Everyone that has ever babysat for a new family has faced the same dilemma: the door closes as the parents leave the house, you turn to the kids and think ooooookayyyyy, what will make this kid have fun? We’d like to think our irresistible personality will win the day all on its own, that the charisma that oozes from your pores will have them swooning. The reality is that every child you will meet has different things that make them tick, different things they’re interested in and might even enjoy trying to make you suffer.
So what can you do to get any child on your side? (after all, if they rave about you, more Calgary babysitting jobs will be coming to you)
Start with a few kid-friendly jokes to warm up the crowd. Don’t assume it will be easy to make kids laugh, but here’s a few goodies that might even give you a chuckle:
- What do you call a dinosaur that’s sleeping? A dino-snore!
- How do you stop an astronaut’s baby from crying? You rocket!
- Why was 6 afraid of 7? Because 7,8,9!
- What kind of tree can you hold in your hand? A palm tree!
- Why was the baby strawberry crying? Because her mom and dad were in a jam!
- What’s worse than raining cats and dogs? Hailing taxis!
- What do you call two birds in love? Tweethearts!
- How do you make an octopus laugh? With ten-tickles!
- What did the nose say to the finger? Quit picking on me!
- What do you call a dog magician? A labracadabrador!
OK, fine, none of those jokes will make it to your Netflix special, but it’s a good starting point to see how giggly the children are. Once the jokes are over, now it’s up to you to figure some things out: is your new friend into sports, or games, or make believe, or cartoons, or dolls or, or, or? Do a little digging by asking them questions about themselves, what they like in school, what they do with their friends and so on. When something pops up that can be reasonably done during your babysitting gig, jump on it! Even if you don’t like playing tea house with stuffed animals, act it like you’re trying to win an Oscar!
When it gets down to it, if you engage with the children by actually making an effort to get to know them, you will find something fun to do with them, and you’ll make a new friend in the process. Imagine the wide-eyed talks with their friends at school the next day about the COOLEST BABYSITTER EVER they had last night; excited word of mouth is the best possible advertisement to parents when they go searching for babysitters in Calgary.
Really, what we’re saying is don’t be that sitter who sits on her phone all night long, or forces kids to watch HER shows. Then you’ll have a grumpy, bored child who won’t even remember your name the next day. And why would the parents hire you next time if that’s the feedback they get?
CarePair is meant to be a community, and if sitters play their cards right, they can have a ton of fun, make some new little friends AND make some extra money!