One reason young people choose to become au pairs is to experience life in the USA and become immersed in the American day-to-day. And it’s for similar reasons that host moms and dads welcome au pairs into their homes and hearts—they love the idea of exposing themselves and their children to another culture. Below are some fun, free resources that will help you bring your culture to life with your host kids.
A few years ago, we asked some of our au pairs to share favorite children’s songs from their home countries, and their voices and instruments are now featured on Cultural Care Au Pair’s CD of International Children’s songs! You can listen to a selection of these songs on our YouTube channel and the entire CD is available for purchase on the Cultural Care Kids First Foundation website (all proceeds go to children in need). After you sing along with your host kids, be sure to introduce them to favorite songs of your own!
Our au pairs and host families tend to learn a lot about each other’s culture through sharing meals together and cooking! If cooking with your host kids sounds like fun, we encourage you to try a family recipe of your own or choose one from The Cultural Care Kitchen. Our cookbook features recipes from 20+ countries, submitted by our au pairs, host families, LCCs and staff.
One easy way to share your culture with your host kids is by introducing them to your country’s flag! Download and print Cultural Care’s coloring sheets and grab some crayons or markers to get started. For a truly colorful display, color and hang all of the country flags provided somewhere in your host family’s house!
To help au pairs and host families get to know each other better, we created a custom deck of conversation cards which are included in every Cultural Care Welcome Pack. The questions are designed to help you understand each other’s culture as well as personal values and interests. “What is your favorite family tradition?” “Who are you closest to in the world and why?” “What is your favorite family recipe?”—are all examples. These are perfect to use with your host parents and your host kids, too, if they are old enough!
Since language skills are easiest to develop at a young age, au pairs make perfect language teachers for their host children! Our adorable flash cards will help you teach your kids to identify animals and numbers in your native language. Once they’ve mastered these, you can create more flash cards featuring other categories like food, nature, and colors.
The Cultural Care USA Map, also included in every Cultural Care Welcome Pack, provides a great opportunity for kids to share what they know about the USA. Some great prompts to give your host children include: color states that you’ve visited already; share your favorite parts of those trips; color states that you hope to visit one day; name the capitals of as many states as you can; and define what states belong to the different regions of the U.S. (northeast, the midwest, the south, and the west).
We hope you and your host kids find these tools useful while learning about each other’s countries and cultures!
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