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Calendar of the Season

May 2016

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  • May Day May Day is a spring festival celebrating the renewal of nature. May Day was especially popular in England during medieval times. The most popular activity was dancing around the maypole. In some countries May Day features military parades; it is internationally thought of as a working class holiday. Click here for a May Day activity.
  • National Good Car Care Month Take this opportunity to clean out the inside of the car, and if it's a nice day, school-age children might enjoy helping to wash the outside! Or get a large cardboard box and make a pretend car for younger children to play in. Cut out doors and windows and put chairs inside. Think of all the places you can travel to in your imagination. "Mr. Gumpy's Motor Car" by John Burningham is a favorite book for preschoolers about a car ride.
  • Teacher's Day Today is a day to honor teachers! If your child is in school, he or she might want to make a card for the teacher. Children ages 3-5 love playing school. Let the child be the teacher and read you a story or give you homework. You might want to invite some dolls or stuffed animals into the classroom as well.
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  • Children's Book Week Every day is a good day to read to the children. Click here for literacy ideas to make reading even more fun!
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  • International Red Cross Day The Red Cross offers a wide range of health and disaster relief services all over the world. School age children can learn more about their work at Au pairs can register for CPR and first aid classes by calling their counselor. Today is a good day to check your first aid supplies in the house. Young children might want to play doctor with their dolls or stuffed animals.
  • Mother's Day Many countries celebrate a special day for mothers - some on this day, some on others. Help the children make cards or gifts or plan a special meal or other surprises for Mom. Read picture books to young children about mothers such as "Are You My Mother" by PD Eastman, "Little Bear" (an I Can Read Book) by Else Holmelund Minarik, or "Just Me and My Mom" by Mercer Mayer. You'll find many other choices in your local library. Click here for more Mother's Day activities and surprises.
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  • Pen Friends Do you have any friends or relatives back home with children close to the age of your school age children? You can encourage them to exchange letters (or emails). Simple notes or even pictures arriving by overseas mail are very exciting for children (and au pairs).
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  • House of Cards Is there a deck of cards around the house that is missing a card or two? Here's a perfect use for the cards you have. Use scissors to make a 1-inch cut in the middle of all four edges of each card. Join the cards together by interlocking the slits to build towers, tunnels and bridges. How high can you build?
  • Lewis and Clark Expedition Started In 1804 Lewis and Clark started on an expedition from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean. They traveled eight thousand miles by foot, boat, wagon and horse discovering parts of the West previously unknown to anyone but the native Americans. School age children will enjoy learning more about their adventures. Pretend you are going on your own grand discovery trip without the help of modern maps and communication. Think with the children about all the important things to pack. Go on a short discovery trip in the neighborhood and look for things you may have never noticed before.
  • National Chocolate Chip Day Try this delicious recipe. Be sure to let the children pour and stir ingredients, but don't let them near the hot oven!
    Get the recipe!
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  • International Museum Day Visit a local museum such as a museum for children, a science center or an art museum. Even a quick visit to the local historical society gives an opportunity to see some objects of interest and learn more about where you are living. When visiting a museum, talk to the children about the exhibits and help them to discover interesting facts. Many museums have special guides for children, so be sure to check at the information desk. You can also create your own adventure in any museum; in an art museum you might hunt for pictures with animals in them or a favorite color.
  • Circus Day This is the anniversary of the first Ringling Brothers Circus performance in 1884, now known in the U.S. as "The Greatest Show on Earth." The circus performance ring was first used in London in the year 1770. Visit the Ringling Brothers website for circus and animal related online activities, activities to do at home, and coloring pages to print. Use washable face paint to make yourselves look like clowns. There are many children's books with a circus theme including "If I Ran the Circus" by Dr. Seuss and "Clifford at the Circus" by Norman Bridwell.
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  • Waiters and Waitresses Day Teach the children about the importance of a good waiter or waitress. For lunch or dinner have the children pretend they are waiters and waitresses. Remind them to always be polite and say "please" and "thank you" when out at a restaurant.
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  • Mary Had a Little Lamb The 19th century American nursery rhyme was written by Sarah Josepha Hale, who turned to writing in 1822 as a widow trying to support her family and who eventually became an influential editor and arbiter of American taste. Thomas Edison recited part of the poem to test his invention of the phonograph, and a host of musicians have recorded versions of it. Click here for the lyrics to the song.
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  • May Flowers The saying goes that "April showers bring May flowers." Grow your own flowers indoors. Marigolds and Morning Glories grow quickly from seed and can be planted outdoors in the garden after they are a few inches tall. Use a flower pot or even an old yogurt container, follow the directions on the seed packet and don't forget to water the pot! Read the fairy tale "Jack and the Beanstalk" to find out what happened when Jack planted his seeds.
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  • Memorial Day Memorial Day started in 1868 after the Civil War ended. Dead soldiers from both the north and the south were honored as a way to try to heal the nation. Now all past soldiers are honored. It is also a day that is considered to be the start of the summer season. Many people celebrate with a cook-out or even a trip to the beach. Many towns have a Memorial Day parade, which would be fun to watch, or even to march in.
  • First Daily Newspaper Introduce your children ages 5 and up to news on the Internet by visiting a site designed just for children.

Click on a day to learn more!

"The flexibility the program affords us is outstanding. With other child care options, I always felt I was accommodating their schedule instead of my own."

Jill, host parent
New Jersey

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