Are you an awesome babysitter? The best babysitters just don’t supervise children, they play fun games with them so the children will always want them to come back! Before you begin babysitting, consider the age and gender of the children you are babysitting. Try to think of games or activities that appeal to everyone. Here are some ideas to help you become an awesome babysitter.
#1 Scavenger Hunt
In this game, children are asked to find a list of items, this can include challenges. The first person to find the complete list of items and correctly do the challenges wins. Depending on the number of children you are babysitting as well as their ages, you can establish groups so children can work in pairs. You will want to put an older child with a younger one in order to make sure the younger one has help reading the list of items and doing the challenges.
It is important to set some rules so everyone knows what to expect.
- Set a time limit and make sure everyone knows the allotted time frame. Be sure to let everyone know where to meet once the time is up!
- Set clear boundaries. Children need to be given clear boundaries on exactly where the hunt will take place. For example, will the hunt be inside or outside. If the hunt is inside, perhaps there are specific rooms that are off-limits, for example the bathroom or utility rooms. Children must be kept safe during the hunt. Certain rooms may not be safe for younger children to be in alone. Make sure you are very clear about where the children may or may not go to find their list of items or complete their challenges.
- Another rule may be to deduct points from participants if they ask for help to find a specific item, if they find an item in a forbidden area or even if they obtain an item by taking it from another group or child. Be clear about point deductions so everyone knows what to expect. Setting a point value to certain items or challenges can keep the game interesting. Be clear about the value of each item or challenge.
- Do the participants need to find the list of items in any order? It is important to set clear expectations.
- If there are teams established, let the participants know if they are allowed splitting up to find items or if they need to stay together during the entire hunt.
- Let the children know whether they should be collecting the items or if they should just leave the items where they are found and write down their location.
- Be specific what could disqualify them from the game. For example if they steal another item from an opposing team or if they remove hidden items.
- Establish clear rules before the game begins and have fun!
#3 The Guessing Bag
Place a series of objects of different shapes in a large bag. The children take their turn to feel the bag without looking and try to identify an object. They each have the right to ask two questions. If they don’t find it, they skip their turn. The person who successfully identifies the object will earn a point.
#3 Build a fort or tent
This can be done inside or outside if the weather permits. First you will want to involve the children in deciding what safe materials can be used to build the fort or the tent. This allows children to be creative and encourages team building skills as they learn to work together to come up with a safe sturdy fort to call their own. You can build the fort by using spare linen sheets, boxes, pillows and blankets. Children will enjoy reading a book, playing a game of “Simon Says” or “Would you rather” in their fort or tent. Be sure to clean up the mess before the parents get back.
#4 Build an obstacle course
Children love to do obstacle courses. Get creative and use non-breakable items such as pillows, boxes, chairs and pool noodles. Here are some ideas:
- Walk on a balance board
- Do a ring toss
- Throw a bean bag into a laundry basket
- Jump into and out of a hula-hoop a few times
- Crawl under a row of chairs
- Crawl under a pool noodle between two chair legs
- Run while balancing a toy on your head
#5 Making Fun Animal sounds
Making fun animal sounds will increase the children’s creativity and is a sure way to have lots of laughs! Awesome babysitters know just how to do this by playing this game!
- Draw a picture of an animal on a small piece of paper
- Fold the paper in half and put it in a jar or bowl
- Gently shake the jar or bowl and have each child have their turn picking one
- The child must make the sound of the animal while the others try to guess.
- You can increase the level of difficulty according to the age of the children you are babysitting
Who doesn’t love telling stories? A great way to engage children is to have them make up their own story and act it out. Here are some tips:
- Pretend you are part of a large audience
- Create a small stage, turn on some lights where the person will be performing and keep the audience in the dark or with low lighting.
- Encourage the children to dress up for the part and use props.
- If a child is too shy to do so, perhaps join them in a storytelling show so they feel more comfortable.
#7 Musical Drawing
Have the children sit in a circle. Give a child a piece of paper and some pencils. Play music while the first child draws. When you stop the music, the child passes the sheet to the next child. Continue until the end of the drawing. It will be very funny to see the completed drawing.
Important safety tips:
If the parents have a swimming pool, you should never use it while babysitting. Children must be supervised by a responsible adult at all times while using the pool. On a hot summer day, another alternative would be to use a water sprinkler and have children run through it to keep cool.
Never operate ATV’s or snowmobile’s while babysitting. These vehicles can be very dangerous. Children require to be accompanied by an experienced adult. Babysitting is a big responsibility and you must be prepared.
For more information about becoming an awesome certified babysitter, click here.