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Babysitters Club!

So a friend of mine has asked me to babysit for a few hours a week while her and a friend have bookclub and school board meetings. There will be three kids between 4 - 7, two girls and a boy. I've looked after a 1 year old before but that was different because she couldn't talk and she was too young to want any activity further than playing with a ball. I'm a little bit nervous that the kids won't like me! Has anyone here babysat before and can offer me some advice on what to do? Did you have any favourite activities that you can remember from that age? Help, I need the babysitters club!

Re: Babysitters Club!

Awww. I love small children. I volunteer on holiday camps for kids from difficult backgrounds and generally the camp I go on is for 6-10 year olds. I also have 3 young second cousins (all under 5).

I would really recommend anything that they can express themselves - colouring in, jewellery making, make believe. My young cousins also love playing with games on their Pa's iPad (it's a special treat for them and the games are actually quite educational). You could try cooking (my cousins LOVE cooking too - pikelets and cupcakes are a good choice). Board games (my cousins are getting into them at the moment) - Guess Who is a good choice.

Hmm, I can't think of anything else at the moment but I will pop back in with more suggestions later... Don't forget there is always Disney movies to save you! Smiley Tongue

Re: Babysitters Club!

Aww this soudns like an amazing oppourtunity! Goo Elle!

MM has given some good suggestions which I deffinately recommend you try.

Do the kids have a special routine they do during the times you'll be babysitting them? If so you'll probably need to keep to that schedule. Of not, it's a good idea to get to know their interests and hobbies, that way you'll be able to taylor the other nights around them. And also trying something new is a good idea and experience for them.

As part of my TAFE course I help run a playgroup and we have kids from 0 to about 6. I think our oldest is about 5?
We've made playdough and they love it, and it's really simple to make, they can even make it!
- 1 cup of flour
- about 1 cup salt
- food dye of whatever colour, or water colour paint does the job too - as I found out Smiley Tongue
If you use that and add more of less depending on how much you want to make it'll go down really well, if you want more colours, make the dough and then add the colour afterwards - which is what I do, because the way it swirls around in the dough looks saaa cool Smiley Very Happy

Maybe you could take them for a walk? Or a trip to a nearby park? Play soccer or hide and seek? [now who doesn't love an epic game of hide and seek??] You could even just pass a ball around between them, if you make it interesting and praise their achievements and make it exciting they'll love it. If you have a hula hope you can put it on hte end of the clothes line and get them to throw the ball through the hope to each other, I loved doing that as a child, it entertained me for so long - I have no idea haha.

The number one thing is to be yourself, try to make things intersting and look at things from their point of veiw, when talking to them get down to their level, that way you wont come across as overpowering or anything.

Hope this helps. SOrry if I rammbled on, my TAFe teacher's words are shinning through there at the end haha. Good Luck, I'd love to hear how it goes. Smiley Happy

Remember you're amazing just as you are Heart

Re: Babysitters Club!

Oooh excellent suggestions! Hide and seek could kill at least an hour!

 

I decorate cookies as a hobby so I was thinking of baking some gingerbread men and filling up my decorating bottles with different coloured icing so they can go nuts. Would that be a good idea? Also maybe cutting potatoes with different designs, dipping them in paint and stamping butchers paper to make unique wrapping paper. Although that relies on me finding paint and butchers paper, but I remember how much I loved doing that as a kid.

 

What do you do when they misbehave?

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Re: Babysitters Club!

I don't have much in the way of suggestions of what to do, I used to love make-believe games from dressing up as a princess to turning the lounge-room into a tent
I was easy though in the way that I was happy to just watch movies/tv.

Also, anything that felt like I was being treated as though I was older or let in on something special. Like with your cookie decorating, if you let me know how important it was for you/how much you loved it I'd have treasured it more as I'd have thought you were trusting me with it. Seriously, I used to watch a movie with one of my brothers friends which was her favourite movie that her dad brought her, just because of the story I instantly enjoyed it more and wanted to enjoy it.

Just an add on to what Bee mentioned about being on the kids level, make sure you're happy and enthusiastic. If they feel like you're not really in to it, they won't want to be into what you're suggesting.

For when they misbehave the parents probably have a punishment/discipline plan/system which I think you should ask them about as it's best to keep it consistent.
Like Bee said, if you need to tell them to stop with their behaviour be on their level and don't get angry. Be stern but not angry.

Re: Babysitters Club!

Hey ellebelle, I baby sit my friends kids from time to time and they love cooking !from dinner to cakes they love it . The like making a mess and then helping to clean it up with heaps of bubbles in the sink. Also it's educational as they learn about measuring and fine motor skills.

They also like to colour in , and its easy to print off colour in pages off the Internet you just need to fine out what the like ie cars, nemo, princesses ect
I hope this helps and have fun!
JJR

Re: Babysitters Club!

Best technique I have for when kids misbehave is to distract them - most kids misbehave because they are bored so finding distractions is a good way to stop bad behaviour. But also maybe make it clear that their behaviour is upsetting you and you want to have fun with them but you can't if you are upset. And then find something fun and positive to do together. If behaviour does get out of hand though, I am a fan of time out - but explain to them why they are in time out and make sure they understand. It's important that once their time out is up, that you go back to being positive and having fun. Ultimately though, what you do when they misbehave should be up to the parents - ask them how they normally deal with bad behaviour. Smiley Happy It's best to be consistent. Smiley Happy

Positive encouragement works wonders too - so instead of punishing kids for bad behaviour, praise them for good behaviour so then they know that good behaviour gets them praise. I also like using rewards - stickers are great. It's especially great if there are chores that they need to do - like brushing their teeth before bed.