Monthly Archives: November 2017

Black Friday

6869772267_859961ebb2Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving and is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season. Black Friday is not an official holiday, but many people have the day off, which increases the number of potential shoppers. Merchants and the media use the term Black Friday to refer to the beginning of the period in which retailers are in the black i.e., turning a profit for the year.  Sales are everywhere–set your alarm and hit the stores before the sun comes up to get an authentic experience this unique day!

Photo: 401(k)2012 on Flickr

Happy Thanksgiving!

2061311475_eb88137853Thanksgiving dates back to the first European settlers in North America. After hardship, illness and hard work the Pilgrims celebrated a successful harvest that they shared with their Native American friends. This national holiday is a day to feast and give thanks.

Photo: Benjamin Chun

Thanksgiving Fun For Kids

Click here for some fun craft ideas!

Click here for some fun craft ideas!

Here are some activities you can do with the children to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Click on the picture or any of the links below to find crafts, coloring sheets, spelling worksheets, math puzzles,  nametags and more.

Scratch Pictures

Click here for more informaiton on

Click here for more information on

This is a fun art project for children ages 7 and up. You need paper, crayons (make sure you have a black one), and a paper clip. Take one crayon and rub it over a section of the paper. Use the flat side of the crayon and rub hard. Take another color and do the same to another part of the paper. Cover the entire paper with different colors of crayon. Now, take the black crayon and color over all the other colors until the whole paper is black. With a paper clip or coin, draw a picture by scratching through the black crayon. The other colors will show through where the drawing is scratched.

Online shopping

3285705759_e17a67f2e2If you haven’t shopped at the retailer before, call the customer service number to ask about their return policies and shipping charges before buying anything.  Better yet, get out of the house and take advantage of the Black Friday sales at the end of the month.

Photo: stuartpilbrow

Mickey Mouse’s birthday

Mickey_mouse_pancakeMickey Mouse was created in 1928!

Celebrate his birthday with Mickey Mouse pancakes:  Follow the directions for mixing on the package.  Heat a griddle or frying pan.  For each pancake pour batter into pan in a large circle with two smaller circles at the top to make the ears.  Cook until pancake is puffy and bubbles.  Flip and cook the other side until golden brown.  Use chocolate chips for the eyes.

Photo: Jessica DeWinter

Thanksgiving and Giving Back

This year for our Thanksgiving cluster meeting we had our annual pie tasting.  Everyone got to taste the different pies they may see during Thanksgiving (Pumpkin, Apple, Pecan) and vote for their favorite one.  Many au pairs had never tried pumpkin pie before.  Apple Pie was the winner this year.

For the holidays this year we also decided to write letters to the troops.  Au Pairs can relate to being away from home for the holidays and therefore we all sent letters of encouragement for others who wouldn’t be home.

Another great cluster meeting!

5 Thanksgiving Tips for Au Pairs & Host Parents

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November each year. Even though a few other countries also celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s still considered a uniquely American holiday, one that the au pairs look forward to experiencing. You can learn more about it here.

I really enjoyed Thanksgiving with my host family. It was as I imagined! So much food to try. Everyone got dressed up and shared what they were thankful for. It was so warm and special. The next day we began to prepare for Christmas. It was magical.” Selina from Germany

Below you will find some tips to help you have a terrific Thanksgiving experience.


Host Parents

1.  Please plan to include your au pair in your Thanksgiving celebration, if at all possible. Thanksgiving with an au pair offers an opportunity to consider the relevance of the history and meaning of Thanksgiving as you compare the hospitality offered by the Native Americans to the recently arrived Pilgrims and the hospitality you offer your au pair.

2.  If you are traveling or will not be able to invite your au pair to join you for Thanksgiving, give her plenty of notice and help her make alternate plans. You don’t want to leave your au pair alone over the holiday.

Au Pairs

3.  If you are invited to attend dinner, please let your family know within 5 days of the invitation, whether you are planning to attend. It is considered rude in America to accept the invitation for dinner and then change your mind later in the month. Please be thoughtful.

4.  Make sure to discuss time off during this holiday weekend. Many host families work the Friday after Thanksgiving so do not assume you have this day off or the entire weekend. Talk to your host family, BEFORE you make any plans.

5.  If your host family is unable to include you in their Thanksgiving plans, please let me know if you have trouble making other plans. You may be able to join a friend and their host family for the holiday dinner.

Bonus Tip for the Kids

If you are looking for a fun recipe to make with your au pair, check out these turkey cupcakes. Find more fun activities and recipes on the Au Pair in America Fall Holidays pinboard.

Photo: Tim Sackton (Flickr)

Driving and keeping children happy in the car

5591761716_57cf063d96Keeping children happy in the car can be challenging. One helpful approach is to engage them in car games – the safety of their car seat or seat belt.

Alphabet Game- ages 3 and up

Children who can identify letters and can easily see out the window of the car can play this game. One child starts with A and has to find a word on a sign visible from the car with the letter A. The next child has to identify the B, and so on.