Babysitting is a part-time job many teenagers would take up to make some quick extra money. There are times when even older people, like a friend of yours would baby-sit in times of emergency. When you baby-sit, you have to plan out a few activities to keep the children engaged. These babysitting activities have to be planned according to the age group of the babies. Dancing, singing, and reading out aloud from a storybook are some that are common to all age groups.
Points to Remember
For a Toddler
- Activities should be planned keeping in mind the number of children you have to baby-sit.
- If you have to baby-sit for only one baby, then the indoor/outdoor activities are limited.
- If the baby is a toddler, then there are very few things a baby-sitter can do.
A toddler loves to draw on the walls or on anything that is within their reach. Give them a few fat color crayons and some waste papers. You can ask them to draw anything that holds their fantasy. Allow them to let their imagination run wild. For waste paper, you can cut open the large grocery paper bags. To prevent the paper bag from moving away, you can stick it to the floor using a paper tape.
For Kids of Ages Three and Above
There are many activities to keep for a three-year-old babies engaged.
Guess the Object
- If you have to baby-sit on a wet day, then you can try out this activity. This activity is called "Guessing The Object".
- In a grocery bag, put some objects that have a distinctive feel and shape. For instance, you can use objects such as a ball, cubes, spoon, toys, and so on.
- Let the child/children take turn in feeling the object and guess what is in the bag. You can allow the children to take turns in putting the object inside the bag and let the others guess.
For Kids of Ages Four and Above
- Another activity that can be played by children all age groups is making faces.
- You can ask the child to face the mirror and make silly faces at themselves.
- You can ask them to make a face as if they are happy, sad, angry, or afraid about something.
- If there are more babies, then you can hold a contest.
Kids of this age are generally smarter and very inquisitive, they would love to explore their interests and try out different things.
Organize a treasure hunt. Hide away an object somewhere in the house and leave interesting, related clues all over. Ask the kids to follow the clues and find the object. Reward the winner with a chocolate bar or cookies. Remember, this game can be interesting only if there are two or more kids.
Hide and Seek
It is one of the most favorite ones for kids. Ask the kids to hide themselves and offer to take the position of looking for them. You will get so caught up in the game, you won't even realize how time passes.
A Lovely Walk
If the day is bright, take them for a walk. Talk to them about their school, friends, games, dreams, etc. Children of this age require lots of love and attention. They will love to speak to you and have an attentive listener. You can also take them out to the park and allow them to use the baby swings and slides. When the sun sets, you can get them back home. Make sure you take their parent's permission before taking them out.
Kids of this age will love to rack their brains and impress others. Give them a puzzle to solve. Or, better still, help them solve a puzzle. They will not only be happy, but you can help form a camaraderie so that the next time you are called to babysit them, they recognize you and you have fun together.
Art and Crafts
If it happens to be a rainy day, you can help them make fun crafts with materials that are usually found at home. Encourage them to make simple crafts with recycled material and also tell them to use the same. Also, you can give them drawing books and ask them to color the drawings. Or, may be you could give them a paper, drawing materials, and ask them to draw something they wish. You could also read out stories. These activities increase the thinking capability of the child as well.
Planning various babysitting activities while considering the age group and the interests of a baby is essential. However, ensure that you have permission of the parents to do the same. It is always wise to discuss the activities with the mother of the baby before starting off.