Games To Use To Break The Ice

 In Babysitting Tips, Sitter's Ultimate Guide to Being a Babysitter
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As a babysitter, you’ll often find that you need to improvise to make the kids you babysit more comfortable with your presence. This means you’ll need to play the role of the actor, the storyteller, and the ring master. It can be tough remembering the rules to the games you played as a kid, so here are a few of my favorites:

Simon Says

I’m pretty convinced that people are just born knowing the rules to Simon Says, but if you don’t, no worries. All you need to do is stand in front of the children, and play the role of “Simon.” Simon gets to tell everyone what to do by saying “Simon says….” followed by a direction. When Simon uses the phrase “Simon says…” everyone should follow what they say. But, if Simon doesn’t begin their direction with “Simon says…” and players still do as their told, then those players are “out.” Whomever is left standing at the end of a game is the winner, and they become Simon in the next round.
This game is a great way to make sure the children are listening to what you’re saying. For example, if it’s time for bed and the kids seems to be resisting getting ready, I’ll use Simon Says to tell them to go get their pajamas on. It’s an awesome way to make listening to directions fun.

Duck, Duck, Goose

Another childhood favorite, this game is a great way to engage large(r) groups of children and expend a little energy. When babysitting for social gatherings or in a group setting, it’s very important that you engage as many kids as you can. Have all of the children sit in a circle, and begin walking around the circle holding your hand above each child’s head as you pass them by. For each child, you’ll need to say “Duck,” or “Goose.” Whomever you choose to be the goose must chase you—and if they tag you, you become to tagger again. However, if you sit down in their spot, the child chasing you becomes the tagger and the next round begins.

Red Light, Green Light

This game is fairly calm in comparison to Duck, Duck, Goose; it involves listening skills and a little bit of competition. As the babysitter, you will need to be the person who directs the children using colors (Red for stop, yellow for slow, and green for go). As soon as a child crosses the predetermined finish line, they’ve won and they get to act as the light. Generally, this is another awesome game for giving directions. It can be adapted to suit many different situations, so don’t be afraid to be creative!

These types of games are particularly useful when you’re babysitting for a new family or group of kids. They act as icebreakers that allows you and the kids to be silly and have a little fun while you get acquainted with one another. Kids want to feel like their babysitter is engaged with them, so it is absolutely key that you hang out with the children. When it comes down to it, you can always ask the kids themselves what types of games they like to play. Chances are, they’ve probably got one or two up their sleeve that you’ve never even heard of! Give it a shot, and I promise you will have so much fun!

Do you have any fun icebreakers to share with us? Tweet us at @SitterMe using the #SitterTipTuesday!

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