BAPAA Welcome Event Photos

Wow, 500 au pairs! That is how many au pairs attended the Sunday gone in the London BAPAA Au Pair Welcome Event. The event brought together au pairs from many different BAPAA agencies for some fun activities, socialising and above all finding new friends.

Tuuli, Smartaupairs Director was the host for the day, joined by Simge and Gianna from Smartaupairs team and other helpers from seven other BAPAA agencies.

Here are some of our snaps from the day 🙂

Bapaa welcome event vol 1 #bapaa #bapaauk #aupairinuk #aupairagency #aupairinlondon #aupairinbritain #smartaupair #smartaupairsuk

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Activities to Keep Host Kids Busy During the Holidays

Many new au pairs arrive during the summer holidays and sometimes it can be very difficult to keep kids busy!

That is why we asked our current au pairs for their best ideas on what to do – here are their activity suggestions 😊

Genevieve from Canada:

“This summer I’m planning on doing lots of trips to the playground with my boys, although during half term all they wanted to do was play Minecraft, so it was difficult to convince them to do anything else. I did find success with baking with them, and I want to attempt to make slime, and see what kind of kid friendly community activities are going on over the summer.

Pinterest is also full of great ideas!”

Anna from Germany:

“We sometimes make pizza ourselves. It keeps them busy all afternoon and they have fun decorating afterwards as well. It’s also nice to try and do a face on the pizza, instead of just putting everything on top  and who doesn’t like pizza, right ?!”

 

Milena from Germany:

 “I looked after two girls (6 and 7) and they loved all sorts of arts & crafts and also played by themselves a lot but especially in the holidays I had to entertain them sometimes. They loved baking and gardening and I did a scavenger hunt for them once. They also loved “land art”. Inside we often played games that are more for bigger groups but with their soft toys. For example, hide and seek with the toys or “isn’t it funny how a bear likes honey”. I also always “forced them” to leave the house at least once a day in the holidays. So, we went to the playground a lot.”

Luisa from Germany:

“Mine loved doing wraps as well. To the pizza: how about letting the kids decide what to put on the pizza? My little boy chose carrot and cucumber pieces (with all the regular stuff as well). Building a tent was always fun, playing and reading stories inside. Fruit salad (and chopping it together). Trips with different means of public transportation: bus, train and if the kids are older maybe bike. Egg hunt or in summer hunting sweets. Water fights. And my kids loved to do potions e.g. a flying potion, afterwards flying from the sofa ”

Linda from Germany:

“We made milkshakes, pillow fights, picnic and guess the food with closed eyes.”

Kristina from Finland:

“The kids I looked after (a boy of 7 and a girl of 5) had a lot of energy which is why we visited the park nearby regularly, usually with a football and scooters. It was also a great place to play “I spy” or let the little girl (5 years old at the time) paint my nails (one of her favourite things to do). There would also always be other kids in the park as well, which was great!
If the weather was not that great or we didn’t have time to go to the park, we’d play inside the house. The kids absolutely loved dancing to music, and sometimes they’d put on silly costumes to make it even more fun. Another one of their favourite games was animal races. Basically, I sat on the sofa coming up with animals and the kids would make impressions of those animals while racing across the room, they loved it and it was great fun for me too as the kids were so creative I also awarded them with points (according to the impression or being funny etc.) and when one of them reached 3 points, they’d get to choose the next animal. Sometimes we’d play that for ages and be tired afterwards because of laughing so hard. Another thing that the boy absolutely loved and that was great for wearing off some extra energy was what we called throw football. We had a very soft tiny football (would probably work with a teddy as well) that I’d throw towards the sofa which was the goal and the boy would play the goal keeper trying to catch the ball before it hit the sofa.
The kids also loved swimming and we had a pool near our house, which was convenient and really affordable. Bowling was another hit among the kids especially since we had to take the bus to get there.”

Thanks for sharing your ideas with us and all our au pairs who have trouble to keep their host children entertained!!

xx

Isabelle

Saturday 24th June 2017- Urban Food Fest

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Thank you to all the au pairs who got together at Urban food fest in Shoreditch! !  One of the many events organized by smartaupairs ❤ They were all so nice!

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We all gathered at Allen Gardens at 3.30 pm. We had different activities in the park to get to know one another. After spending an hour in the park we decided to go to the Urban food fest which is located in Shoreditch. The au pair had different nationalities: Dutch, German, Spanish and French. We even met someone that travelled to 5 different continents. 🙂

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When we arrived at the Food Fest, we had so many choices that we didn’t know what to eat: pizza, falafel wrap, fried chicken wrap, bubble waffle, burritos, organic food… Some cocktails were even served in jars.

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We talked all afternoon seated around a wood table,  talking about the different problems au pairs can go through during their stay, what they like about their placement, but also about cultural differences… So many different topics. Some au pairs are going back home soon – in less then one month and they were quite sad to finish their placement as becoming an au pair is such a beautiful experience.

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The good part is, all the au pairs made new friends. They discovered some common points and shared their life with each other.

We did not leave the Urban food fest until 8.00 pm showing how much fun we had just talking together.

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It was a beautiful experience to meet new people but also a beautiful culinary experience. If you have the time you should definitely go with your au pair friends, it is open every Saturday! – Or you can just join us for our next event. 🙂

Smartaupairs is always trying to get it right for families and au pairs!

Hope to see you at our next event so we can all have fun together 😀

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Blog article by Isabelle (Left) and Aurelie (Right)

Smartaupairs

Sunday 11th June 2017 : The London Colour Run

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Blog entry by Aurelie & Isabelle – the current smartaupairs interns. Photo credits go to our amazing Aussie au pairs who took some fantastic snaps during the day.

***

Hi everybody,

We completed the 2017 London Colour run last weekend. It was such a beautiful day. We had the chance to wear our colour run shirt with our Happy tattoos. 😉

We arrived at Wembley park at 1:45 to take our race pack. We received : a head band, a tattoo, and a T-shirt. Nice touch!

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At 2:30 pm we stretched and danced. Moreover, If you were lucky you could catch some fashionable colour run sunglasses and socks.  You could also buy colourful product of all sort. 😉

From 3:00 to 3:45 we walked to the starting line. Everyone was so excited to run and to get coloured. We were advancing by groups and getting to know new people in the line while listening to music.

3:45 the run begun, some people were walking and some other were running, there was no competitive spirit just fun and colours. Every kilometre you could enjoy getting splashed by colours every door making you look like a rainbow. From pink to red. We had to go through: green, pink, an unexpected foam zone , orange and finally red.

 

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We arrived at 4:45 at the finish line (yes, we are really slow). Where you could enjoy the music, and dance under the sun. We also threw all at the same time our last bag of colours in the air.

It must really have been the happiest 5K of the planet, we couldn’t see the time flying by as we were walking those 5 kilometres, it was the shortest 5 kilometres we have ever experienced.

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At the end of the event, you could receive a plastic coat to protect others in the metro from getting coloured. When we finally went back to the centre of London, the experience was still in our mind and people were staring at us not knowing the beautiful experience we had. We went home full of thought of the day, and we all shared the feeling that it was continuing as we went back home all colourful, whether it was on our shirts or in our mind.

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It was a beautiful experience to live and If I could do it again, I would do it again – as it was so much fun. 😊

If you missed the event, it is nothing to be worried about – as you can always participate to the next one!

Thank you again to the Australian Au Pairs for their pictures they are all so nice 😊 ❤

Aurelie (right) & Isabelle (left)

Smartaupairs

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Sunday 14th May 2017 : The BAPAA Au Pair River Cruise Event

Last Sunday, the annual BAPAA River Cruise event was THE place to be (for an au pair at least)  😉

Starting at 11 am, approximately 300 au pairs were present ( Thank you so much for coming!). It was a great opportunity for au pairs to meet new friends who are going through the same experience as they are. So many different nationalities were present: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Australian …

Furthermore we had the chance to see historic landmarks throughout our journey : The House of Parliament, Big Ben, London Eye, the London Bridge, … As one of the crew member was giving us crucial details about popular places around the river.

Waving at by-passers on boats and on bridges, we finally arrived at Greenwich where a lot of au pairs visited the market, went to pubs, …

We sat on the grass, talking to each other, discovering each others culture and experience. It was really nice, some exchanged their best tips on how to be a good au pair (even if their is no guide for that).

After spending the afternoon in the park, we finally went back to the boat and returned to where our journey begun. 

It was such a special day for us, we are grateful that so many au pairs came and had a great experience.

If you couldn’t come it’s okay there will always be other events!!

I hope you had a great experience during the event and hope to see you at the next BAPAA event , or simply at the next Smartaupairs event!

Smartaupairs is always trying to get it right for families and au pairs! 🙂

Best Wishes

Isabelle (left) & Aurelie (right)

Smartaupairs

Recent Smartaupairs Meetups -The Boat Race and the Oxford Trip

It’s been so busy we have not yet had the chance to post these pics, better later than never!

In April, we joined the famous Boat race Oxford against Cambridge in London. It is a typical English event where the two large universities compete.

The weather was lovely, it almost felt like summer. We were sitting in a park next to the river and watched the race either on the big screen or live.  The atmosphere was amazing! 😊 There were so many people having picnic, drinks and cheering their team.

Three weeks later we travelled to Oxford together. We joined a free walking tour, which was amazing. The guide showed us the most beautiful and famous buildings and provided us with stories of the city.

In the afternoon, we did Punting. It is a very typical activity where three people are sitting in a punting boat and one person tries to push it forward with a large stick. It is definitely more difficult than it looks 😃

We would say we’ve had two successful days 😉

Thanks to everyone who joined us! :*

Isabelle (Smartaupairs)

Our Top 5 Tips for Finding Au Pair Friends in the UK

Welcome to all au pairs who joined their host family in January! 🙂

An important part of settling in is finding friends in your area. Here are our top 5 tips on how to find friends in the UK.

  1. Join the Smartaupairs Facebook group

Our Facebook group is the perfect place to meet other au pairs in the UK. Au pairs often post here when they first arrive to say ‘hello’ and to find out who is living close to them. Plenty of au pairs are looking for friends here, whether they would like some company on a weekend trip overseas or are looking for someone to meet for coffee. Only au pairs placed through Smartaupairs are accepted into the group, so you can be sure of who you are speaking with.

  1. Use our ‘County Lists’ to find the au pairs who live closest to you

We email the relevant list(s) to au pairs upon confirmation of their placement. You can always access them through the Facebook group too, where they are regularly updated. You will be able to see the au pairs who live closest to you and make contact with them via email.

  1. Join aupairfriends.com

This is a great website, which all au pairs placed through a BAPAA agency have access to. Therefore, if you are living in a slightly more rural location with fewer au pairs around, this could be a valuable resource for you. Register using our agency password.

  1. Download the Excuses to Meet app

Excuses to Meet have recently launched this app, designed to make finding au pair friends much more convenient for you.

Again, you will need our agency password to register with the BAPAA au pairs group (please request this from our team – it does change from time to time due to security). There is also a wider au pair community which is available for all au pairs!

  1. Attend a Smartaupairs event

We regularly hold events for au pairs and you are invited to every one! These range from the big events such as an Introduction Day in September and Boat Trip on the Thames in May with other BAPAA agencies, to the smaller events, e.g. coffee mornings, a day trip to Canterbury, a picnic in one of the big London parks. Below you can see some photos from our recent events!

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