Babysitting in the Summertime
Getting a babysitting job during the summer is a great way to earn extra cash, and pad your resume at the same time. But looking after kids all day every day can present unique challenges. Especially on rainy days. Rather than overuse electronics, here are a list of activities that stimulate young brains, and provide an outlet for their energy. If your charges are tired and happy after a day with you, their primary caregivers will be grateful!
- Paint with no paint. A bucket of water and paint brushes are all you need for this activity. Let the kids “paint” the deck, the driveway, anything at all with the water. On a hot sunny day the artwork will evaporate quickly, leaving a blank canvas for new creations. And spills are safe!
- Tag: There are so many variations of tag to play with kids. This camping website (http://www.ultimatecampresource.com/site/camp-activities/tag-games.page-1.html) has the most comprehensive list. My favourite is Toilet Tag.
“When someone is tagged, they must squat down to form the “toilet” and hold one hand out to the side, like the “handle”. To get back into the game, someone must “flush” the frozen person and make a loud “Woooooosh” sound.”- http://www.ultimatecampresource.com/site/camp-activity/toilet-tag.html
- Clothesline art show: Simply hang the kid’s art from clotheslines, make invitations for their family and friends to come to the art show. Pick a time and make it a big event. This would be fun as one last hurrah before school starts again.
Rainy Day Activities:
- For little hands, find a colander and colourful straws. Let them simply put the straws in the holes of the colander. This works on their fine motor skills, and makes a really cool hedgehog thing.
- Build a “fort” with dining room chairs, couch cushions, blankets and pillows. Allow them to populate it with favourite stuffed animals, and use it as a reading nook. For good behaviour, allow a camping style picnic in their fort. If the storm just won’t pass, name the fort, make a sign and a flag. Decorate with paper chains. Just make sure to clean up before the end of the day.
When in doubt, remember children have endless imagination. Allow them to guide the play from time to time. Set guidelines like “no electronics” or “stay in the backyard” or even “no talking” or “walk backwards” and see what kinds of games they can make up. I guarantee you will be surprised and they will have a ton of fun! Never forget the internet is a vast source of inspiration for kid’s games. Look for Girl Guides or Scouts sites or camping websites for ideas. Have fun and stay safe!