How to Set a Schedule as a Babysitter
When summer comes around, parents are faced with maintaining their busy schedules without the constant support of school to keep their kids busy. This is where you come in as the summer sitter or nanny. Your job is to care for the children by making sure they get from point A to point B, eat lunch, and otherwise stay alive throughout the day. A huge part of this process is setting a schedule that not only the children follow, but that you follow as well. Children are used to keeping a schedule at school, and you will all be happier if you have a well-structured, consistent plan each day. Once you’ve created a set schedule, be sure to stick with it. Creating this schedule can be overwhelming, but we’ve got a few tips up our sleeves to share with you.
Start with pre-planned summer activities.
Keep in mind that many parents register their children for summer activities such as swimming or tennis. It is important that these activities are the first thing to be built into your schedule. You’ll want to build everything else you do around these activities, and make sure to allow for travel time between locations so that you do not end up arriving late.
Don’t forget to eat!
Hungry kids are whiny kids, and whiny kids are no fun. No matter how many awesome activities you have planned for the day, they’ll be no fun if there’s no time to eat. Always plan time for morning and afternoon snacks, as well as lunch. These snacks and meals can be super simple. Later this summer we will share some of our favorite foods to make.
Pencil in time to rest.
Depending on the ages of the children you’re watching, you may need to ensure that there is always time for a nap. If you’re watching siblings, you may find that the older sibling no longer needs a midday nap, but their sibling does. Never fear! This is where “quiet time” comes in. Allow the older child(ren) to play quietly or read a book while their younger sibling sleeps. This time is a great time for the kids to decompress from a busy morning, and it allows you to have a few moments of sanity once everyone is settled.
The less than fun stuff: chores.
Once again, depending on the age of the child(ren) you’re babysitting, their parents may have a few chores for them to complete. Part of your job is to make sure that the children attend to all of their responsibilities, and unfortunately, that sometimes include cleaning their room. Make sure you flesh out enough time for the child(ren) to complete their chores, and then use the rest of the time for fun!
Once you’ve built in the basics, you can use whatever free time may be left however you and the children would like. Most kids prefer to pick their own games and activities throughout their free time during the day, but it is always a good idea to have a few games or activities in mind for those “I’m bored” moments.
Remember to maintain your schedule through out the summer. It is okay so stray from your schedule from time to time, but most days it should be considered a set schedule with out any changes. Consistency is hugely important for children, and it is your job to provide that consistency throughout the summer.
Sitters, what does your summer schedule for the kids you babysit look like? Tweet us at @SitterMe or leave a comment using #SitterTipTuesday!