Saturday, December 6, 2014

8 Game Ideas for Babysitters

Dear Friends,

Besides being a student I am also a babysitter. I babysit for 3 boys ages 13, 11 and 7 every day for about two hours. I do not have many duties beyond making sure no one burns anything down until their parents come home.

If there are any other babysitters reading this or anyone who wants some ideas for simple games to play with kids, I will list some of the games I have made up or used:

1. Hide and Seek:
Prep Time: 2 minutes (depends on how long it takes you to find a hiding spot)
Play Time: 10 minutes (depends on how good your spot was)

- Post-it-note on door that reads "Find me. Sincerely, Your Babysitter".
- You hide until they find you.

Prep Time: 2 minutes (depends on how long it takes you to find a hiding spot)
Play Time: 10 minutes (depends on how good your spot was)

2. Post-It-Note I Spy:
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes (how fast can you draw from real life?)
Play Time: 5 minutes (how observant are they?)

- You draw a closeup of an object in the house on a post-it-note.
- It is the job of the kid to go around the house and find the thing that the drawing depicts.
- When they find it they can stick the post-it on the object.

The most successful game I have invented (or the one that they seemed to enjoy the most) takes little time and care on the part of the one setting it up.
I like this game because it requires something valuable of each player. For the person drawing it requires drawing practice from real-life. From the player it requires observation skills. They have to slow down and consider objects that they may have previously passed by. When I played this with the boys they got so into it that they started making ones for me to solve as well.

3. Mystery Bag Game:
Prep Time: 10-12 minutes
Play Time: 10 minutes

- I went around their house and put three objects into three paper bags.
- I labelled each bag with numbers 1-3.
- The boys had 6 guesses total to guess what was in each one. They were allowed to exchange one guess for one hint.
- For each correct answer they got a piece of candy.

4. Post-it-note Puzzle:
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Play Time: 30 seconds

- stick 12 post-it-notes onto the counter and draw a picture onto the resulting "piece of paper".
- Unstick all the post-its and mix them up.
- The players must reassemble them like a puzzle.

This game also takes some prep time. I drew a picture of Link from their favourite Zelda game. I think that was one big reason they liked this game so much. But it took them all of 30 seconds to complete.

Still Life Drawing Game:
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Play Time: 10 minutes

- Make a pile of 4-5 small simple objects on the floor.
- Provide a sheet of paper and a pencil and a hard surface like a book for each.
- Their task? Choose one of the objects to draw as realistically as possible.

This is a game that I enjoyed more than they did. I liked it because the drawings that they made were quite good and they had to sit still for 10 minute making them. They thought this was kind of boring.

6. Questionnaire Game
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Play Time: 10 minutes

- Create a simple questionnaire with questions like: "What is your favourite colour" "What was the funniest thing that happened to you today?" "Draw two things you would use to scare away flies"
- The players write the answers to the questions. I usually only do three or four so that the game doesn't start to feel like homework.

This game can also be played in the car. I sometimes pick the boys up in the car on rainy days and I will leave a questionnaire on each seat. They come into the car and answer the questions verbally while I drive. I like this one because it helps us have meaningful conversations instead of babbling on the way home.

7. Paper Airplane Contest Game:
Prep Time: 10 minutes (20 minutes if you make a big paper target)
Play Time: 5 minutes - 30 minutes (it's up to you how long you play. They can be happy with this game for up to half an hour)

- Set out sheets of paper.
- Everyone makes their own paper airplane.
- Ascertain whose flies the farthest.

This one is pretty basic. But young boys love it. They will try to make better and fast planes. A little research on the interwebs about what planes are the best does not go amiss here. One time I made a big target for them out of four sheets of paper and crayons. I taped it to the wall.

8. Water Balloon Game:
Prep time: 10 minutes (depending on how fast you can fill balloons)
Play Time: 5-10 minutes (depending on how many players and how manny balloons)

- Create a huge chalk target on the driveway. Label each ring with a point value.
- Fill three water balloons per person.
- Each person has three hits.
- The person with the most points wins.

No comments:

Post a Comment