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Babysitting gig on the horizon? Try these parent-approved activities

Forget sitting your little tater tots down in front of the television, or handing ‘em your phone to play a li’l Angry Birds. This trio of activities are parent-approved and, um, way more fun than watching the kids stare vapidly at a screen. Plus, they’ll keep ‘em engaged in things other than whining, fighting and begging to do all the things that are on Mom and Dad’s no-no list. Phew!

What Am I?

It’s not quite 20 Questions, but it’s close! Take turns picking an animal, a person, a number, a concept—anything!—and give the kids clues on what you are so they can guess. Try to work within the parameters of what they’re learning in school. For instance, if they’re learning about animals in the rainforest, pick a parrot. If they’re studying the first Thanksgiving, pick a pilgrim. The first child to guess right gets to go next.

Story Time

Exercise your charges’ creativity by telling a story together. Start it with the classic “Once upon a time,” then add a few sentences to get them going. Pass on the storyteller role to the child and have them continue it. Keep going back and forth, or around in a circle, until you get to the end—or can’t talk for laughing at your hilarious creation.


Can’t keep the kids from the crayons? No sweat! Challenge them to draw half of their favorite animal—but tell them not to show it to anyone else. When they’re finished, cover up most of the animal, leaving a few leading lines (like the end of the neck or beginning of the tummy) to show where the drawing should continue. Pass the drawing to another kid (or swap with your sitting subject) and complete the drawing with your own animal pick. When you’re all finished, the big reveal of your new animals will be refrigerator-worthy.

What’s your favorite game to play while you’re babysitting? Share it in the comments!

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by Brittany Taylor | 2/1/2016