Babysitting Games & Things To Do While Babysitting

Babysitting Games and Activities

Finger Painting

Are you looking for some fun new activities and games to do with the kids while babysitting? Here's our comprehensive list of ideas to bring more fun, joy and laughter to your time spent babysitting.

Apart from being entertaining, many of these babysitting games are also educational! Nearly all activities promote development of language, cognitive skills, fine and gross motor skills. So not only do you get to have fun together you can also be proud that you're helping a child build his or her skills!

Be led by the child

Let the child's play guide you. Ask what they're interested in! Observe them and engage in their play. Most children will appreciate your interest in them and their favourite things. It's such a great way to connect and build trust with others (big and little!). If you have not met the child yet, ask the parent about the child's interests before your first babysitting shift. This way you can come prepared with some ideas. Maybe their child loves unicorns and you can bring along a book about a unicorn or some sparkly unicorn stickers. Or maybe they're a big Bluey or Peppa Pig fan and you can print up a colouring-in page. Perhaps they love The Wiggles and you can check Spotify for some songs. Plan ahead to have a few babysitting games or activities prepared, so you'll have some fun ideas to engage the children.

Be guided by the parents

Many parents are time-poor and will be delighted to have your help with activities. Are there activities or outings they'd love you to do during your shift? Some families want the children to spend more time outdoors playing. Parents might want you to get the kids out of the house, on their bikes and scooters. Others might like you to spend time in the house and backyard, keeping the kids happy at home. Check if there are things the parents don't want you to do too (e.g., limits on watching tv or gaming).

There are literally hundreds of baby sitting games to entertain children. Here are just a few to get you started.

Craft supplies for babysitting

Craft supplies for babysitting

Collect some craft supplies to make a box of fun art and craft items for kids. A craft box stocked with basics will always help you find plenty of things to do with children. This is especially helpful for those rainy days when you're stuck inside and looking for inspiration! Bring your own craft box along, or ask the parents if they already have some supplies.

Some crafting basics include

  • Plain paper
  • Coloured paper
  • Cardboard
  • Glue stick
  • Glitter glue
  • Glitter
  • Crayons, pencils, markers
  • Sticky tape
  • Cardboard boxes of all sizes - from cereal boxes to Amazon boxes
  • Egg cartons
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Buttons
  • Stick-on eyes
  • Felt
  • Ribbons
  • Fabric scraps
  • Paper plates
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Small scissors
  • Old magazines to cut out

20 Fun art and craft activities for babysitting

playdough pengiuns

Wondering what to do with all the art and craft supplies? Feeling a bit stuck? We've got you! Here's a long list of babysitting ideas to keep the children entertained using art and craft.

  1. Make playdough - use a simple microwave recipe. Create some characters!
  2. Fold a paper chatterbox for a fun, interactive game.
  3. Make animal masks - use cardboard or paper plates, crayons, glitter, ears, feathers. and fine elastic to make masks of favourite animals like dog, cat, rabbit, chicken.
  4. Design funny faces - use paper plates with paint and glitter to make funny faces .
  5. Make hand or foot prints with paint or outlines with crayon.
  6. Create a crocodile - use egg cartons with green crayons and paint.
  7. Thread bracelets - create stacks of bracelets with fruit loops threaded on fine elastic.
  8. Make a collage - with glue, paper and pictures from pages of magazines.
  9. Paint with rollers, stencils, brushes, stamps, sponges.
  10. Do sticker art - place stickers (e.g., frogs, butterflies) on coloured paper to make a work of art.
  11. Use stencils - trace with stencils, paper, crayons or paint and rollers.
  12. Create a self-portrait - draw a self-portrait OR trace around the entire body lying on butcher's paper for a life-sized portrait.
  13. Create an under the sea scene - using green paper background & shapes stuck on for fish and coral.
  14. Make puppets - use colourful socks and sew on some buttons for eyes.
  15. Design aeroplanes - use paper and markers to create your own flying machines. Try different designs and see who can fly further.
  16. Thread necklaces - use pasta, paint, glitter and elastic to make necklaces.
  17. Adopt a pet rock - create and adopt a pet rock with rocks, markers, and sticker-eyes.
  18. Design spoons for a Spoonville - use wooden or plastic spoons to create characters for your own spoonville.
  19. Make a card for someone special - use paper, drawings and photos to create a card to send to grandparents.
  20. Make music shakers - use little plastic juice bottles, filled with rice

20 Great indoor babysitting activities and games

hand puppets

Apart from art and craft there are lots of really fun babysitting games and activities to play indoors. Sometimes the simplest thing will entertain children for hours. Who doesn't love a pillow fort? Or a pretend train trip in boxes?! Having a babysitting game ready to play can help make time together more positive.

  1. Have a puppet show.
  2. Read to each other, tell stories, listen to audiobooks as you play.
  3. Make a personalised story book about the child.
  4. Build Lego.
  5. Create a blanket and pillow fort.
  6. Sing along to favourite songs or movies.
  7. Disco dance to different music.
  8. Compose music with instruments or with improvised kitchen implements.
  9. Play board games and card games.
  10. Have fun with dress ups.
  11. Play hide and seek.
  12. Build an indoor cubby house.
  13. Decorate cupcakes and biscuits.
  14. Host a teddy bears' picnic.
  15. Take train rides inside big boxes lined up like carriages.
  16. Go camping with an indoor tent.
  17. Play indoor sports in the hallway (ten pin bowling with plastic cups).
  18. Play the Freeze / Dancing Game with music switched off and on.
  19. Play Simon Says.
  20. Use TV and technology - ask the parents what limits they set and work within this.

20 Active outdoor activities for babysitting

kids on scooters

The great outdoors is so beneficial for children's health and wellness. Outdoor activities also give you lots of things to do when babysitting! Whether you are exploring the backyard or taking the kids to the local park, there are plenty of ways to explore the outdoors. Always get parents' permission before you go on outings. Remember to take hats, bike helmets, sunscreen, water and snacks. For smaller children be sure to take the nappy bag, with all the essentials. Here are some ideas for outdoor play:

  1. Play with sand and water.
  2. Blow bubbles with big and little bubble wands.
  3. Go on a treasure hunt in the backyard.
  4. Make mud cakes in the backyard.
  5. Paint outdoors, use a roller brush and water on the fence.
  6. Plant a garden with herbs.
  7. Visit local parks.
  8. Ride bikes.
  9. Ride scooters.
  10. Skate board.
  11. Rollerblade or rollerskate.
  12. Play ball games.
  13. Have a teddy bears picnic at the park.
  14. Play hopscotch drawn with chalk.
  15. Basketball
  16. Soccer
  17. Football
  18. Create chalk art on the footpath.
  19. Take an 'awe walk' where you look for 'awesome' things (e.g., little flowers).
  20. Create your own obstacle course in the backyard with boxes and brooms.

10 Easy things to bake or make with kids in the kitchen

gingerbread activities

Baking is such a great thing to do when babysitting children. It often works well with children who are 4-5 years of age and older. Ask the parents ahead of time if you can use the kitchen and their ingredients to bake. Start by checking for any food allergies, to avoid issues. Plan ahead to ensure the space and the activity is done safely with the children. You might choose a 'no bake' recipe to avoid using the stove or oven. Or you might choose to bring along something pre-baked and spend the time on decorating. Remember to always keep small children away from ovens, hot water, and sharp objects in the kitchen. Always make sure you turn appliances off at the wall. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Decorate gingerbread people.
  2. Set jelly cups - fill clear plastic cups with different coloured jelly.
  3. Put frogs in jelly - put chocolate frogs into jelly cups when they're half set.
  4. Pour homemade icy poles - create your own icy poles with juice e.g., watermelon juice.
  5. Make 'funny face' biscuits - ice an Arnott's Marie biscuit with plain white icing and add lollies on top to create faces.
  6. Make Rudolph the Reindeer biscuits - ice an Arnott's Milk Arrowroot biscuit with plain icing and add a raspberry lolly for the nose, m&ms for the eyes, a jellybean smile and pretzels for antlers.
  7. Make dolls' tea cups - using icing to glue parts together - place a Tic Toc biscuit on the bottom, then a marshmallow in the middle, then a chocolate freckle on top. Attach a half a lifesaver on the side of the marshmallow for the tea cup handle.
  8. Decorate muffins, biscuits and cakes with coloured icing and decorations - sprinkles, mini marshmallows, m&ms.
  9. Make fruit skewers.
  10. Make a chocolate ripple cake.

Engaging Kids Activities for Seasonal Celebrations

christmas card crafts

Using seasonal events is a great way to plan enjoyable things to do while babysitting. It helps mark special occasions and also teaches children about the months and seasons of the year. Use a calendar to show the children the year and where the month and day falls. Days and celebrations you can plan for include:

  • February 14th - Valentines Day - cut out and colour in love hearts to hang around the house.
  • March 17th - St Patrick's Day - make anything green! Draw a 4 leaf clover.
  • April - Easter - make an Easter bonnet, go on an Easter egg hunt.
  • April 25th - Anzac Day - bake Anzac biscuits.
  • May - Mothers Day - make a gift or card for mum.
  • July 14th Bastille Day - eat croissants for morning tea.
  • September - Fathers Day - make a gift or card for dad.
  • October 31st - Halloween - make a costume or a basket for trick or treating.
  • December 25th - Christmas - make decorations for the tree, bake, write a letter to Santa.
  • Ask about traditions their family celebrates.

We hope these ideas help you find lots of great things to do when babysitting. You'll be the favourite babysitter once you add these games and activities to your skillset. We hope you enjoy these ideas and feel free to send through new ideas for us to add to the list!