Any teenager who has ever babysat children (other than small infants who still sleep quite a bit) will tell you that no matter how well-behaved a child is, he or she may still want the babysitter to provide a break in the routine.
If you have a few ideas handy, this can be done with no problem.
1. Play age and content appropriate video games (with the parents' permission).
Play games that require two or more players, such as AssaultCube.
2. Arts and crafts
Ask the parents if you can bring a few simple craft supplies, such as paper plates, glue, safety scissors, stickers, yarn, old magazines for cutting out pictures, and other things. This can keep kids entertained for hours.
3. Play indoor games that require movement.
Old favorites like hide-and-seek, "Mother May" and follow-the-leader are always fun. Working parents may often be too tired to do this, so it will be a real treat for the kids.
4. Play age appropriate board or card games
If there is a fairly wide gap in children's ages, play with the younger ones first, then when they are in bed, or engaged in another activity, play with the older ones.
5. For older children, a "Circle story" game may be enjoyable.
In a "Circle story" someone starts with, "Once upon a time...", and then someone else adds to it and so on until the story is complete.
6. For younger children simple games may be fun.
These are such simple matching games as color to color, object to object, etc., and imitation games: touch your nose when I touch mine, make this face, move in this manner, and so on. If you only have one child, he or she will enjoy the one-on-one attention, but two or more will still be able to participate and have fun.
7. Read to them or listen to them read
Select age appropriate books. Parents will really appreciate this, especially if the child seems more eager to read for or with the babysitter.
8. Go on a nature walk, weather and age permitting
Give kids a list of things to look for and collect if they like, such as flowers, pine cones, sticks, leaves for younger children, and unusual rocks or different types of plants for older children. Make sure you are aware of what the poisonous ones (ivy, oak, and sumac) look like, and continually caution younger children not to put things in their mouths.
9. Put on an art show
Pass out crayons, colored pencils, and blank paper. Let the kids get creative, then display them and let them explain what they've drawn.
10. Cook or make a simple snack
Again if children are old enough and parents give permission. Make something simple such as no-bake chocolate/oatmeal cookies or even instant pudding. Even small ones can get in on activities if no-cook ones are chosen.
Thinking up new and interesting things for children to do will not only help them, but will help make the experience more enjoyable for you. You won't be bored, and neither will the kids.
Jessy is a new mom and family writer for Dobovo, the free tool to pick Kiev apartments for a family journey to Ukraine.
Images Credit: Eli Duke.
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