Find a Babysitter Games
Every experienced babysitter has a few good games up her sleeve to play with the children in her care, but those who don’t – and even those who do – generally appreciate some suggested activities to do with the kids.
Playing age-appropriate games provides an opportunity for the sitter and kids to connect and bond, and serves as an alternative to less desirable activities, like watching television or surfing the net. For sitters and children who are spending time together for the first time, games can serve as ice breakers and provide a fun way for them to get to know each other.
While board games can be fun for older children, verbal games and hands-on activities can be easily adapted for most any age and there is no pressure to keep playing until the finish.
For many parents, leaving a binder full of emergency contact information, house rules, the children’s schedules and meal and snack ideas allows the parents to keep lots of important information in one easy place. Adding a sheet on games and activities to the binder would be a suitable addition.
Since some families make up their own games or variations of popular ones, including the rules your child is familiar playing by can also help to prevent unnecessary tears and frustration. If you wish your sitter to play games with the kids, be sure to show her where they’re kept, in addition to providing your family’s version of the rules.
10 Games for Babysitters to Play with Kids
Babysitters often have children in their care for hours on end. Even if the kids have homework and babysitters have to prepare meals, there may still be downtime. Filling this time with games is a great way for babysitters to bond with kids while keeping them physically and mentally active.
- ABC Game: One of the children should choose a category, such as animals or food. Starting with one of the children, each participant has to choose something from that category that starts with their letter, continuing in a circle until they get through the entire alphabet.
- Toy City: When the weather is nice, have young children go out in the driveway and draw parking lots, buildings and forests with sidewalk chalk. Then, have them populate the city they drew with dolls, action figures, toy cars, etc.
- Sack Races: Have each child use an old pillowcase approved for use by the parents or provided by the babysitter. Have them place their legs in the pillowcases and hop to a predetermined finish line.
- Hide and Seek: This classic game involves one participant seeking the others while they hide. Hide and seek can be played indoors or outdoors, but children should be given strict rules for hiding places and a code word that means you must come out.
- Taste Testing: Make a variety of snacks that are safe for the children and blindfold them. Feed them one bite each of different foods and have them guess what they are eating.
- Fort Complex: Stretch out sheets and then tuck the corners and edges into furniture to create makeshift roofs and walls for forts. Also use cardboard boxes to make miniature rooms, if available.
- One Sentence Story: Start a story with a single sentence. Let the children add sentences in turn until you have an entire story.
- Put on a Play: Have the kids dress up in any way they want. In a large, clear area, let them put on an improv play using various props and their costumes as guides.
- Simon Says: Simon Says involves one person telling the other group to move in a certain way, such as standing on one foot, but they should only obey if that person says, “Simon Says” before commanding the action. “Simon” eliminates players who mess up the actions or completes them when he or she does not say, “Simon Says.”
- Tag: Tag is a game of chase where one player — the person who is “It” — has to catch and tag one of the other players to make that player “It.” That player then must chase the other players.
Which games a babysitter chooses to play will always depend on the age group of the children. It is best to choose games that are within their physical and mental abilities, but not so easy that they are bored. Allow their reactions to playtime be the guide in choosing age-appropriate games.
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