Any football fans in the house? Even if you’re not a very big follower of the NFL, chances are good that you’re cooking up some plans for Super Bowl 2020—and cooking up some delicious snacks to go along with it!
Since its first game in 1967, Super Bowl Sunday has become an unofficial holiday in the U.S. It’s about so much more than just a championship football game (though that’s a pretty darn big part of it)—the Super Bowl is a chance to get together with family and friends, eat awesome food, watch some great commercials, and enjoy quality time with the people you love.
With this year’s Super Bowl coming up fast, now is the time to think about how you’re celebrating—and more specifically, what you can do to include your au pair in the festivities!
Invite them to a Super Bowl party
Are you having a Super Bowl party at your place? If so, have you made a point of inviting your au pair to join in on the fun? If you’re going to someone else’s house for the big game, have you considered asking if your au pair can come along too?
Often times for au pairs here in the U.S., having places to go and unique traditions to take part in can help them overcome any feelings of homesickness. You can help them feel at home by including them in authentic American experiences like Super Bowl Sunday!
Take it from Cinzia, an au pair from Italy, whose host family included her in every American tradition they could possibly think of—including the Super Bowl! For Cinzia, and other au pairs from around the world, feeling like a part of her host family helped the time fly by without any thoughts or feelings of missing home:
“Even though my host family is 100% Italian, I didn’t miss any American traditions. I celebrated Thanksgiving, Independence Day, Halloween, and I watched the Super Bowl! I’ve been part of this family for a year and 3 months. When I think about it I can’t believe that the time flies so fast, but we know, if you feel good with someone, the time flies and you can’t feel it.”
If your family doesn’t have plans to celebrate the Super Bowl this year—but your au pair has expressed interest—consider allowing them to throw a little Super Bowl party of their own! Maybe they can invite a few au pair friends over to enjoy the game and some snacks. It could be a great way to bond with their community, and to include the kids in something different and exciting. There are tons of ways to introduce your au pair (and your kids) to new things!
Get them into football
If you’re a football fan, a great way to help your au pair embrace American life is to introduce them to the basics of the game! How it’s played, the history of the sport, what makes it so special, etc. Learning about a quintessential American pastime is an exciting prospect for so many au pairs—and can lead to some real bonding experiences.
Host mom Kerry from Colorado took her au pair, Lou Ann, to a Broncos game and made some memories they’ll always hold dear:
“I took Lou Ann and a friend (and my daughter Sierra) to a Broncos game. We bought Broncos gear and Lou Ann experienced her first NFL game. What could be more American than stadium food and football? One of the highlights was watching Sierra’s face when the fireworks went off when the Broncos scored.”
If watching football regularly on Sundays is your thing, then consider introducing your au pair to the game that way! Au pair Anais from France learned about the game by watching every week:
“My host family is very into football, so every Sunday we go to my host mom’s parents and her dad and my host dad are always trying to explain to me all the rules of the game. Even if the game is tricky, I really enjoy watching it! A friend of the family that comes for games was very curious about my home country. He wanted me to tell him every difference between the USA and France, and it was very funny! That is part of the culture, and they are sharing it with me!”
Another way to introduce football to your au pair? As a way to connect with the kids! If your children are sports players, then maybe they’ve already started to bond over mutual interest in certain sports. Even if they haven’t, the Super Bowl might be a great way to celebrate a basic understanding and interest in the game!
Host mom Valerie from Massachusetts noticed a strong bond forming between her au pair, Tassia, and her son, Tristan. All thanks to a shared interest in sports:
“Tassia made a fast connection with Tristan through sports. They both enjoy watching soccer (we call it Brazilian football) and she’s expressed interest in learning American football with the New England Patriots which is a core family passion. My husband and I trust Tassia with our children and can feel at ease knowing they are having a great time with her during the day.”
Help them prepare a special dish
Food is a great way to embrace cultural exchange between your family and your au pair. And we know that the Super Bowl is a great time to indulge in classic American party snacks! Be sure to introduce your au pair to some of the classics, like nachos, hot dogs, hamburgers, buffalo wings, chips and dip, etc.
And if you are hosting a get-together and want to spice up your snack table, consider helping your au pair prepare a special dish from their home country! It’ll help them feel like they’re contributing to the event—and will allow your family and/or your guests to try something new!
Austrian au pair Michelle combined her host family’s Sunday tradition of watching football with a small dinner party with an au pair friend—it was a great way to blend their two cultures:
“I love when my host family tells me all about typical American things. Even just sitting on Sundays in front of the TV watching American football, they try to explain everything. It does show me that my host family really wants to show me the “American life.” One Sunday, we organized a dinner with an au pair friend of mine and her host family, where we cooked typical German/Austrian food for everyone!”
There are tons of great ways to introduce your au pair to the “American life”—and the 2020 Super Bowl is one of them! Anything you do to include them in the fun and help them learn about an American tradition will result in fun memories they’ll cherish forever.