Whether you are babysitting for your family, neighbors, or friends, it can be worthwhile and fun but sometimes a bit challenging too. Having a few games or activities up your sleeve is exciting for the kids, who often say they are tired of the ones they have at their house. I want to put out two ideas that have helped me engage the kids I am babysitting and have fun with them!
So my first idea is a little game my Grandma taught to my siblings and me. She not only plays this game with her grandchildren, but she has played it with children while on missions with my Grandpa all over the world. This game is called “Don’t Eat Pete!” It’s simple but we have yet to find a child who doesn’t really enjoy it!
What you do is grab a pencil and paper and draw a grid of 12- 20 squares out on the paper with little smiley faces in each little box (look at the picture below and this will make way more sense). Use Cheerios, M&M’s, Skittles, or any other small candy/food and lay one piece on each square.
Now that everything is set up, have one child go out of the room. While they are out of sight, decide with the other children which square will be “Pete”. Once this is decided, invite the child back in and have them eat the Cheerios off the grid slowly, one at a time. When they are about to put the Cheerio from the “Pete” square in their mouth, everyone yells “Don’t eat Pete!!” Keep playing till everyone gets a turn or two (or more!).
The second idea I have is for when you have to put the kids to bed. I don’t know about you, but sometimes the kids I babysit are so good and easy to get to bed, and other times they are not! Either way, this idea is a great one. But I must say it usually turns the kids who won’t go to bed right around! It is called the “Shoe Fairy”. This is something I loved as a child (my older cousins introduced us to it) and now find soooo helpful when the kids I babysit are getting ready to hit the sack.
Have each of the kids pick a pair of shoes to put outside of their bedroom door and tell them that if they are really good and go to bed on time then the Shoe Fairy will come and leave them a treat or prize. With little kids this is a sure way to get some obedience motivation going. Then, after they go to sleep, put some candy, stickers, pencils, (or whatever their parents say is okay) into their shoes and the next morning they will be so excited! Be sure to stash some fun treats or prizes in your purse before coming to their house.
Those are two of my favorite babysitting ideas, what are yours?