Photo albums

A picture is worth a thousand words—so please take a look at my photo albums to learn more about what our local host families and au pairs are up to during the year.
Brazilian Carnival Mask Kids’ Craft


  Carnival is Brazil’s biggest and most popular holiday. It takes place 6 weeks before Easter (right before the beginning of Lent) and is celebrated for six days with large scale parades. Participants dress in ornate costumes and masks and the crowds sing and dance along. MATERIALS: Brazilian Carnival mask […]

Inexpensive Valentine’s Gift for Host Parents


Valentine’s Day is coming up, but your host mom has everything! Something that she’ll love is something personal. Get a plain white mug from Dollar Tree and a Sharpie Marker. Write something that shows you know her, bake it in the oven on 350 F for 30 minutes, and you’re […]

Cultural Craft – Chinese Lantern


by Stephanie Vandale Chinese lanterns originated as a way to protect open flames but eventually became highly ornamental, and a status symbol. Now they are used to decorate big city and small town streets during festivals including the Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival, and Lantern Festival. MATERIALS: Chinese lantern template […]

Donation Drive


For our December meeting, our au pairs voted to have a donation drive so we could give gifts to needy children. The au pairs and their host families gathered gently used items and donated new gifts for our Build-a-box projects. I am so incredibly fortunate to work with such great […]

LEGO® Train Show 2012


On Saturday, December 8th and Sunday, December 9th, Cantigny is having a LEGO® Train Show from 9am-4pm in the Visitors Center. The show is produced by the Northern Illinois LEGO® Train Club and is their largest show of the year. Come and see Cantigny’s most popular annual events for families! […]

Build a Box Volunteer Project


How’s your Build-a-box donation project going? We re-purposed a small shipping box and found a few things around the house. When I asked the twins to donate something, they chose their new toothbrushes :-/ I told them they’d still have to brush their teeth!

Au Pair Education Classes


Au pairs can meet education requirements by taking non-academic classes, such as photography, art, cooking, dance, and more–as long as the classes are offered at an accredited college or university. Always confirm the number of hours since these classes are usually non-credit. Twelve (12) hours is worth one (1) credit […]

Crafty Kids’ Meal


We call this the spider-dog at my house. I know, crazy name, but the twins came up with it. We actually saw this in a magazine and had to try it. Four-years and up should be able to do the prep, but watch out! –those dry pasta sticks can be […]

October’s Au Pair Meeting


We had a great October meeting in Naperville socializing and welcoming our new group members Albane and Juliana. Nina also joined us for the meeting, but we missed the other members who couldn’t make it.