Tag Archives: fun

Camp Au Pair – Art Experiences

This week’s Camp Au Pair theme is Art Experiences.

Crafts, recipes, activities, and games related to art can all be found here on the Camp Au Pair – Art Experiences pinboard.

Field Trips can be a great way for kids to learn and have new experiences. Get permission from your host parents before any outings and be sure to take all social distancing precautions. Some museums are requiring advanced tickets or have reduced hours due to the pandemic.

  • Art Museums
  • Paint Your Own Pottery Studio
  • Clay and Ceramics Studio

Online Art FunHere is a great website with lots of art activities including ones for older kids.

Webcams – You can do a google search for art websites with webcams. Here are a few to get you started:

Pottery & Ceramics webcam
Glass Blowing webcam

Videos – Look for fun videos on YouTube about drawing and all kinds of art.

Books – Stop by your local library and look for books on famous artists and art.

Check YouTube for books on art being read aloud:

Image: teachkidsart.com

Camp Au Pair – Bugs & Butterflies

This week’s Camp Au Pair theme is Bugs & Butterflies.

Crafts, recipes, activities, and games related to all kinds of bugs, insects, butterflies, and spiders can be found here on the Camp Au Pair – Bugs & Butterflies pinboard.

Outdoors – Kids today do not spend enough time outdoors. Take the kids in the backyard or another nature area (approved by your host parents) and do some activities related to this theme:

  • Allow them to search for bugs and butterflies.
  • Observe lightning bugs (also known as fireflies) in the evening. Here is a map showing what people call these little guys in different parts of the country.
  • After it rains, look for earthworms. Not bugs or butterflies, but very interesting creatures you can find in your own backyard.

NOTE: If you are outdoors with the children, be sure to check for ticks when you come back inside. Here is a blog post explaining the health risk ticks can pose and how to find and remove them safely.

Videos – You can find many great videos of butterflies and insects on YouTube. Check out these videos for kids about bees and ants. All about Insects covers lots of tiny creatures who crawl and fly. Here are a few videos to get you started.

Movies – A Bugs Life, The Bee Movie, Maya the Bee, and The Ant Bully all fit this theme.

Webcams – You can do a Google search for websites with webcams that allow you to observe bugs.

Books – Check your kids’ bookshelf for books on bugs and butterflies. 

Image: minieco.co.uk

Welcome to Camp Au Pair in America!

When kids are out of school for the summer, it doesn’t take long for them to become bored and  sometimes that leads to sibling squabbles and mischief. Even though they don’t realize it, they are usually missing routine and predictability in their daily schedule. One solution is to make fun plans to keep them busy! 

Each week this summer we will share a different Camp Au Pair theme. These weekly themes are designed to give you ideas to keep your host kids occupied and engaged all summer long. They will also be learning. (But shhhh, don’t tell them that part.) Check back each Friday, for the next week’s theme. This gives you a chance to make plans and gather materials for the next week. For each theme there will be crafts, games, snacks and activities. You can just use these ideas or add your own and customize the themes to fit the ages and interests of your host children.

Here are the themes you can look forward to:

  • Art Experiences
  • Backyard Safari
  • Bugs & Butterflies
  • Cars and Trucks
  • Dinosaurs
  • Explore the World
  • Nature Explorations
  • Outer Space
  • Pirate Adventures
  • Princesses & Knights
  • Science (STEM)
  • Under the Sea

Check out Summer Fun & Summer Holidays pin boards for even more ideas.

If you get some great pictures doing these activities with your host kids, please send those to your counselor. We love to share your accomplishments and inspire other au pairs!

Let’s make this an amazing summer!

 

Make 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.

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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 (Flickr)

TOP TEN ACTIVITIES FOR FALL

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Summer is over, and in many places the air is turning colder. As the weather changes be sure to take advantage of what the fall season has to offer. Even if you don’t live in a place that sees a lot colorful leaves, there are fun family-friendly ways to get outdoors this fall:

• Go apple picking. Sure, most of us can get apples year-round from the grocery store, but there’s nothing quite like orchard fresh apples, picked straight from the tree during harvest season. That crunchy, tangy, sweet apple flavor is at its peak during this time of year. Many commercial orchards will let you pick your own. It’s not only fun, it’s also a great way to show kids where their food comes from. Get extras for canning applesauce, or making pies. When you’re done, warm up with a delicious mulled cider.

• Go on a nature hike. Bring along a field guide to identify different kinds of trees. Look for wildlife collecting food for winter. Explain to kids how animals are starting to fatten up and grow thick, protective winter coats. Watch for migrating birds.

• Collect fall leaves. Press them into books or preserve them in glycerin. Paste them onto handmade paper to create greeting cards, or glue them between two pieces of wax paper to make an attractive sun catcher. Go lightly on the glue, or substitute crayon shavings to add color; use a warm iron to melt the shavings and hold the paper together.

• Take a hayride. Many farms offer hayrides during the fall. This is a great way to kick back and enjoy nature with smaller kids who may not be up for a long walk.

• Visit the pumpkin patch. Don’t buy your Halloween pumpkin from the grocery store. Go straight to the source. Kids will love wandering around the patch to pick out the perfect pumpkin. Choose a couple of big ones for jack-o-lanterns, and grab a few smaller ones for painting or general household decorations. Smaller pumpkins make great additions to fall centerpieces. Roast the seeds in your oven with a sprinkling of tasty spices, and grab a few to make pumpkin pies.

• Visit a corn maze. Many farms earn extra income for the winter by turning their cornfields into large mazes. Test your directional sense, and get some fresh air in the process. Corn mazes are fun or all ages.

• Stuff a scarecrow. Dig out an old shirt and overalls, and stuff it with leaves until firm. Add a pumpkin head (from your trip to the pumpkin patch) and you’ve got a great fall decoration.

• Fly a kite. The gusty, brisk air makes autumn a great time for flying kites. Buy one from the store, or make your own from two long sticks, strong paper, and string.

• Have a bonfire. Invite some friends over for a backyard bonfire. The chill in the air makes fall the perfect time to sit together by the warmth of a blazing fire with a nice warm mug of cocoa or cider. Be sure to get any necessary permits from your town first.

• Make a leaf pile and jump in!

Photo: Lecates

Earth Day!

Earth - Cheryl

For some Earth day activities for kids, check out this Pinterest Board (click here)

Photo: Cheryl on Flickr

from EcoKids (http://www.ecokids.ca/pub/eco_info/topics/environmental/earthday/)

It’s Earth Day! Let’s Come Together to Make A Difference!

How did Earth Day begin?

The very first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970. This day was created by American Senator, Gaylord Nelson, to make people aware of the importance of keeping our planet healthy and clean. On that day,people made promises to help the environment and make positive changes in their community. Since then, more than 500 million people in over 180 countries have participated in Earth Day activities!

Can I do something to help the planet on Earth Day?

Of course you can! Everything you do to help the planet counts, whether you walk to school or help to clean up litter from your neighborhood park! The most important thing to remember is that Earth Day should be every day!

“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.”
Ancient Kenyan Proverb

Check out these activity ideas to help you get started.

St. Patrick’s Day Shenanigans

St. Patrick’s Day is March 17.St Patricks day

click here to access APIA St. Patrick's Day Shenanigans board on Pinterest

St. Patrick’s day is coming up already.  Check out APIA’s St. Patrick’s Day Shenanigans’ board on Pinterest for lots of great ideas to celebrate!

March 17th – Saint Patrick’s Day

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The Charitable Irish Society of Boston organized the first observance of Saint Patrick’s Day in the United States in 1737.  The tradition of celebrating this day continued to grow with the influx of Irish immigrants to the United States.

St Patrick’s Day, on March 17, remembers one of Ireland’s patron saints, St Patrick. It largely celebrates Irish-American culture in the United States but many non – Irish descendants enjoy the celebrations too . Celebrations include Irish themed parties, drinks and food. Many people get into the spirit by dressing in green clothing and eating green colored food. Irish clubs and pubs often hold parties.

St Patrick’s Day is not a federal holiday in the United States. Schools, businesses and organizations are open as usual. Public transport systems run on their regular schedules. The parades may be on or around March 17, so it is a good idea to check local sources for the exact location, date and time.  Many parades are held throughout the country to celebrate the holiday. New York City  has become the largest Saint Patrick’s Day parade in the world, outside Ireland. Thousands  participate in the parade, including bands, firefighters, military and police groups, county associations, emigrant societies, and social and cultural clubs and was watched by close to 2 million spectators lining the streets. The parade marches up 5th Avenue in Manhattan and is always led by the U.S. 69th Infantry Regiment. New York politicians – or those running for office – are always found prominently marching in the parade.

The most common St Patrick’s Day symbol is the shamrock. The shamrock is the leaf of the clover plant and a symbol of the Holy Trinity

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If you would like to take part in this American cultural experience check out the nearest parade to you, here  http://www.st-patricks-day.com/st_patricks_day_parades_home/

For fun ideas to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day including arts and crafts for children check out our Au Pair in America Pinterest page https://www.pinterest.com/aupairinamerica/st-patrick-s-day-shenanigans/

Winter Sports And Sports Insurance

From Christine Connally, Community Counselor with Au Pair in America (MD)

Is it risky to do winter sports without the sports insurance?

Yes. If you have to pay your own hospital bills for a broken bone, you might be shocked at how much that would cost. Christine checked this website for some cost estimates.

ice-skate-224x300Here are a couple examples:

  • Without medical coverage, to treat a broken arm or leg (that does not require surgery) it could cost up to $2,500.
  • Without medical coverage, to treat a broken arm or leg (requiring surgery) it could cost $16,000 or more.
  • We wanted to make sure everyone understands how the medical coverage works for sports related injuries. There is a list of “high-risk sports/activities” that are not covered with the basic or upgrade medical insurance plans. Those activities are only covered with the Sports Insurance Package (also known as Option A.)

    The Sports Insurance Package was available pre-departure and may also be purchased at any time during your year. It takes effect within 48 hours of your enrollment and it is good for 12 months. The cost will be the same ($75) whether you have a month left or your whole year ahead of you. We recommend you pay for it early on, if you didn’t already purchase it. You never know when an opportunity might present itself and you don’t want to miss out on an adventure. You also don’t want to take a risk on getting injured and being responsible for the bill on your own.

    Below is a partial list of sports that are only covered with the sports insurance package:
    Football, Rugby, Scuba diving, Ski-doo,  Wakeboarding, Skydiving, Parachuting, Rock climbing, Zip line, Skate boarding, Rollerblading, Roller skating, Ice Skating, Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowmobiles & Snowshoeing.  View the full list on page 3 of the insurance brochure HERE (2013 arrival au pairs) & HERE for (2014 arrival au pairs)
    Note: Injuries sustained while partaking in these sports are covered with purchase of the Sports Insurance ONLY.

    How to register for the Sports Insurance
    Download the form HERE and follow the instructions. It takes a few days for your coverage to begin. If you think you will be doing any of these sports, you should get it now

    TrekAmerica Travel

    Southern Sun

    Click here to find out more about TrekAmerica

    About Trek America

    Established in 1972, TrekAmerica has over 40 years’ experience exploring the big cities and back roads of America. From their 3-day mini-adventures to the 21-day Southern Sun road-trip from New York to LA, TrekAmerica is one of the most fun, safe and affordable ways to travel the States!

    Au Pair in America DISCOUNT – Save 20% off!

    Au Pair in America

    TrekAmerica’s small group adventures are specifically designed for young international travelers who want to experience the best of America’s vibrant cities, sleepy towns, amazing national parks and Native American lands, all in a friendly, fun and safe environment.

    Why travel with TrekAmerica?

    Las Vegas Group

    • An 18-30’s program, ensuring travel with like-minded individuals
    • The safety, security and costs savings of small group travel
    • 65% of travelers join alone but leave with life-long friends
    • 40 years as the North American small group adventure specialist
    • Food kitty of just $10 per day covers all meals while camping
    • Extensive range of over 50 camping and budget lodging tours
    • Loads of included & optional activities to suit interest and budget
    • The coolest and most diverse groups in the business, with a maximum of
      13 passengers and an average of 5 different nationalities on every trip!

    How to receive your discount

    20% Discount for Au Pairs

    • To receive your discount, please have your Counselor’s details to hand as you will need to provide their name, address, email and phone number.
      To book online simply take the following steps:
    • 1) Go to the relevant tour page and click on the Dates and Prices tab.
    • 2) Wait for the dates and prices to load and click on the Book Now button next to your preferred date.
    • 3) Complete your personal details in the booking form and make sure to enter 222011 in the Discount Code field. Once this code has been entered, boxes will appear asking you to enter your local Counselor’s details.
    • If you would prefer to book your tour over the phone or if you have any questions please contact the sales office on 1-800-TREK USA (873-5872) or by e-mail at info@trekamerica.co.uk

    Claim your Discount:

    You can get 20% off any TrekAmerica tour, just for being an Au Pair. Find out how you can claim your discount here.