be hard for kids to judge speed and distance of cars until age 10, so limit riding to sidewalks (although be careful for vehicles in driveways), parks or bike paths until age 10. No matter where you ride, teach your child to stay alert and watch for cars and trucks.
  • Children should be able to demonstrate riding competence and knowledge of the rules of the road before cycling with traffic.

Model and Teach Good Behavior

  • You’d be surprised how much kids learn from watching you, so it’s extra important for parents to model proper behavior. Wear a helmet, even if you didn’t when you were a kid.
  • Teach your kids to make eye contact with drivers. Bikers should make sure drivers are paying attention and are going to stop before they cross the street.
  • Tell your kids to ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, not against it. Stay as far to the right as possible. Use appropriate hand signals and respect traffic signals, stopping at all stop signs and stoplights.
  • Stop and look left, right and left again before entering a street or crossing an intersection. Look back and yield to traffic coming from behind before turning left.

Be Bright, Use Lights

  • When riding at dusk, dawn or in the evening, be bright and use lights – and make sure your bike has reflectors as well. It’s also smart to wear clothes and accessories that have retro-reflective materials to improve biker visibility to motorists.
  • Most states require a front light but allow the use of a rear reflector. Headlights aren’t so much for bicyclists to see where they are going but for others to see them. Riding without a headlight means drivers won’t see you, and surprising motorists is never a good idea.

Courtesy of


summer_logo1June 21st marks the first day of summer-  Long hot days make for children to need some quiet time.  Relax and unwind at the end of the day with some summertime reading.Pick out a few good books at the library and make a point to go back weekly.Most libraries will have a summer reading program and a list of age appropriate books you can choose from.

Also,observe some simple safety rules when playing outside during the summer:

  • Apply sunscreen regularly
  • Stay hydrated
  • Never ever leave anyone-infant,child,pets- alone in a parked car. Consequences are fatal .

Watch this video and share it :


  • Make sure metal slides are cool to prevent children’s legs from getting burned.
  • Do not allow children to play barefoot on the playground.
  • Supervise children on play equipment to make sure they are safe


  • Never leave a child alone in or near the pool or spa area.Always be within arm’s reach.

Au Pair In America is celebrating 30 years of cultural exchange

On Sunday May 1st, the community counselors from the Washington DC region got together with their au pairs ,host families and guests to celebrate 30 years of cultural exchange.Here, Victoria Paton, community counselor in Maryland, recaps the experience for us:

A Cultural Fair is considered a success when over 200 Au Pairs have a fantastic time representing their countries by hosting a country table, performing or face painting. It is considered a mega-success, however, when an additional 1000 guests (host parents and children, general public and VIP’s) attend and walk away having really enjoyed themselves amongst the energy that brings people together through the Au Pair in America program.

On Sunday, May 1st, Au Pairs from 36 countries, enthusiastically welcomed all those who stopped at their tables. The energy was palpable for all 3-hours of the DC Metro Area Cultural Fair 2016 at Nationals Park.

Throughout the afternoon we were treated to wonderful performances too:southe Africa

perf 4Costa Rican Au Pairs sang in Spanish “Beautiful Costa Ricans,” and “Sugar Cane”.  performance 1perf 2













Thai Au Pairs danced in their national perucostumes to “Fawn Thai” a traditional Thai folk dance

Singer Marion Raffin of France performed a solo of the classic “La Vie En Rose”.

Lillian Tshabalala of South Africa sang several solos including: “Qongqothwane – Beetle”, “Mama Thembu – a Wedding Song”, and “Malaika – My Angel”.

Zane Feldmane from Latvia presented “Bedu Manu Lielu Bedu or Trouble My Grefacepaintingat Trouble”.

Two singers from Poland gave us “Nie Mam Nic – I Have Nothing” and “Czas Nas Uczy Pogody – Time Teaches Us Serenity”.

Colombia rounded-off the performances with “Checumbia” a traditional Colombian folk dance and several songs.perf 3

Children visiting eachreceived a passport anlqtviad it was quickly filled with country, flag stickers as they “traveled the world”.  Some kids colored place mats to take home and others, still, wore home some fun face painting designs and globe tattoos.


Over 30 DC Metro area Community Counselors (from Richmond to Baltimore, Cabin John to Virginia Beach) worked from March to May to organize all the pieces that went into the Fair. On this chilly May afternoon, they all posed for a quick group photo having made a significant contribution to a fun event and the spirit of international understanding.



Celebrating Mother’s Day-Sunday May 8th


Mother’s Day is a holiday honoring motherhood that is observed in different forms throughout the world. The American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. Jarvis would later denounce the holiday’s commercialization and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar. While dates and celebrations vary, Mother’s Day most commonly falls on the second Sunday in May and traditionally involves presenting mothers with flowers, cards and other gifts.

Help children make cards or gifts or plan a special meal or other surprise for Mom. Read picture books to young children about Mother’s such as Are You My Mother by PD Eastman, Little Bear (an I Can Read Book) by Else Holmelund Minarik, or Just Me and My Mom by Mercer Mayer. You’ll find many other choices in your local library.

For ideas of activities and surprises, visit:



Au Pair In America is celebrating its 30th Anniversary!

DC-metro-cutural-fair-save-the-date (1) (1)(1)Help us celebrate 30 years of Au Pair in America and the U.S. Department of State’s au pair program! You’re invited to a fun afternoon of educational country displays, performances by au pairs, a photo op, face painting, and other fun activities for children. Au Pair in America staff, host families and au pairs from over 30 countries will be in attendance. Come learn about the au pair program and enjoy a fun and educational afternoon!

Click HERE for more information


On our way to Spring!




The days are starting to grow longer and warmer and children are able to spend more time outdoors. Go out and help them discover the wonders of Spring.

Put some string or yarn outside. Watch to see if it gets carried away to become part of a bird’s nest.

Watch for sprouts of early bulbs and look for buds on trees and bushes that are starting to swell. Cut small branches and put them in a vase of water in the house. Watch as the flowers or leaves start to unfold.

If you live near a pond , look for frog eggs or go to a nature center that has a pond. You can bring some home by putting pond water and a small clump of frog eggs in a container. Take some weeds from the pond too. About a week after they hatch , feed them fish food. When their back legs have grown put them back in the pond.

Take advantage of the spring breeze and blow bubbles, fly a kite or make a homemade pinwheel:

Draw an X  on a square piece of paper from corner to corner. Cut halfway along each line and fold alternate corners into the center. Overlap the points and connect it to a stick with a pin. A bead behind the head of the pin may help it to spin better.

Collect early Spring flowers and press them between sheets of newspaper weighted down with heavy books for a week or two. Once dry, arrange them on paper and glue them down –make greeting cards, book marks, or a picture.


Children are in danger of being hit by a car if they dart out into the street while playing. Children should be supervised at all time when playing, especially in public places.

Children of all ages like to climb. They fall off play equipment and bicycles, down stairs and off furniture. Lock doors to dangerous places such as basement stairs, use gates on stairways  and window guards above the first floor.




Our au pairs seem to be quite on the go and will take this opportunity in the USA to travel and explore many places with or without their host families.

When traveling outside the United States, Au Pairs please make sure you have all your documents updated ( visa if needed for the country you are visiting, signed DS2019 for reentry into the United States and of course check your passport and visa to make sure it has not expired) . Let your community counselor know where and when you are traveling.

Also, if going to any of the countries/islands infected by the Zika virus, take all the precautions necessary. Click HERE to find out more about the virus and how to protect yourself.

Safe travel everyone and happy Spring Break!