8 Virtual Babysitting Activities
In these strange times, any babysitting activities have essentially come to a temporary halt as to limit the spread of COVID-19. However, that doesn’t mean that you; our Näppsitters can’t continue offering your services through our platform through “virtual babysitting”!
Although Skyping or FaceTiming kids is definitely a far stretch from physically babysitting them, Näppsitters add more value than keeping kids safe while parents are out. They are a touchpoint to the native language and culture of these kids, and allow them to continue interacting with it in order to stay connected while living abroad.
Additionally, for the Näppsitters that have already been matched with a family and have started to form a bond with the kids: you have probably had a bigger impact on these kids than you may realize, and they miss you! It is therefore crucial for you to stay connected with them, ask them how they’re doing, what they’ve been up to, and showing that you care and that you’ll be reunited soon once this is all behind us.
Besides having these conversations with your babysitting kids, we have come up with eight fun activities, inspired by virtual babysitting calls our Founder has had with her own babysitting kid.
#1: Tell stories
Reading stories is something that you’re probably very familiar with in your normal babysitting setting. It can easily be replicated to a virtual format! Many of you don’t have storybooks for kids at home, but you can search stories online and have one ready to go for your virtual babysitting session. If the child wants you to read one of their book, ask them to hold it up to the camera so you can read the words on the page (within reason, of course). You can even make up your own stories, and write a book together – perhaps chapter by chapter every call. Turning it into an education experience is also possible, depending on how old the child is: write down letters or words and hold them up to the camera so the child can read them.
#2: Pen and pencil ready, draw together
Make sure you both are equipped with some papers, crayons, pens, and pencils, are draw together! Make it interactive by asking the child to draw a certain things like flowers, or a house, or turn it into the guessing game: guess my drawing. This is a great way to spend an hour and unleash the kids’ creative side.
#3: Guessing game: verbal edition
First, pick a category such as animals, furniture, or countries, and take turns describing them in words. This is great for the language development of the child, so make sure to do it in their mother tongue. Another great way to enhance their lingual abilities through this game are by having them name opposites. For example, when you say the word: big, they must respond with “small”. When you say “light”, they say “dark”, and so on.
#4: Sing together
This is not only extremely cute and funny, but by picking songs from their native language and culture the kids really get the opportunity to connect to it on a deeper level. If neither of you can or want to or can sing, you can always get out any musical instruments you have and play some tunes together!
#5: Dance together
A great way for both of you to get in some at-home physical activity in: dancing to your favourite music together! You can even hold a talent show / virtual dance-off and show off your skills. Teach each other dances from your home culture, or follow tutorials on YouTube together.
#6: Work-out together
If you want to get a real sweat going, you can both do a child-friendly at home work out together. It is a great idea to have the child make up the rules here, so mimic their moves and let them be the instructor. If both of you run out of ideas, this channel can offer some inspiration!
#7: Puppet show
Using stuffed animals, paper cut-outs, or even small faces drawn on your fingers, hide below the camera and hold a puppet show! The child can do the same from their side, and your puppet show can be as interactive as you like! In a way, this is just like playing with dolls when you’re physically there.
#8: Rock, Paper, Scissors
Depending on the age of the child, this one might take some time to learn, but once they’ve got it this is a very fun game to easily play virtually. For the rules of the game, check out the official rules on the Rock Paper Scissors Association. Of course, if there is a similar alternative game in your native language, play that one!
We hope that these virtual babysitting activities will inspire fun and valuable calls between you and your babysitting kids. Remember, you don’t have to do all of these in one call. You know your babysitting children the best, be flexible and be ready to change the plan depending on their age and concentration skills. The most important thing is that the child feels that someone else besides their parents cares about how they’re doing at home. Stay tuned to our social media for developments in the works!