Best Fun and Unique Ideas for Babysitting
Fun babysitting ideas can be the babysitter's best friend. They keep the kids entertained and the babysitter prepared, unstressed, and feeling in control of the situation.
Interactive games and songs are a huge asset. They help the kids feel like the babysitter enjoys babysitting and wants to be with them. After the babysitting safety groundwork is laid, and any babysitting activities have been cleared with the parents, it's time for some fun.
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Basic - Fun Babysitting Ideas Kit
One great preparation idea is for the sitter to put together a personal fun babysitting idea kit or bag. This is a bag that's stocked and brought along on all jobs.
There may be interchangable items depending on the ages of the children who will watched, but many of the items can have multiple uses for all ages.
It is important, however, for the sitter to review the contents of the bag when preparing for each job.
The safety of the children is the most important part of the job and the supplies in a fun ideas kit should reflect what is appropriate for their age.
Here are some examples about what could be included in a fun babysitting ideas bag:
- Age appropriate games. Games can provide a structured play time option without requiring a whole lot of creativity from either the sitter or the children. And children usually love them! Games that are smaller in scale work best when it comes to lugging everything around. For example, a Go Fish or Old Maid deck of cards is easy to transporting and can provide a lot of fun time.
- Age appropriate toys. There are many simple toys that can be adapted for a variety of ages. These include balls (which can be rolled with a toddler or kicked outside with a 6-year old), puppets, play cars, and building blocks or Legos.
- Songs. Kids love to sing...sometimes the same songs over and over. These don't need to be new songs. In fact, the kid standards might be the best because there's no teaching required. Examples: London Bridge is Falling Down, Ring Around the Rosie, and Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round are all great starters.
- Pom-pom balls. These can be used in educational games for all ages or to draw pictures or make mazes on the floor. Educational games can include putting like colors together, sorting by size, counting games and adding and subtracting. Using them for floor art is more lively creative activity that doens't require much clean-up. They can also be incorporated into kids crafts activities.
- Books. Ppop-up books or other books that are interactive such as those with textures are a good choice. These are more unusual so that kids will be more interested in them. For babysitting at night when the sitter is putting a child to bed, special bedtime books are also a good idea.
- Craft items. In addition to the pom-pom balls mentioned above, there are many other basic items that are very versatile. These include popsicle sticks, crayons, washable markers, colored paper, and stickers (for both boys and girls). Simple craft projects are usually popular with both the kids and the parents.
Additional Fun Babysitting Ideas
After the basics are mastered and the fun babysitting ideas kit is all stocked up, it's time to consider some additional babysitting items and activities that can help provide an element of surprise for the children. These can also work as good back up resources in situations where the standard material just doesn't seem to be working.
- Classic kid movies. Kids usually have their own DVD libraries, but those are often stocked with newer movies. Classic or slightly unusual movies are not as likely to be at everyone's house. These may even be 30 minute videos instead of full-length films, and can frequently be found at discount, grocery, and drug stores as well as garage sales.
- Snacks. Pre-packaged fruit snacks or cookies that appear out of the sitter's bag like magic are always big hits! Microwave popcorn to enjoy with movies can also be a good option. (Of course, it's essential to that the babysitter check with the parents ahead of time to ensure there are no food allergies or other issues).
- Scrapbooking supplies. These supplies are usually more creative than the basic supplies noted above in the crafts for kids. And that means that they can be more expensive. These are best acquired from clearance sales or leftovers from personal projects. Kids aren't picky about new art supplies, so it's not necessary to have matched sets or page layouts. These supplies can include shaped holepunches, craft scissors with different cutting edges, stickers and stamps. This option is even better if there are family pictures that the kids can use, but that isn't a requirement.
- Homemade play dough. It doesn't have to be homemade, but that option is cheaper. Plus it allows for more color options than what may be available for purchase at at a store. If the kids are old enough, they can even help make it. Some cookie cutters can also be included for even more fun.
Unique Babysitting Ideas
Whatever makes the babysitter a special and unique individual can (and should!) be incorporated into a personal list of fun babysitting ideas. Every sitter will have their own experiences, interests, and list of the best things they can offer to the kids they watch.
Here are some examples:
- Fun Songs? Are there any special interests or background in fun songs that were learned at camp? Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts usually have a long list of funny songs that not everyone knows. And many of them have hand motions that make the song interactive.
- Experience with Origami or Calligraphy? These are unique skills that can not only entertain kids, but also leave them with a special keepsake.
- Love of Dancing? Anything that gets kids moving is usually entertaining (and appreciated by the parents). A fun dance CD can be used as entertainment or even to help motivate everyone when it's time to clean up. Many recent kids' movies have soundtracks that are great for this.
- Storytelling? As much as kids like books, they also like fun stories - especially if they can be part of the action. Stories can be made up on the spot and the kids allowed to take turns adding parts.
- IMAGINATION! Nothing can top the things that the sitter can come up with based on what they know about the kids and what they like or enjoy.
The important thing is for the babysitter to keep building that list and keep that bag full of babysitting activities. Both will probably increase over time. Remember that the best fun babysitting ideas come from experience.