Babysitting for a friend or family members’ children is a great way to help out another parent and pick up a few extra dollars at the same time. However, it can be challenging to keep the kids busy and content while you are sitting for them. This is especially true during the late Fall and Winter when the weather conditions are not suitable for playing outside. Here are some fun holiday activities to engage the children in while they are in your care.
Help the Children Write a Letter to Santa Claus. This lovely tradition for children who still believe in Santa can keep them happy and busy for quite a while if you make it into a special event. Gather markers, crayons, glitter and colorful stickers to decorate the paper and envelope. Encourage the children to write a detailed letter explaining all the ways they were good this year and a few special presents they would like to see under the tree on Christmas morning. Be sure to leave the envelope unsealed so that the parents can take a peek at the letter before starting their holiday shopping.
Make Crafts using Holiday Stockings. Inexpensive Christmas stockings of all sizes can be purchased at the Dollar Store. Sit down with the kids at the table with glue and glitter and encourage the kids to use their creativity to decorate the stockings any way they wish. Don’t confine them to the white band where the name is usually placed. Allow them to decorate the entire stocking in various colors. Their parents will surely love to use these as holiday decorations in their homes or to fill with gifts for friends and relatives.
Take Advantage of Free Coloring Pages. The Internet is filled with sites that offer free holiday coloring pages. Spend a few minutes before the children arrive printing out a stack of sheets for them to color on. Allow them to use crayons, markers or even watercolor paints to create their masterpieces.The best ones can be affixed to pieces of thick cardboard to take home and hang up in their bedrooms.
Guide the Children in Making a Stepping Stone Gift for Their Parents. Stepping stone kits can be purchased in any arts and crafts and discount department stores. Help the children to imprint their hands and feet in the mold and then decorate the stepping stone to give it a personal touch. After the mold is dry, wrap the stones up securely and place in a wrapped box for the kids to give their parents as a holiday gift. The children will love giving their mother and father a Christmas gift they made with their own two hands, and the parents will surely appreciate the thoughtful gesture on your part.
Bake Holiday Cookies. Children love to spend time in the kitchen learning how to cook and bake. Spend an afternoon or evening making sugar cookies cut out with holiday themed cutters. Use sugar crystals and small candies to decorate the cookies. When the treats are cool enough to wrap up, place the cookies in individual plastic bags for the kids to take home and share with their families.