"The Baby-sitters Club Guide to Baby-sitting" by Ann M. Martin.
YOUR OWN WITH THE KIDS "What do we do now?"
parents have left, feeling confident that their children are in good hands.
You've got the number where they can be reached on a pad next to the phone
and you also have a back-up number of a neighbor. Now it's time to have
TO DO WITH A BABY
doesn't take a whole lot to entertain babies. Mostly you need to make
sure that they're safe. If they're still too little to walk, be extra
careful when they're sitting on couches or beds-they could fall off. If
they're able to pull themselves to their feet and scoot along furniture,
make sure they don't slip on magazines on the floor.
like to lie on their stomachs and kick their legs. Spread a blanket on
the floor and put on music, so they can wiggle.
like rattles and things that jingle or make noise.
like to be read to. Books like Pat the Bunny are nice because they can
feel the bunny fur and look at themselves in the mirror.
of my brothers and sisters liked to play Peek-a-Boo when they were babies.
Use your hands or a book or a diaper and watch them giggle.
sure and keep an eye on the baby's diaper. It's not good for a baby to
spend hours in the same soggy diaper. She could get diaper rash. Check
it at least once an hour and be sure and change the diaper before putting
the baby to bed.
TO DO WITH A TODDLER (age one to three)
age group is into everything. One second they are pulling all of the books
off the shelves and the next second they are in your purse and taking
apart your wallet. The youngest toddlers can entertain themselves by trying
to assemble plastic food containers. As they get closer to three, toddlers
like stacking blocks and dressing dolls, or playing with clay and coloring.
They still are at the age that they're playing beside other kids but not
really with them.
and songs for one-year-olds:
Around the Rosie
This Little Piggy Went to Market
love to make noise. If you can find a wooden spoon or any kind of spoon
and a cardboard box, they'll create their own music. But hold your ears!
for one- to three-year olds:
Mother, May I?
Duck, Duck, Goose
Red Light, Green Light
seems that most kids love to build forts. All you need are a couple of
blankets or sheets, and some chairs or a table. Then you can pretend to
be pirates, or Peter Pan and Wendy, or Davy Crockett. For an extra-special
treat, let them eat snacks inside their fort.
for one- to three-year-olds:
Wheels on the Bus
Itsy Bitsy Spider
like to put on music and dance. Sometimes we pretend we're butterflies.
Sometimes we tie towels or scarves around our shoulders and play super
heroes flying through the air.
for this age:
one-year-olds: Any books with animal pictures and animals sounds. They
also like the Find the Puppy (Duck or Kitty) books by Stephen Cartwright.
And board books are great!
Go Dog Go by P.D. Eastman
We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury
The Cat in the Hat (or anything) by Dr. Seuss
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
is just a place to start. Go to the library and pick your own books. Kids
like ones with fun pictures and lots of repetition.)
TO DO WITH THREE- TO SIX-YEAR-OLDS
age group still likes to build things with blocks and play with dolls
and cars but now it's even more fun becasue they want to play with you
and their brothers and sisters. They like to try to read simple books
but they are also getting to the age where they enjoy listening to you
read more complicated stories.
for three- to six-year-olds:
of the games listed for one- to three-year-olds, plus:
Cards: Go Fish and Old Maid
love to play house and school and dress-up of any kind. Sometimes all
you need is a hat or a scarf or a pair of glasses.
paper hats out of newspaper and color them.
Make masks by cutting holes in paper bags, decorating them and just slipping
them over your head.
for three- to six-year-olds:
of the books for the younger ages, plus any early readers.
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
Babar the King by Jean De Brunhoff
Rikki Tiki Tavi by Rudyard Kipling
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
TO DO WITH SIX-YEAR-OLDS AND UP
kids are in elementary school, baby-sitting is more like caring for a
younger friend. They enjoy all of the activities previously listed and
will suggest many more of their own.
I know I'm sitting for kids in elementary school I always stock my kid-kit
with a few more card games and board games like Risk and Monopoly.
projects can be lots of fun, but make sure you check with the parents
first. It's better if the kids are three or over and there are no small
babies around. Remember, it's awfully hard to supervise cooking and watch
an infant at the same time.
for six-year-olds and up:
Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little by E.B. White
Mouse and the Motorcycle (or others) by Beverly Cleary
A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers