Your daughter is shopping nearby and asks to drop her kids off for an hour or two. Your son asks if you might be available to babysit the grandchildren at your place while he goes to the dentist. Your grandchildren and their parents decide that they need some ” apart time”. Can the kids spend the afternoon with you?
Of course you want to accommodate your children and your love for your grandchildren knows no bounds, but it’s raining with no let up in sight. You say yes, but then start looking desperately for a few senior tips for babysitting when it rains. Here’s a little help.
1.Get some back up. The first and arguably the most useful senior tip for babysitting when it rains is to make certain to get back up. Try no to set yourself up for a chaotic rainy day gig, alone. If your spouse is available that may be all the help you will need, but if not, consider enlisting the help of available, older grandchildren. It can be a fun opportunity for cousins to get together and older children are often idolized and respected by their younger cousins. This can make for a pleasant control situation all the way around, as older cousins enjoy diffusing arguments and younger cousins stand back in awe.
No cousins around? How about asking one of your friends or neighbors to spend some quality time with you and the kids on a rainy afternoon. This might be exactly the diversion your acquaintances have been hoping for. Seniors who have no grandchildren close at hand may welcome the chance to play with yours. They can relax because they aren’t in charge and simply have fun playing with the kids. Of course what they will incidentally provide is extra eyes, hands and feet to keep the little ones in your care safe and as a result will cut your stress level in half.
It’s definitely more important to find some help than to worry about who you actually get . For many activities , seniors find that having backup is a good idea. When you are babysitting children on a rainy day, it’s really essential. That’s why the top senior tip for babysitting on a rainy day is to make sure you have adequate backup.
2. Know Your Options. It’s not necessary for senior citizens who are babysitting their grandchildren to make a fixed activity schedule for all of their time together. Still a good senior tip for babysitting on a rainy day is to have a list of the things you “need” to do as well as a mental image of things you might like to do as your time together progresses.
The “need to do list” should be relatively short. Do you need to feed the children a meal or possibly a snack? Do you need to have the children take a nap or lie down for some quiet time? Do you need to direct children to use the bathroom from time to time? Is there any medication that needs to be given during their stay? These are the main instructions that parents may have provided and its important the they be adhered to.
The other mental list contains entertainment options you have available. Considering the kinds of things you can do in advance is especially important on a rainy day when all outdoor alternatives are useless. You’ll want to intersperse active options with more passive or restrained ones. You’ll also want to avoid over stimulating activities right before nap time , right after a snack or right before the children are scheduled to be picked up.
3. Active Options Being stuck inside with Gram and Grampa on a rainy day might not be every child’s first choice. But you can make this experience more fun than anticipated for both you and them with a few activities that get you all up and moving. Try some aerobic exercises either done to a tape or with some music on television. You might also get them moving by turning on some of Grammy’s oldies albums and encouraging their own creative dance. Kids love to move and groove and usually only require a little open space and some good music to get going. Certainly you want to keep things under control, but allowing kids to work off some energy with a good dancing workout is always a good idea.
Another good senior tip for babysitting on a rainy day is to introduce some “Hide and Seek” but because you can’t move around outside, you might prefer to use an alternate form of this game which calls upon the hider to hide an object, rather than to hide himself. The seeker, blinds his or her eyes and then on a signal from the hider, can begin the search.
Puppet shows and mini skits are also a good tool for getting kids up and moving and not getting into a frump. You may have a few dolls or hand puppets on hand to use, but if not, socks or decorated paper bags can be turned into characters your grandchildren will want to use. Most kids love to make up stories and love even more to put on shows for others . All you need to do is give a little direction and then sit back and see what they come up with. Your applause will be automatic.
Working with water is always a good therapy and a good senior tip for babysitting on a rainy day. Kids love to get up on a chair next to Grammy and help rinse dishes. Of course kids just like playing in water so, be prepared to start with the dishes and then move towards a little bubble play. Actually playing with their hands in water can be very relaxing activity that kids will stay at for quite some time.
4. Passive Ideas A good senior tip for babysitting on a rainy day is to remember that it will really help to alternate active entertainment with quieter activities.
Many grandparents keep playdoh on hand . If you have it, by all means use it. Playing with playdoh is an almost universal child pleaser. Put a few cans on the table, put out some plastic cups, a rolling pin and a few utensils and kids will keep busy for a good half hour.
If you don’t have, or don’t choose to use playdoh, another good choice for a quiet activity is to sit together comfortably and look through an old family album that has lots of pictures of the children you are caring for. Kids are just small human beings and so of course they love to look at themselves at various stages of being. Taking time to talk softly with your grandchildren about the photos can be soothing for everyone and also very enjoyable.
Some kids like to play quietly on a big quilt with small items like the contents of Grammar’s jewelry box, decks of playing cards, miniature figures, or even spools of thread. The more different the objects are from what the children have at home the more entertaining. This is an activity that can give the caretakers a real breather. Put the objects out and step back letting the imagination of the children take over.
Sharing a story. Lots of kids love to spend time listening to a story read to them by Grammy or Grampa while they enjoy some comfort food. You can get so comfortable in this activity that small eyes can begin to close. You may have to work at keeping your own open.
5.Have Fun. The final senior tip for babysitting sounds too obvious to bother with, but sometimes grandparents become so involved with doing everything just right that they let the most important aspect of babysitting their grandchildren on a rainy day slip right by. Your grandchildren are precious and the opportunities to spend time with them alone may be few and far between. So savor every moment. Keep them safe but don’t be afraid to let a few rules bend and a lot of smiles prevail.
Children have very good radar. If they are with people who are tense and anxious and not really having a good time, it is considerably more difficult for them to relax and enjoy themselves. When they see you laughing, playing, enjoying your time together it can’t help but be contagious all around. You guarantee their happiness by letting them see yours.
Babysitting can have plenty of challenging moments but these are overshadowed by all the wonderful activities that you can share with your grandchildren if you follow just a few senior tips for babysitting your grandchildren on a rainy day.