Hiring a babysitter for a school-age child is often met with some anxiety on both sides unless there are activities planned. The child wonders if the babysitter will make him eat his broccoli and the babysitter hopes against hope that the child is more spunky than sulky. What resources do you have to combat this situation?
Activities to do with kids appropriate for their age:
Ask their parents to pick the game, toy, or computer games they like playing the LEAST. You won’t have the disadvantage of repeatedly being asked to engage in a certain activity and the child will be happy an adult is taking interest in their neglected game or toy.
Have the child make his birthday list (or holiday list if it’s coming up). This is usually a huge hit. Take a plain old piece of paper and have the child write or draw their ultimate wish list. You can even use those umpteen catalogs that come in the mail for inspiration and/or art supplies — cut out what they want and paste on list. Voila!
Paper crafts for kids are among the most popular. If you are not super talented in this area (join the club), get online and look up some free kids crafts on Pinterest. Use the calendar for inspiration. Valentine’s Day? Make paper hearts from coffee filters! Columbus Day? Make a native American headdress from construction paper!
Easy games for kids involving hiding things. Hide a few objects around the house or in the yard and send them hunting. Give them a bag or basket and they’ll be even happier. For older children, make a treasure map. A meticulously-detailed map with clues along the way (akin to a scavenger hunt) will engage them for a while. Perhaps the winner gets to pick the bedtime story or an extra marshmallow in his hot cocoa.