March 23, 2020

6 Resources for Jump-Starting Cultural Exchange

Songs, recipes, crafts, and more for your family and au pair

3 minutes
Cultural exchange

A big reason parents decide to welcome au pairs—and continue with the au pair program year after year—is the opportunity to expose their children to another culture. Below are some resources that will help your au pairs bring their culture to life with your whole family!

International Children’s Songs

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 singing along with these tunes, encourage your au pair to introduce some favorite songs of their own!

Cultural Care Cookbook

Au pairs and host families tend to learn a lot about each other’s culture through cooking and sharing meals together! If cooking with your au pair sounds like fun, ask them to choose a family recipe of their 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.

International Coloring Sheets

One easy way for your au pair to share their culture with your kids is by introducing their country’s flag! It’s easy to download and print Cultural Care’s coloring sheets and use crayons or markers to color them in. For a truly global display, encourage your au pair and kids to color and hang all of the country flags provided somewhere in the house!

Cultural Care Conversation Cards

To help families and au pairs 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 au pair, and children too, if they are old enough!

Cultural Care Flash Cards

Since language skills are easiest to develop at a young age, au pairs make perfect language teachers for your children! Our adorable flash cards will help your au pair teach your kids to identify animals and numbers in their native language. Once they’ve mastered these, your au pair can create more flash cards featuring other categories like food, nature, and colors.

Cultural Care USA Map

The Cultural Care USA Map, also included in every Cultural Care Welcome Pack, provides a great opportunity for your kids to share what they know about the USA with your au pair. Some great prompts for 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 your family and au pair find these tools useful while learning about each other’s countries and cultures!