Enjoying the spring with your (host) children

picture of children(photo courtesy of dreamstime)

Now that spring is officially here, it is time to start spending more time back in the great outdoors. If you are in a cold climate, like I am now (and was as an au pair), then you are probably REALLY excited to be able to see the sun and temperatures that are above freezing.

If the winter has been long and hard and you and the children you take care of have had enough of it, then now is the time to plan some sunny day outings. Depending on where you live you may not entirely out of the grasp of coldness, but spring’s official beginning this week should at least give you hope and inspiration.

So what to do now that warmer days are approaching? First, get ready to stash winter clothes – your own, and if your job is to keep up with the kids’ things, then start organizing there things as well. Again, if you live and work somewhere cooler it might not be best to pack up every coat right away, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to start getting things sorted and ready to be put away for the next season. You can also begin to break out the lighter jackets (I’m excited to be wearing my Gap jean jacket now without freezing!) for yourself and the little ones.

Make sure you spend some time celebrating the spring. Of course, do all the regular things like head to the park, pick flowers, play in sand box, and all of those fun things that kids love doing outside. But make it special. Picnics with children are loads of fun, and you don’t have to pack a gourmet meal. Make a few sandwiches and pack them together with some fruit and cookies (unless, of course, your host mom is one of those who don’t let their children eat sugar – I hope for your sake she isn’t! 😉 ), and drinks, grab a blanket, and head outside. But PLEASE remember – if you are going to be outside with the kids for a decent amount of time, don’t forget sun cream to prevent sun burns – this is one of those things I learned by mistake – spent an entire afternoon out with my little one and came home to host parents who were less than impressed by the fact that I had not brought any sunblock with us.

Many cultures have certain rituals and celebrations that come with this lovely time of the year. And of course, with Easter coming up, this is a great chance to introduce more of your own customs to your host family. Is there something you celebrated at home as a child during the spring or Easter holidays that your “new” family might enjoy?