How to Play With Kids While Babysitting
Entertaining kids can be really fun, but also requires a lot of energy and creativity. If you're taking care of somebody else's kids and don't know their interests, it can be challenging to come up with things to do. When it comes to playing with kids that you’re babysitting, there are an endless number of possibilities, including things to do inside, outside, and away from home.
Play a board game.Board games are often both fun and educational. Pick one out that you think will be best for the ages of the kids and the number of players. Some great board games include:
- Twister: encourages athleticism and exercise, and is easy for any grade school child to understand.
- Chess: teaches strategy and is intellectually stimulating, but can be taught to kids as young as 10 years old.
- Scrabble: great for improving middle school kids’ spelling abilities. Add in a definition element to the game to also strengthen their vocabulary skills.
- Clue: Combines fun and problem solving for children ages 9 and older.
Play a card game.While there are a lot of card games that are too complicated for kids to understand, there are many simple ones that can be fun and help pass the time. Card games like UNO, War, and Go Fish are simple enough for most kids to pick up and enjoy.
Do arts and crafts.Arts and crafts are great because they inspire creativity. The possibilities are nearly endless if you just have some basic supplies, such as crayons, markers, colored pencils, paints, colored paper, safety scissors, and glue. Some arts and crafts activities you can do include:
- Making bracelets with colorful string.
- Coloring in a coloring book.
- Fingerpainting with vanilla yogurt (dyed with food coloring).
- Sculpting with playdough.
Decorate cupcakes or cookies.Another way to entertain kids is by letting them help out in the kitchen. Bake some cookies or cupcakes and get out some pretty sprinkles and colorful frosting. Let them tap into their creativity as they decorate the baked goods.
- Get the kids involved in the clean-up process as well. Make it fun by putting on some music or even singing a clean-up song with younger kids.
- Older kids may even be able to help you cook a meal.
Do a puzzle together.Puzzles are typically time consuming and stimulating, so it’ll keep the kids occupied for a while. Try this activity with some relaxing music before bed to get them into a calm mood.
Have a dance party.A lot of kids have a great time dancing. As an added bonus, this is another activity that encourages exercise, creativity, and originality. Make a playlist of some appropriate songs that kids love and just press play.
Play charades.This is a great activity that doesn’t require any equipment or preparation.Have the kids write down different universally known words or phrases on pieces of paper, fold them up, and put them into a bowl. One at a time, have them take out a piece of paper and then pantomime the word or phrase for everyone else. The person who guesses correctly first gets to go next.
Play hide-and-seek.Hide and seek involves a lot of mobility and imagination.Have one kid count to 20 or 30 out loud while the others hide somewhere inside the house. After the child is done counting, they search the house for the others. Once the child finds another child, the one whose hiding place was found counts next.
- Sardines is a fun game that’s a twist on hide-and-seek. In this game, one person hides and everyone else counts. Then, everyone looks for the hider and hides with them once they find them. The last kid to find everyone hiding is the next hider.
Play Wii games.Kids often love video games, and playing them on a wii is great because they usually require a lot of movement while other consoles don’t. Some crowd favorites are Mario Kart and Just Dance.
Build a pillow or sheet fort.Grab some chairs from the kitchen, take some linens out of the closet, and have the kids help you create an awesome fort in the living room. This will take some time and ingenuity. After it’s done, have the kids gather inside the fort and watch a movie with them or read them a book out loud.
Play dress up.Kids usually like to act like someone they aren’t, such as a cowboy or a princess. If the kids have dress up clothes, have them go dress up as whatever they want and then ask them to do a skit or a fashion show for you.
- If you don’t have dress up clothes on hand, give them a few rolls of toilet paper and have them make cool outfits from just the paper.
Play a sport.Many kids have a sport or two that they really love playing. A two on two basketball game in the driveway or soccer game in the backyard can entertain the kids for quite a while and also tire them out.
- If you’re only babysitting one child, you can still kick the soccer ball back and forth or play catch with them.
- Make sure that you only allow the kids to play sports that are safe and approved by the parents.
Engage in a game of tag.Tag is a simple game that most ages can play and have a good time with. It’ll also exercise the kids.
- Create boundaries to ensure safety if you need to. You don’t want the kids running in the street or in the neighbor's yard.
Play duck-duck-goose.Have the children sit in a circle in the front yard. One child will walk around the outside of the circle while patting kids’ heads and saying “duck.” When the child pats another’s head and says “goose,” that person stands up and chases them around the circle. If the child who tapped the other’s head beats them back to their seat, then the other child now walks around the circle. Otherwise, the original kid walks around the circle tapping heads again.
- This is a more contained way of having the kids exert their energy.
Get creative with chalk.Give the kids a bunch of chalk and let them go crazy on the driveway. If they feel more inclined to doodle, then they’ll have to think creatively. If they want to make a hop scotch path, then they’ll need both creativity and athleticism. Either way, it’s a great activity.
Have a potato sack race.Give each child a potato sack and line them up in the yard for a race. Stand at the finish line so that you can tell them when to start and determine the winner.
- Make sure to only do this in the grass so that the kids won’t get hurt.
Have a three-legged race.This activity encourages teamwork and cooperation by requiring that the kids work together in pairs. Use a soft, thick material, such as t-shirt strips, to tie one child’s right leg to another’s left. Stand at the finish line so that you can tell them when to start and determine the winner.
- To prevent any injuries, keep this activity on the lawn.
Do the limbo.Get a piece of dowel or any light pole-like object that you can find, such as a broom. Hold one end and have a kid hold the other end. Tell the kids to line up and play some music while each child bends over backwards to try to travel underneath the pole.
- Once every kid has gone under, lower the pole some.
- Once every kid but one has hit the pole when trying to go underneath it, announce the winner.
Play Simon Says.Simon Says is a great game to play to get kids to improve their active listening skills. You can be as creative as you want with this. A kid is “out” if you tell them to do something without saying “Simon says...” but they do it anyway.
Play red light, green light.Red light, green light is similar to Simon Says, but is more simple, straightforward, and easy. Have the kids line up on one side of the yard and go to the other side. Alternate saying “red light” and “green light” until a child reaches you and wins.
- When you say “green light,” the kids can run towards you. When you say “red light,” everyone has to stop moving.
Leaving the Home
Take the kids to a park or playground.If the weather is nice, take the kids to a nearby park or playground so they can run around and play in a fun, different environment.
Go see a kids movie.The movie theater is an exciting treat for most kids. Check to see if there’s a good kids movie out and then take the children to catch a matinee.
- You can either pay for the tickets yourself or politely ask the children’s parents if they’d be willing to pay for the tickets.
Take the kids to a farm.If you’re in the country, consider taking the children to visit a nearby farm. At a farm, kids can learn all about animals that they may have never seen before, and can be exposed to a lifestyle much different than their own.
Check out the local library.The library is a hit with children who love to read. While many kids like to read their own books, the library has a bunch of interesting new books that the kids most likely haven’t read. As a bonus, reading new books will challenge them intellectually.
Go swimming.If it’s hot outside and there’s a pool in the neighborhood or a public one somewhere in the community, get the kids changed and go for a swim. If you’re near the beach, consider taking the kids to enjoy the sand and sunshine.
- Make sure to check with the parents first before doing this. The kids may not know how to swim or they may need floaties if they’re still learning.
- Remember to bring sunscreen, towels, snacks, and sand or water toys to keep the children safe, comfortable, and entertained.
Go bowling.Head to the local bowling alley with the kids, especially if they’re a little older. Kids usually have a great time bowling, and it’s an activity that will help them improve their eye-hand coordination.
- If they’re getting a lot of gutter balls, ask an employee to put up the bumpers so that the kids don’t feel discouraged.
- Don’t forget to bring socks for everyone.
Visit a museum.There are so many different kinds of museums, and each one provides a major learning opportunity for children. Take the kids to a museum that aligns with their interests, whether that means an art museum or a natural history museum.
- Talk with the children about what they will see in the museum before you get there. You can also create a scavenger hunt throughout the museum or have the kids draw pictures of what they saw.
- There are also museums that are specifically for kids. These are the best option because they’re more interactive and are structured to hold the interest of children.
QuestionWhat do I do after the kids go to bed?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMake sure to bring a book so you can read. Cleaning the house also makes the parents want to rehire you. If the parents say you can watch TV, you can go ahead and watch it, just make sure it is very quiet. Also make sure to check on the kids. It isn't a good idea to go into their rooms, just listen outside the door to see if they are crying, or talking to themselves.Thanks!
QuestionIf the children aren't cooperating or have trouble learning the game, what should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSwitch to a simpler activity like drawing or tag, ask the children what they want to do, or speak firmly to get their attention if necessary.Thanks!
QuestionHow many kids should I start with?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou should start with just one child. When you are comfortable with one and know how to handle things, you can go to two.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if the child doesn't have a lot of toys and I didn't bring any? Won't they get bored?Top AnswererMany kids aren't that picky about toys. If you're doing this long term, paying a visit to something like Value Village can result in old standbys that are hits for the kids. They should be cheap enough that any taken or broken won't be a financial loss for you. You'll still have to double check that nothing bought has easily swallowed parts.Thanks!
QuestionWhat are some crafts for kids under 10?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSome ideas are legos, board games, masks, building a log house, building a fort, playing telephone, and having a dance party.Thanks!
QuestionWhat games can I play with a 3-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerKids of all ages enjoy things like tag, hide and go seek, drawing, and basic board games. Try some of these.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if the kid isn't much younger than you?Top AnswererTreat the kid as a co-babysitter, given some say in what happens. However, you are always in charge.Thanks!
QuestionAre there any other games to play with kids?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes! Use your imagination and make up a game the kids would like.Thanks!
- Do what the child wants to do and make it exciting for them, but make sure you are teaching them to clean up as you go along. If the child wants to do something inappropriate or something the parents don't want them doing, distract them with a different fun activity.
- Try to have fun with the children. Chances are, if you have fun, they'll have fun too!
- Be patient with the children. Younger kids tend to become squirmy, so always have something new to do.
- Before you take the kids outside, speak to their parents about the outdoor activities you have planned.
- Watch out for small objects/toys that young children may be able to swallow.
- Always make sure it’s okay with the parents before you take the kids to do an activity away from the home.
- Keep permanent markers away from all children, as the strong smell may be toxic or irritating. They can also stain clothing, furniture, and other items.
- Beforehand, ask the parents about their policies on disciplining and playing with the kids. Some parents have set rules for punishments such as the length of time of timeouts or what types of punishments (time outs, taking away privileges) you should use.
- Neverleave the children you're babysitting unattended.
Video: Things To Do When Babysitting // DIY Projects! // For Kids Of All Ages!
How to Meet the Parents
The Boston Marathon and the Healing Power of Exercise
’70s Hairstyles: 10 Ways To Master The Fringe This Summer
SpringSummer Office Wear Part 2: Smart-CasualCreative
How to Let Go of Financial Regrets
Sexture is THE hair trend we’ll be wearing all summer
Moschino Uomo SpringSummer 2015
The choice for states
20 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Dry Mouth
Chefs Favorite Cheap Restaurant Eats
OPI OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener, Matte
Refine Method: We Did It
MAC Fantasy of Flowers Spring 2014 Makeup Collection
How to DIY an Entirely New Wardrobe When You Have Zero Craft Skills