How to Entertain Kids when You Are Babysitting

Seven Methods:The Fun BagFun Playing GamesFun CraftingFun In the KitchenFun OutdoorsFun IndoorsDealing with Challenges

Sometimes, it can feel like it's virtually impossible to entertain kids, even if you're the most seasoned babysitter. You may feel like you've tried everything, but the kids are still complaining, crying, or just bored out of their minds. wikiHow is here to help! From making fun bags, creating projects, going on adventures, or playing a variety of games, you'll be able to find something to do to entertain those kids in no time at all.


  1. Image titled Deal With Annoying Kids Step 9
    When the kids start to get fussy or antsy, ask them if they want to do something. You could suggest that they color in, do a project, play a game, make a craft, etc. They say yes and it's time to put your entertaining skills into overdrive!
  2. Image titled Deal With Annoying Kids Step 8
    Play with the children. Take out the thing they want to do. If you are doing a project or coloring and you have messy toddlers, let them help put down newspaper or a plastic mat to protect floors and tables. Have fun and they will be able to tell and enjoy the babysitting time more and will give glowing reports about your engagement with them.
  3. Image titled Deal With Annoying Kids Step 4
    Be patient with the children if they start getting bored or miserable, show them the things they have brought and encourage them to play. If they don't want to do something in particular, find something else for them to do!
    • Ask the kids what they want to do. Give them options and let them choose and they will be a lot happier. They may have different opinions on what is fun and what's not than you do.

Method 1
The Fun Bag

  1. Image titled Make a Playground for Your Pet Bird Step 8
    Make a fun bag. In the fun bag you could have candy (if they are allowed), movies (check with parents first as they may only allow their kids to watch a certain age rating), coloring pages, stickers, books, games, and crafts, as well as various things for you when the kids go to sleep. Consider the age of the children you are babysitting, as very young children will appreciate different things from older children.

Method 2
Fun Playing Games

  1. Image titled Keep Toddlers from Fighting over Toys Step 27
    Try playing games that you think children might find exciting. Ask them what they like playing first- some children may not like things that are suggested to play.
  2. Image titled Keep Toddlers from Fighting over Toys Step 12
    Play fun, age appropriate games. Older children about age 10 may enjoy board games or things that are not as energetic as the games that younger kids may like. Don't do anything that is too old for the kids because you want parents to want you to come back.
    • When playing with the kids, be sure to not be rough with them, especially when you have a younger age group. This may turn them off and somebody could get hurt.
    • Musical chairs is a fun game appropriate for all ages. Just make sure the chairs are small enough for the kids.
    • Also try a game called "Sardines" or otherwise just like opposite hide and seek. One child hides while everyone else counts. Once the seekers have counted to 10 or whatever number you decided on, split up and look for the hider. If a seeker finds the hider, they hide with them. Then the next person who finds the two people hides with them and so on, until the last person who finds the group wins.
  3. Image titled Babysit Kids Step 6
    Play the "Do not laugh" game. Sit the kids down into a semi-circle and make funny faces. Whoever laughs first has to make silly faces with you. The last person not to laugh wins! Give all the kids a small prize, like a colorful band-aid or a half of a cookie.
  4. Image titled Get Kids to Start Trying New Foods Step 2
    Let the kids be the babysitter! Have the kids "feed you lunch" by having them give you an already prepared snack, like fruit snacks and a juice box. Then let them decide the game you play next or what their snack is.
  5. Image titled Raise Kids Who Love Music Step 8
    Make up a song or a story together. A great game to play is called step one step two. You make up the first part of the song/story, then the next person makes up the second part of the story and so on.
  6. Image titled Encourage a Child to Play Indoors or Out Step 3
    Keep all of the kids active. If you have a lot of children, play freeze tag, or a team game where everyone needs to be involved.

Method 3
Fun Crafting

  1. Image titled Teach Kids How to Draw Step 8
    Make cards. Cards can be painted, drawn or made using decoupage, stickers, etc.
  2. Image titled Work With Visually Impaired Children Step 6
    Make a bracelet or necklace. Measure the child's neck or wrist. Measure out the string and tape the end of the string to a paper plate. Start beading. When you are finished, remove the string and tie the two ends together.
  3. Image titled Make a Sand Cast Bronze Sculpture Step 4
    Make or buy play-dough. If you have a recipe that doesn't involve cooking on the stove, you can have the kids help make it. If you don't have the materials needed for play-dough, you can make something called Oobleck with simply water and cornstarch. This is especially good because it doesn't involve dangerous, hot ovens or sharp objects. Do this outside of course, as it is extremely messy, but that's the fun of it! Oobleck is a solid and a liquid. It is really fun.

Method 4
Fun In the Kitchen

  1. Image titled Deal With Annoying Kids Step 16
    Do some basic cooking or food preparation. Kids often love to do things for themselves, especially if it means a snack. Let them pour or stir their own drinks, make their own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or help you make cookies. This helps pass the time while teaching them skills, and they will feel more involved and grown up instead of you taking over everything.
    • Many things that adults think of as drudgery is fun for young children. Find ways to let them help you and make them feel important. Thank them for helping.
  2. Image titled Get Kids to Start Trying New Foods Step 1
    Tell them that they get to pick what they want to eat. Give them options to choose from. They can help prepare too.
    • If you give the kids snacks, serve them a way that's a little fancier than you'd normally expect.
  3. Image titled Get Kids to Start Trying New Foods Step 3
    If you can make play items edible, it's good. Some finger painting and play dough recipes are edible. For example, vanilla yogurt with food coloring can make for interesting, edible paint. And no-bake cookies are delicious and easy!

Method 5
Fun Outdoors

  1. Image titled Motivate Kids to Exercise Step 18
    Take the kids outside. Hide and Seek and Tag are always options! Ride bikes, go to the park, walk the dog, anything outdoors will run their energy out! Make sure to be very careful because the outdoors also has many hazards. Put bug-spray and sunblock on them, and dress them for appropriate weather. Make sure that they don't have any allergies though, whether it's to the sun tan lotion and bug-spray or and allergy to bees or other outdoor things.
  2. Image titled Motivate Kids to Exercise Step 10
    Pretend you're on an adventure! Pretend you are lost in the woods, and need food and water, and the children are the heroes.

Method 6
Fun Indoors

  1. Image titled Teach a Child to Read Step 1
    Read together. Some kids enjoy reading, while others don't. Find a good book or ask the kids what they want you to read to them. Download some nice background music on your iPod. A good website to get this music from is Play the music in the background while reading. This will also work for acting out something or for putting on a talent show. Adding background music will really set the mood!
  2. Image titled Avoid Vocal Damage When Singing Step 39
    Teach the kids a song. Old MacDonald had a farm, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Happy Birthday or the ABC song are good. Bring along a kiddie music CD or download some kid music onto your iPod, and play it. Kids love dancing, singing, and music.
  3. Image titled Raise Kids Who Love Music Step 9
    Have a dance party. Little kids love to sing and dance, so play some music that's age appropriate and let them jump and sing and dance.
  4. Image titled Introduce Your Children to Traditional Disney Animation Step 7
    Pick a movie appropriate for the age group you're babysitting. Pop some popcorn and put the popcorn in individual bowls for each child (if they are young). Give each child a ticket awhile before the movie. Be the ticket-taker at the door to the room, and give each child a bowl of popcorn. Then turn off the lights and start the movie!
  5. Image titled Build a Fort in Your Room Step 15
    Make a tent. Use chairs and big blankets. Fill the inside with pillows and blankets. After it's made, you can tell (or read!) stories. If it's possible, make it over a TV, so the TV is inside, and you have a movie theater! If the children are 4 or older (and less likely to make a mess), pop some popcorn to get the great movie atmosphere!
  6. Image titled Care for a Child's Hair Step 14
    Have a girly activity session. Babysitting all girls can be fun. You can do hair, make-up, nails, tea parties, etc. Be sure to get permission from parents before doing any make-up, nails or anything messy.

Method 7
Dealing with Challenges

  1. Image titled Deal With Annoying Kids Step 10
    If the kids seem shy or scared, ask them about the house. If they still don't do anything, then wait a little and make silly faces. If you can get them to laugh at you, soon they will trust and accept you more.
    • If a child is afraid of a monster hiding in their closet, make a "monster spray" using water in a spray bottle (bring one with you). Before bedtime, spray the child's room with the monster spray so they won't be afraid of the "monster".
  2. Image titled Know if Your Child Has Kidney Stones Step 2
    If a child feels unwell, and the parents aren't available, consider the situation. Do they have a slight tummy ache or are they bleeding? If they are bleeding or anything as bad, take them to A&E, whereas, if they have a slight tummy ache, tuck them into bed and read them stories, or draw with them.
  3. Image titled Deal With a Lying Child Step 1
    Deal with naughtiness with care and consideration. Treat the kids with respect. Expect good behavior and ignore minor misbehavior, which ought to be enough to make it stop.
    • Keep the kids entertained by offering reward for good behavior and help. Make them feel good by rewarding, but not too much. (Bring a little prize or treat for the end. If the kids were well behaved, then they can have the treat.)
    • Use time out as a last resort, only if the children are really misbehaving. It can be useful if they are being a danger to themselves or someone else. However, it is normally to be avoided because that is what they will remember the most from your visit and might be reluctant in wanting you to return.
  4. Image titled Be Trusted by Your Kids Step 8
    Aim to make ensuring the kids have a good time your ultimate goal. That way, you'll get a great review and you'll be asked back.
    • Clean up most of the house after the kids have gone to bed. The parents will really appreciate it. But don't reorganize things a different way, or change something completely. This might make the parents confused or mad if they can't find something.


  • Keep in mind that the parents might ask the kids if you were fun, nice, or cool to be around. Always keep the kids occupied and happy!
  • Ask the parents questions about what their children enjoy doing.
  • Make sure you let the kid go to the bathroom before bedtime so they don't wet the bed!
  • Get the kids to bed by the time the parents asked you to.
  • Make sure you ask the parent what TV shows they can watch.
  • If the kids are scared of monsters, use a spray bottle and spray the room so they can be safe, so they will trust you!
  • Let them do what they want to do. If you are always choosing the activity, they might feel bored and become cranky.
  • Try not to do things that you don't have to be involved in. Use a DVD as a last resort if nothing else works. Many parents consider it poor form to plop a child off in front of the TV and still expect to be paid.
  • Come prepared. For example, it'll go smoother if you bring the ingredients for the cookies. That won't have the parents wondering (once they're home) "Where's the sugar?" This also shows the parents that you are responsible and are prepared for whatever flows your way.
  • If it's your first time babysitting at a new house, consider playing hide and go seek (of course without playing in inappropriate places like the parents bedroom, laundry, office, etc). This will give you a better layout of the house, while offering lots of fun to the kids!
  • Be sure to ask the parents if the kids have any special needs or problems that you should be aware of.
  • Do a scavenger hunt.
  • Let the kid(s give you a tour of the house. Point some things that seem important out. It makes them open up to you a little more and it makes you know where everything is in the house.
  • Give them all your attention. Do not go on your phone or do homework, as there is a risk of the child wandering off and getting hurt, or simply getting bored.
  • Never put yourself above the kid. Let them feel like you are friends but, be firm if needed.
  • Try to play games with the kids.
  • If you need to put the child to bed make sure you have at least 30 minutes of "calm down time" so the child will be ready for bed.
  • Don't leave the children alone at any time (of course the toilet is fine) as they could get into big trouble and could possibly get hurt.
  • Keep eye on the children at all times, and do not let strangers in without calling the parents first!
  • Be professional, ask questions before taking the job. For your own safety don't post your name or phone number on the internet, on a pole, or in the newspaper. Ask a family you know or if your friend is a babysitter but can't accept a job tell her/him to mention your name.
  • Take them out of the house. Take the kids to the lake or a park. It really helps them burn off energy before nap time for the younger kids.
  • Don't play hide and seek in someone else's house. The parents may have areas they don't want you to go into.
  • When coloring, or if a child gets permanent marker on themselves or furniture (table top) use hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol to get it off!
  • If the child is potty training and it's a boy try putting a floating object such as a cork, in the toilet and tell them to aim for it make potty training a game.
  • Show them that you notice them and do something that notices each child individually.


  • Watch what the kids eat. Know of any possible allergies and police vigilantly.
  • Always make sure you know emergency numbers (EX:Neighbor, 911, trusted adult, ect.)
  • Hide any knives, poisonous materials, and/or super glue. Better still, ask parents if this has been done before you commence babysitting; it's their house and the onus should be on them.
  • Be careful playing hiding games. They might run and hide too far, not come out of their hiding spot and you may not be able to find them. Kids always try to be funny when they do something wrong. They don't even know it.
  • Don't let the kids use sharp objects or permanent markers. They could hurt themselves or other children. And permanent markers can damage furniture or the house permanently.
  • Be careful not to let the kids get hurt. Make sure all activities are safe for small children.
  • Keep kids, especially young ones, away from electrical outlets. Watch them so they don't stick their fingers or anything else in the sockets as it is extremely dangerous.
  • If you're in the kitchen try to not use the oven or stove because the kids might get hurt.
  • If you're going to play with toy guns, don't do it by a window, a neighbor might think you're a burglar or killer and call the police.
  • Never leave the kids alone. They might draw on walls or get into something they shouldn't be in. Keep them occupied and bring lots of fun games.
    Image titled Entertain Kids when You Are Babysitting Step 1

Things You'll Need

  • Toys and games
  • Coloring things
  • Paper
  • Crafts you can do together (For young kids have most of the stuff cut out if you think they will need a lot of your help.)
  • Movies (age appropriate)
  • Cell Phone in case of emergencies only
  • Snacks (know the children's allergies)
  • An iPod or other music-playing device (for kids to dance or sing)
  • Stuff to make easy crafts: pom poms, popsicle sticks, glue sticks, etc.
  • Picture books for the kids to look at
  • Prizes if the kids are good (not food)
  • Monster spray

Article Info

Categories: Babysitting