We know you hate to leave your little ones with a sitter for a few hours of date night or a late night run to the office, but if you must pop out for a bit, leave the sitter with a few crafty ideas to keep the little ones entertained. Trust us, they’ll both thank you for it!
Skip the TV and try to keep them moving with fun activities that can last as long as they’re interested. Some of the younger ones may have shorter attention spans than the older kids, but we’ve tried to include fun pastimes for any age group.
Reminder to parents: Be sure to give clear instructions to the sitter as to what materials are available to the kids and where they can do their crafts or you’ll be surprised at the world of hurt a house can undergo in just a few hours when they’re allowed to run wild with their ideas!
Favorite Book Activities
If your kids love to read (and even if they don’t), make storytime more active by creating activities based on their favorite stories! For instance, Bern at Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas suggests making muffins after reading If You Give A Moose A Muffin by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond, or making paper bag dresses inspired by The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch.
Masking Tape Mayhem
Masking tape is safe on any surface and super easy to remove, so stock up on a few rolls for the sitter and let them loose all over the house! We love the idea of making “highways” on the floor, across the coffee table, and over the couch. Try playing Hot Wheels or LEGO cops and robbers, seeing how fast the cars can make it through the entire track, and who knows, the kids may eventually forget the cars and just run the track themselves! If your kids prefer outdoor fun, leave some chalk and request the sitter take the activity into the driveway.
Thanks to Erin at Chicken Babies for an incredibly fun walkthrough of her daughter’s spy-themed birthday party! If you plan to be away from your little ones for at least a few hours, give them and the sitter a surprise with instructions for spy training. Erin first took the kids’ photos for their spy badges, chose their super secret spy code names out of hats, and then commenced the training with a memory game, sleuth or “guard dog” training, and finally the amazing laser beam challenge. The sitter can take part in all of these activities too, so everyone will have a blast for hours.
This game is just as it sounds, but the sitter and the kids are obviously allowed to make up their own rules to keep the game interesting. Start with a simple volley of the balloon over the couch, then challenge the kids to run back and forth and play both sides themselves, then try hitting the balloon with just one hand, and so on!
Body Bending ABCs
This is a great activity with a extra special payoff. Give the sitter a camera and have them challenge the kids to make all the letters of the alphabet one by one with their bodies. If the weather is nice, have the sitter snap the shots from a balcony to document each letter, then capture the kids spelling out their names or even an “I [heart] YOU” message for mom and dad!