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100 Awesome Babysitting Games & Ideas for Your Toolkit

Being a good babysitter entails more than simply showing up on time and sitting on the couch for a few hours. The best sitters take time to prepare age-appropriate activities for the children that they are sitting. A fun, engaging babysitter is sure to receive great references and more business.Any babysitter can keep a few of these 100 babysitting game ideas at hand to keep kids happy and safe.

10 Board Games That Kids Love to Play and What They Learn From Them

Board games are an old standby that every sitter should have at hand. The perfect board games for kids combine fun and education.

  • Sitters that are caring for preschoolers can bring along a copy of Feed the Kitty. The aim of the game is for players to keep their mice out of the cat’s bowl. The entire game lasts only about 15 minutes, so even small children with short attention spans will enjoy playing.
  • Scrabble is an educational game that can help a middle school student work on spelling skills. Add some educational value to the game by asking children to define the word that they put down on the board.
  • Chess has always been touted as a game for intellectuals, and even children as young as 10 can learn to play the game. As a game of skill and strategy, chess has plenty to teach kids.
  • Middle school children can learn about managing money, being a businessperson and how real estate works through the classic board game Monopoly.
  • Clue gives kids a chance to practice their problem-solving skills while having fun. The game is best suited for children that are at least nine years of age.
  • Chutes and Ladders in an old standby that even preschoolers can play. The game teaches children that making the right choices leads to success, while making poor choices keeps you behind.
  • Sitters that need a board game to play with toddlers can’t go wrong with the classic Candy Land. Just be sure that the children are old enough to keep pieces out of their mouths.
  • Twister combines the benefits of a board game and exercise, and any grade school child can play the game. It teaches kids to get up and move rather than sitting around all day.
  • A classic game that helps kids learn how to solve a problem by asking questions is Guess Who?. The game is appropriate for elementary and middle school children.
  • Taboo teaches kids how to figure out how to explain a concept without using certain keywords. This game is perfect for middle school children needing to hone their problem-solving skills.

10 Inside Games That Don’t Require Props

Whether it’s bad weather or a lack of preparation that keeps a sitter and kids inside with nothing to do, there are some inside games that don’t require props that can keep kids busy.

  • Charades is a classic game that requires no equipment.
  • Dancing games like the Hokey Pokey can be fun for small children, and sitters can encourage children to sing if no music is available.
  • Play a game that involves guessing what number, letter or simple picture is being traced by one person on the other’s back.
  • Hide and Seek is a great game that requires no props.
  • If several children are being babysat at once, a game of Red Rover is an option.
  • Play a game involving physical challenges such as seeing who can stand on one leg the longest.
  • Ask children to come up with trivia questions based on what they are currently learning in school.
  • Start telling a story and challenge children to continue the story.
  • Play a game of I Spy with items found in the living room or kitchen.
  • Start a game of 20 questions.

10 Safe Outside Games You Can Play with the Kids

While getting kids outside when the weather is nice is an important aspect of being a good babysitter, finding games that are safe to play outdoors can be a challenge.

  • Tag is a game that gives babysitters the ability to keep an eye on children during the game.
  • Games like dodgeball can be safe as long as a ball that is light and cushioned is used.
  • Duck Duck Goose engages a group of children in a safe, controlled atmosphere.
  • Jumping rope is a healthy activity that children love. Consider playing a group game of jump rope.
  • Playing catch with a child is an active, safe way to have fun outside.
  • Shadowing is a game where children imitate actions that the babysitter demonstrates.
  • If several children are available, a game of kickball can be played.
  • Hopscotch is a classic game that can be played alone or in a group.
  • If the weather is hot, kids can play a game of tag in a lawn with sprinklers. Remember to have the children change into bathing suits first.
  • Children that are very competitive may be satisfied with a simple outdoor race.

10 Card Games That Are Appropriate for Kids

Not all card games are appropriate for children of all ages, but there are several that sitters should become familiar with.

  • There is a reason that Go Fish has been around for so long. Even elementary school children can follow the rules of the game.
  • Memory is a game that lets children hone intellectual skills while having fun. The game can even be played with an ordinary deck of cards if suits are ignored and numbers are the focus.
  • Old Maid teaches kids how to establish pairs and avoid a specific card. As with Memory, Old Maid can be played with an ordinary deck of cards. One queen in the deck will be considered the old maid, while the other queens are not used in the game.
  • War is an easy card game for children who are able to distinguish between two cards. The only skill necessary is being able to determine which card has a higher value.
  • Authors is similar to Go Fish. The difference is that the entire deck is dealt at the beginning of the game. The players get to take turns asking the player to their left for a certain card. The aim is to have the most four-of-a-kind sets at the end of the game.
  • Slapjack is a game where all of the cards are dealt at the beginning of the game. Each player takes a turn putting a card face up on a pile. When a jack comes up, the first player to slap the cards gets to add the pile to their deck.
  • Crazy Eights is a classic favorite that can be played with children as young as five.
  • Hearts is another traditional card game that can be played with children that are being babysat. The rules of the game make it more appropriate for kids in middle school.
  • Uno is a game that requires a special deck, but it is fun and easy for kids seven and up.
  • Blackjack may be a poker game, but it is still an easy card game that even small children can understand. The game gives kids the opportunity to practice basic math skills.

10 Safe Hiding Games That Kids Can Play

Hiding games are a hit with kids, but letting children travel out of sight can lead to danger. Fortunately, there are ways for sitters to safely play hiding games with kids.

  • Hide and seek is fine for school age children as long as the game is confined to a house.
  • Sitters can let kids play hide and seek in a park if the sitter is not a part of the game. The sitter’s job will be to keep track of the children.
  • When sitting an older child and a younger child, be the younger child’s partner in a hiding game. This assures that an adult will be with him at all times.
  • Be the person hiding in a game of Sardines. The sitter hides while the children all seek.
  • Flashlight is a game of hide and seek that is played in the dark. Make it safe by confining the hiding area to one room that has been cleared of dangerous obstacles prior to turning the lights off.
  • Play a hidden object game rather than asking children to hide. The sitter can hide small toys and let the children go on a hunt.
  • I Spy is a great game that is related to hiding. While the object itself isn’t actually hidden, the identity of the item is hidden until players guess what the object is.
  • Hide Your Tongue and Teeth is a great game to calm down rowdy children. Anyone who opens their mouth and reveals their tongue and teeth during the game is out.
  • Older children can have fun by playing a scavenger hunt game. The children will have to find hidden objects based on clues.
  • Hide and seek tag is an active game for older children. When the seeker finds a hider, the hider can run to a location that has been established as being the base. If the hider reaches the base before being tagged by the seeker, the hider is safe. This is a good game to play when a private backyard is available.

10 Wii Games That Kids Love to Play

The Wii game console is popular for kids and families, and it gives sitters the opportunity to keep kids engaged and active.

  • Mario Kart gives kids the opportunity to play a multiplayer game that can be kept short to deal with short attention spans. There are optional wheel controllers that make the game even more interactive.
  • Hasbro Family Game Night essentially gives the sitter a way to bring a variety of board games without having to worry about losing pieces or cleaning up a mess. Boggle, Battleship, Yahtze, Connect Four, and Sorry! are all included.
  • Active Outdoor Challenge is perfect for active children when going outside isn’t an option. Games are categorized based on actions. For example, there are several games that are focused on jumping.
  • Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree is a great trivia game for middle school children. Kids get to learn new things while having fun.
  • Just Dance Kids keeps kids from sitting on the couch all night. The dance moves are fun and easy even for small children, and sitters can dance with the children.
  • Sesame Street: Cookie’s Counting Carnival is specifically made for preschool children to have fun learning and playing on the Wii. The game is appropriate for children as young as two.
  • Carnival Games lets kids pretend that they’ve taken a trip to the carnival with their sitter. Games to choose from include the milk toss, dunk tank and ring toss.
  • Disney Sing It is a karaoke game that is geared toward middle school children. Songs included in the game are from popular Disney artists.
  • We Cheer is a fun game for preteen girls. The aim of the game is to dance and cheer to music from popular teen artists.
  • Playground is an alternative to outdoor play when the weather is wet or cold. There is a multiplayer option so everyone can participate in a game of dodgeball, tetherball or one of the many other classic playground games available.

10 Ways to Decide Which Child Gets to Go First

Keep some fair ways to decide who goes first in mind when starting a game with children.

  • The youngest player can go first.
  • Children can take turns based on the first letter of their first names.
  • The shortest player can go first.
  • A quick game of rock, paper, scissors can decide who goes first.
  • Whoever rolls the highest number on a die can go first.
  • The player that suggested which game to play can go first.
  • The player with the shortest pinky can go first.
  • The player wearing the most buttons can go first.
  • Names can be written on a piece of paper, and the first player can be picked randomly.
  • The player with the closest birthday can go first.

10 Ways to Deal with a Child That is a Poor Loser

It’s not uncommon for children to throw a tantrum after losing a game. Since kids of any age could display this behavior, it is important for sitters to be prepared to deal with a poor loser.

  • Point out the strengths the child displayed during the game to remind him that losing the game does not make him a loser.
  • Offer to play another round of the game so the child can demonstrate strengths and work on weaknesses.
  • Sitters should set a good example by being gracious losers.
  • Explain that everyone is good at something, but no one is good at everything.
  • If the child has displayed inappropriate behavior after losing games more than once, tell the child that the game will no longer be played.
  • Go over the appropriate way to react to losing and winning before the game starts.
  • Use recent examples of losers in popular children’s entertainment or sports to demonstrate how the child should act after losing a game.
  • Explain to the child that it is okay to be upset about losing, but it is not acceptable to throw a fit or make others feel bad about the situation.
  • Reassure the child that it is only a game, and the results of the game will not be important in the long run.
  • Avoid playing competitive games when sitting for kids that have a history of being sore losers.

10 Ways to Deal with a Child That is a Sore Winner

Some children like to gloat a little too much after winning a game. While being excited about winning is normal, making others feel bad about losing is never appropriate.

  • Remind the child how he feels when he loses and the winner gloats.
  • Point out the strengths of other players and encourage the child to acknowledge these skills.
  • Discuss how some games are based on skill and others are a matter of luck.
  • Encourage the child to shake the loser’s hand and thank the loser for a good game.
  • Suggest a rematch and ask the child not to gloat during the game.
  • If the child cannot stop being a sore winner, stop playing the game.
  • Make sure not to let the child win every game. The child may begin to develop habits associated with sore winners.
  • Explain why gloating is inappropriate. Some children do not realize that their behavior is hurtful to others.
  • Change the game to one that is either based on luck or highlights the skills of other players.
  • If the child is gloating in the middle of a game, stop the game and explain that the game will not continue unless he can control himself.

10 Reasons to Let the Kids Win a Game Every Now and Then

While a babysitter should not let kids win every game that is played, it can be beneficial to let a child win occasionally.

  • Winning builds a child’s confidence.
  • Younger children may have trouble winning any type of game.
  • It is common for younger children to associate losing a game with being bad at everything.
  • Letting a child win gives the sitter a chance to demonstrate how to act when losing.
  • Letting a kid win against an adult is an exciting experience for the child.
  • Some children have trouble handling the concept of losing. While these children need to experience losing, letting them win occasionally when they cannot do it on their own is a good idea.
  • It is possible that some children are not on the same level as other players and need a boost to win the game.
  • Children having a hard time in another area can experience a short burst of happiness from winning.
  • Winning gives children a feeling of control when they may not feel they have control over anything else.
  • A child who is having trouble winning can be encouraged to keep trying after winning a game.

Babysitting can be a fun, rewarding job, but sitters need to know about lots of children’s games to be prepared for anything. Weather can be unpredictable, so sitters should keep both indoor and outdoor games in mind. Be prepared to deal with children who have trouble acting appropriately when losing or winning, and know when to let a child win an occasional game.

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