The Au Pair Program is all about that mutually beneficial relationship between American Host Families and their international Au Pairs. This involves Au Pairs providing flexible, reliable and affordable childcare to American families and learning about our great American culture. Host Families often keep in contact with their Au Pairs for years after their experience. What better way to memorialize your time with your Host Family than to make a Leap Year Time Capsule, to be opened at the next Leap Day in 2020!
Your Host Family will thank you! And you can make one to take home with you too, so you can open your wherever you are in four years! What is a time capsule, you ask? It is simply a collection of things to be viewed at a later date. Some time capsules are created by Kindergarten classes and opened at the end of elementary school, whereas others can be created to be opened much further in the future, like in 10, 15 or 20 years. A time capsule made for your Host Family can be left with them, maybe in the attic, basement or other storage area, until the time it is supposed to be opened. One made for yourself, to be opened by you, or your children, will go home with you, so choose a small enough container.
First, what you need: a small box or container, like a shoe box, to keep as the Time Capsule. If you’re doing this for your Host Family and plan on making one for yourself, you’ll need two boxes.
Next, find or print pictures of yourself and the family and children. These should be pictures that highlight the fun you have had together this year, or so far in your placement, and will be fun to compare to your new self in four years! In addition to photos, it is fun to have your host children draw and color some self portraits or family pictures; you would be surprised how much kids’ skills change in four years.
If your host children can write, have them write a letter to their future selves! If they cannot write, have them dictate and you write it for them. This is also a fun exercise for Au Pairs who need to work on their English! You should also do this – write a letter to your future self (for your own capsule) and one to your Host Family (to be read in four years when they open the box). Tell your future self what you hope to be doing when you open the letter or include a special message to remind you what you’ve learned as an Au Pair.
This is just one way to engage your Host Children in a meaningful activity while also adding to the entire cultural exchange experience. No matter what you do with this extra 24 hours, make the most of it! Contact me, Joan Lowell, at 401.309.1925 or firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions, comments or to find out more about the incredible cultural childcare experience we are offering Rhode Island area families.