Many au pairs simply have to drive their kids to after-school-activities. But this is not the case for me this year… Even if we don’t have any activities planned, our days are packed!
My kids get a lot homework, and that usually takes up some time. Especially when they don’t want to do it! Once they are done with their homework, they are free to do whatever they want. Sometimes we go for walks or to the playground. During summer, we used to spend almost every day at the pool. Since their school days are so busy, we now spend most days at home and do whatever comes to mind together. What that can look like exactly is what I am going to tell you more about in this post.
ARTS & CRAFTS
… is always fun! Until it comes to cleaning up part… Then the fun is suddenly over. However, me and my girls did a few different art projects this year that I found on Pinterest. Their platform really is my biggest source for everything free time related.
On Pinterest, you can create your own ‘boards’ that you can categorize according to your different interests that you have. I mostly use it for parenting hacks, arts & crafts and other kids stuff. For every new idea, I create a folder with crafts inspirations that my girls might like – and then I let them choose. Luckily, my host mom has a huge variety of materials and craft supplies right here at home – really anything any crafty person’s dreams are made of, and we can use all of it! Here are a few examples of what we did this year with Pinterest. My girls absolutely loved it.
COOKING & BAKING
… is something we enjoy doing together. I can’t bake and it shows, but we still have a lot of fun while doing it, and I think it is important to show kids how food is made. Cupcakes, cakes, Christmas cookies, home made ice cream – you name it, we’ve made it. Sometimes there’s way too much chocolate, it’s not baked long enough or whatever we’re working on comes out a little burned. We’ve experienced everything this year, but these tiny bumps in the road only led to us being even happier when it turned out great.
I really enjoy making videos, so that is what we mainly did during the summer holidays when we had a lot of time on our hands. Together, we would come up with a story board, organize everything we needed for the movie and then get started together. We also made a second movie, or a commercial, really, at our town pool and then watched it during our weekly Friday movie night. We also made a few smaller videos – some of them with dolls, others under water. These movies are great memories for everyone.
My kids usually don’t play any video games, and don’t watch a lot of TV. Therefore, we like to play board games. ‘Sleeping Queens’ and ‘Uno’ are games we play a lot. I also like playing ‘Ticket to ride’ and ‘Pokemon’ with my oldest one. My only condition for playing games is that we play them with the real rules. So naturally, I had to set aside some time to learn how to play the Pokemon card game and taught it to my oldest one. And now we both actually really enjoy the game.
I hope this gave you an idea on what you can do with your host kids. I have three more months to go of my first year, and I bet there will be some more baking and crafting adventures in the future. Check out Pinterest for more ideas, and also the handbook ‘101 Things to do with kids’ all of us get at Orientation in New York. That one helped me to come up and decide on different games and activities. Check out my next post coming soon about me and my host mom!