A good babysitter will care for children according to the parent's instructions. An awesome babysitter will go above and beyond, bringing her own babysitting kit packed with activities tailored to the child or children she is sitting for. Be that awesome sitter by first talking to the parents about what type of activities, toys and games they are comfortable with. Include a first-aid kit and a flashlight, showing parents you are on top of safety, and those plum babysitting jobs are sure to keep coming your way.
Include art supplies in your babysitting kit, based on the age of the child or children you will be caring for. For toddlers or preschool-aged kids, bring coloring books and crayons, or a tub of non-toxic craft dough to build tiny people, creatures or objects. School-aged children can work on crafts with child-safe scissors and non-toxic school glue. Include a few sheets of different types of paper, such as construction paper, tissue paper and paper bags. The kids can glue the tissue paper to construction paper in various shapes, or turn the paper bags into puppets by gluing on construction paper eyes, noses and mouths to the bottom flap. Pack a plastic tablecloth to use to protect the table or floor where the kids will be working.
Games and Toys
Pack a few games that will keep the attention of your little charges. Consider including classic board games from your childhood that they might not have. Bring more challenging games for older kids, such as checkers, or play card games like Go Fish or Crazy 8s. You could also pack a few toys, preferably ones you know that the kids don't already have. It could be something simple like a Slinky or action figures toys you never threw away. Encourage imagination with a princess tiara or a superhero cape. If you are babysitting preschool-aged children or younger, ensure that the toys contain no small parts that could be a choking hazard.
Include a few books from your childhood that you love or that were classics when you were growing up. Visit the library if you don't have any children's books at home. Choose age-appropriate books based on the child's age and maturity level. It's a good idea to ask the parents what type of books and interests the kids have to help choose the right subject to bring. Short brief stories are ideal for little ones with short attention spans, while small chapter books with more of a plot may intrigue emerging readers. You can also bring along kid-friendly educational books packed with pictures and information on a subject the kids are really into, like wild animals, dinosaurs, or outer space.
Packing the Kit
Organize your kits so you can easily get retrieve what you are looking for. Place art supplies like crayons, markers, glue and scissors in separate, plastic resealable bags for easy retrieval. Small toys or dress-up clothing can also be put in plastic bags. Put construction and tissue paper sheets in large manila envelopes to protect them from getting crushed in the bag. You can use a regular tote or book bag to hold your babysitting kit, but if you use a light-colored canvas bag, you can decorate it to make it look kid-friendly. Another idea is to make the tote an art project during babysitting. Give the kids fabric markers to write or draw something, write their name or leave a short message. Your bag will become more colorful with each babysitting gig.