by Rebecca Elspas, Teen Blogger
Hey guys! Tuesday’s come ‘round again and I’m back for more!
This summer loyal readers know I worked for 6 weeks as a counselor at a sleep away summer camp. My job involved taking care of very young campers ranging from 0-5 years old. That’s so young, you might say, and yes, you’re right. As the staff’s kids, they needed extra special attention and we were there to give it to them.
|Me exploring with one of my little campers, Photo by Rebecca Elspas|
So all young babysitters out there, or even moms, you guys should definitely tune in to these tips. These are guaranteed to help calm just about any crazy kid!
1) Feed Kids' EnergyWhat? Encourage them to be even more wild? Yes, but not exactly. By matching their level of activity, the kids will notice your enthusiasm, and reciprocate nicely. By acting like a kid as well, the kids are less likely to bug you later about playing with them, because they are still overjoyed by the fun you shared with them! Since fall has just arrived, I suggest skipping around your neighborhood or backyard and gathering the fallen leaves and either jumping into the leaf pile (a classic) or making a little scrapbook as a quiet time activity.
|Kids always love to paint, Photo by Rebecca Elspas|
2) Interact With KidsPlay with them, don’t just watch. This ties in with the first one, because if the kids see you sitting around, they will lose interest even quicker, and resort to bothering you about the next activity. Avoid this by never falling asleep on the job, and limit TV to 20 minutes a day maximum, as a little break for yourself. A simple ball game will force you to interact with the kids, plus multiplayer games are always more fun than solitary ones. (True fact: You laugh at least 30 times more when you are with someone, then if you're alone!)
3) Get OutsideKids need lots of fresh air daily so it's in your job description to get them outside at least once every hour and a half, rain or shine. With so many different things to look at outdoors, the kids will be so intrigued that it will be mother nature entertaining and babysitting the kids and not you! (Maybe not exactly…)
4) Give Little Ones Lower-Sugar SnacksHigh sugar intake adds the natural rowdiness of a toddler, and you don’t need that. An occasional, every-other day sugary popsicle is ok, but stick to more neutral things like cheese crackers, yogurt, pasta, and as much fresh raw veggies as you can squeeze in. (Trader Joes has the BEST healthy and better-for-you snacks)
|Fingerpainting fun for different ages, Photo by Rebecca Elspas|
5) Plan Age-Appropriate ActivitiesIf you have kids or are babysitting kids of different ages, do separate activities suitable for their age, motor skills and maturity level. Playing with a remote control helicopter with a 6 year old, and finger painting for a 3 year old, are good examples of that. Just use your personal logic, and remember, some younger kids can still be more mature -- it depends on the individual child.
6) Provide One-on-One Attention for BabiesFor babies, a leisurely stroll is extremely calming for you and the baby you are caring for. Every day during camp we would take one baby at a time and individually push them in a stroller around the camp and up hills! (It’s an amazing calorie-burner as well!)
7) Surprise Kids at the End of the DayHave something at the end of the day planned for the kids to look forward too. Be it a sugar-free popsicle, trip to the local park or zoo or even just their favorite art project, it will make kids eager to have fun the whole day and listen to you. For example, if little Johnny misbehaves, you could tell him that he will lose his special end of the day activity, _____ (fill in the blank). Kids don’t want to miss out on any bonding experiences, so likely little Johnny will listen.
|The baby pool was really a hit, Photo by Rebecca Elspas|
Want to share your own babysitting stories and advice? I'd love to hear from you and so would all my readers, so feel free to please add a comment on this post below or Tweet me @RebElspas. If you're not already, I invite you to follow me on Twitter and on Pinterest. Also be sure continue reading all my other Teen Tuesday posts and check out my own new blog featuring daily ramblings about my adventures as a triplet called My Life x 3.
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