Tag Archives: crafts

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day in the U.S. this year is May 14th.

It would be a nice gesture to do something for your host mom. You could help the children make a surprise for her or give her a card yourself.  Don’t forget to send a special message to your own mother, back home.

Looking for some great Mother’s Day ideas?

Check out the Au Pair in America Mother’s Day Pinboard on Pinterest.

Make your own play dough!

Play Dough - Kevin JarrettMake your own play dough!Play dough is the perfect modeling material for children. Their small hands can pat, poke, pinch, roll and knead it into many shapes. Keep it in an airtight container to use another day, or let it air dry into favorite shapes.

Measure 2 cups of flour, one cup of salt and 4 teaspoons of cream of tartar into a bowl. Add 1/4 cup of oil to one cup of water in a separate bowl then add the mixture to the dry ingredients. For colored play dough, squeeze 10-20 drops of food coloring into the water before you add it to the mixture. Cook the dough at low heat in a wide pan, stirring constantly until it becomes rubbery. Remove the dough from the heat and knead it for a few minutes. When it cools the kids can play too!

Photo: Kevin Jarrett


Puppet - JodimichellePuppets are a wonderful way to enjoy art and drama and to develop language skills. They can be used with all ages of children. The youngest children can watch you perform and talk to the puppet. Starting at about age 3 the children can help make the puppets and put on simple ‘shows.’ You can make a puppet from almost anything…socks, paper bags, Popsicle sticks, magazines…use your imagination.

Photo: Jodimichelle



Snowflakes –winter officially begins on the 21st but in some parts of the United States it has already snowed. Did you know that each snowflake is unique?

Make snowflakes with your host children:

Step 1

Step 1 IllustrationStart with an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper. Fold one corner of the piece of paper down. Cut off the bottom portion to make a triangle.

Step 2

Step 2 IllustrationTemporarily bring the two corners of the base of the triangle together to find the center point of the longest side. Make a small crease at the center point.

Step 3

Step 3 IllustrationWe’re now going to use the center point identified in Step 2 to divide the triangle into three equal parts. Fold the right corner in at a 60° angle. (Use a protractor to help you.) Then fold the left corner in back at a 60° angle.

Step 4

Step 4 IllustrationYour paper should look like the illustration at right. Now fold the paper in half as shown.

Step 5

Step 5 IllustrationCut off the upper portion along the horizontal line.

Step 6

Step 6 IllustrationThis triangle will be 1/12th of your snowflake. Use a pencil to draw a design on the triangle. The unopened side will be the backbone of the snowflake. Do not draw any lines that cut through the triangle.

Step 7

Step 7 IllustrationUse a pair of scissors to carefully cut away the unwanted area.

Step 8

Step 8 IllustrationCarefully unfold your snowflake and flatten it out with your fingers. Voilà!

Now experiment with different designs and see what you come up with. One of the joys of cutting paper snowflakes is that you never know for sure what the snowflake will look like when you open it up!