Unable to find a new way to get them involved in something fun & educational?
The weather does not allow you to play outside?
No problem! There are plenty of fun activities you can do with your host kids despite how is the weather outside or the season.
We all know well that being an au pair means also: creativity, exploring and bonding with the kids, so the best way to build a bond and have good memories is about having fun with them.
We believe every activity is special if it’s done with love, passion and dedication.
Here, I provided some tips and tricks which can be helpful for you and you can pull out of your pocket whenever you need them (and if you need some tips about How to live with a host family, you can read my previous post as well!).
Time to mess up with colours, paint, sparkles and glue! Use your imagination and let your creativity come out. Every parent loves to receive some artwork from the kids. It hasn’t to be a perfect drawing or colouring, what is really important is the kids are involved, tried their best and be happy with what they made. You are free to use any material at your disposal: cardboard, paper, empty jars, boxes, etc…
Ask any kid and they will tell you that play dough is a lot of fun! It is great for building fine motor skills as well as imaginative play. The ways to play with it are endless!
ROLE PLAYING GAMES
Role playing games are one of the most popular among kids. For all the ideas, you can encourage your host kids to dress up, research what they might need for the game or create if they don’t have the necessary material.
- The restaurant: it is a great way to let your host kids make dinner for you. They can make a menu and take on the role of the chef/waiter. This can include: take the table booking, cooking/chopping, laying the table, serving the food and writing the bill.
- Doctor and nurses: if you have a doctor kit, we can play “Hospital” with the kids. Let’s pretend we are the patients and let the kids write prescriptions, check our heart/ears and throat and wrap us up in bandages. If not us, use dolls or stuffed animals.
- Shops: let your host kid be a shopkeeper. Pretend shops can be grocery stores, ice cream parlours, garden nurseries or clothing stores. They can put prices on items and learn about the value of money and counting.
- School: look at what your host kid has recently been learning and set up a classroom. Either you or the kid can be the teacher and you can re-enact what they do at school. Children especially love pretending to be the teacher and taking the register.
Puzzles have been always a classic for many generations. Who has never done a puzzle in their life? I bet no one. Let the kids find and match the pieces. This helps them to develop their brain skills and in case try to help them without interfering too much. It’s ok if they don’t finish the puzzle immediately, they can always finish it in the second moment.
We know that kids love sweets so why not make something with them? They love touching everything and feel different consistencies but, be careful to do not use complex recipes with lots of ingredients, otherwise, the kitchen will be a battlefield. Cookies, pizza, cupcakes are some of the easiest recipes you can do with your host kids. They can mix, roll out the dough and give shape to their creations using cookie cutters. Don’t worry if something goes wrong while cooking, what matters is that you had fun together.
Summer is coming! Bring your host kids outside and enjoy the warm weather with some funny water games. Bubbles, water balloons, water guns and backyard bath are some of the favourites and most appreciated among kids.
Time to chill and read some books. Sometimes we all need to slow down, pick up a nice book and get lost in a story. It is good for both parties, au pair and host kids because they learn by watching pictures while the au pair can improve her pronunciation and vocabulary.
Who says lessons are boring? Not always learning means do homework. There are different ways to teach your host kids and keep their attention, for example: teaching the alphabet while singing, counting by using candies or toys, identify colours with flash cards, crayons, fruit…, know the body parts by doing some light exercise and so on.
Personally, go to the playgrounds or arrange some playdate with other au pairs in your area are the best activities to do. You see them interacting with other children, play together, socialize and build friendships. It is awesome when they start to meet regularly, go to new places together, be invited to the birthday parties and have snacks together.
Taking off a bit from the routine and dedicate an entire day outside is very rewarding and relaxing. Take the car and explore the neighbouring areas such as zoo, farms, interactive museums for kids, nature centres, swimming pool or just prepare a lunch box and do a picnic in a park or buy an ice cream.
Of course, these are only examples of what you can do with your host kids, much more you can find easily online or just let go of the child in you. Sometimes simplicity can play an important role. Kids are simple and easy to please so finding something complicated which requires a lot of instructions doesn’t help them to enjoy the game.
Few rules, more spontaneity and fun!