When you leave your kids with a babysitter, your top priority is to ensure they’re safe while you’re away from home. While worrying is just part of being a parent, since you’re the type of person who takes as much time as necessary to find the right babysitter, the reality is that your kids are going to be absolutely fine.
Although safety is your top priority for a babysitter, you also want to make sure that they’re able to get along with your kids. Once someone has sat for you a few times, your kids will actually look forward to seeing them again. But regardless of how great of a sitter you hire, when they come over for the first time, the odds of your kids immediately embracing the sitter’s presence are slim to none.
Luckily, this initial tension doesn’t have to turn into a lasting standoff. Instead, the best way to break the ice is for the sitter to play some fun games with your kids. If you want to help your sitter out, here are some games that you can suggest they play with your kids:
Simon Says: If your kids are younger, this is a very simple game that’s still a lot of fun. The sitter will have no problem coming up with plenty of fun instructions that are appropriate for your kids’ younger age. This can be anything from doing a few jumping jack to touching their toes. And once the sitter has spent some time being Simon, they can pass this position to one of the kids.
Charades: If your kids are slightly older, they will have a ton of fun playing this game. The best way to keep things as fun and simple as possible is for the sitter to limit the topics of specific rounds. For example, they may want a round to be all about specific characters from one of your kids’ favorite movies.
HORSE: If you have a basketball goal in your front or back yard, this is a great way to get everyone up and moving without worrying about your kids getting too wired. What’s nice about this specific basketball game is that even if your kids are a little spread out in age, they will all be able to participate in HORSE. And because everyone is moving around in the same area, it’s the perfect setting for your kids and the sitter to start casually chatting.
Your Kids’ Favorite Board Game: If there’s a game that your kids can play for hours on end, when you’re leaving, suggest to them that they teach the sitter how to play this game. Even if the sitter already knows how to play it, they can go along with this setup and allow the kids to teach. The reason this works so well is because it makes it easy for kids to start talking to the sitter about something that they’re completely comfortable and confident discussing.