Arts and Crafty Entertainment Options for Babysitters (and Kids)Babysitters often need a host of entertainment options for their charges. Keeping children hopping to the next fun activity saves time and energy. These ideas banish boredom for kids of a variety of ages.

Edible Finger-Painting

Many kids love to paint, and quite a few do not mind getting a little messy in the bargain. Using a standard canvas, paint, and brush, some children lack the motor coordination to perform the action without getting frustrated. Babysitters can turn art time into snack time with edible finger-painting. A couple of pudding boxes, coupled with a few reusable cups and butcher paper, makes a kit that anyone can use to quickly make edible paint. Yogurt will also work well. Toddlers and preschoolers would enjoy swirling the colors around, and no worry about the mess. Older kids can enjoy the mashup of a delicious treat and a half-hour of entertainment.

Homemade Instruments

Making instruments from items already in the house can be a delight for children of almost any age. Kids like to make sounds and they often find it interesting to discover music in the everyday household goods they can see. Babysitters can take an empty tissue box, and then tape several cut rubber bands across the opening for a guitar. They could place beans, rice, lentils, or dry corn kernels into a pie plate. Sealing the rim of the plate to another pie plate inversely will create a simple tambourine. With empty toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls, beans and some cardstock, people may build maracas. Adding a twist of foil inside the roll and some rice instead of beans could transform the project into a rainstick.

Candy Crafts

Children love to snack on treats, and turning the treats into a craft can be an excellent way to spend an afternoon. Many babysitters are familiar with the idea of making a simple “gingerbread” house out of graham crackers and royal icing. Kids of all ages love this activity because they can really let their artistic side out of the box. For a simpler task, people can blow up small balloons and dip them into melted chocolate. Placing the balloons chocolate-side down on a sheet of wax paper and allowing them to cool makes a little dish of chocolate, once the balloon has been removed. It becomes the perfect serving bowl for ice cream, fresh fruit, or small candies.

Art from Nature

Some kids like to get outside and see what they can make right in their own yards. For a simple and inexpensive craft, babysitters might take a small amount of sand and colored glitter. Children can spread glue across a sheet of paper, shake the sand and glitter over it, and tap off the excess. The result is a textured page of color and design. Painting rocks in the garden are an easy and lasting activity, and one that kids might keep intact for many years. People who are looking for an opportunity to “leave no trace” could take imprints of leaves, pine cones, or textured rocks. The pictures can go on the fridge or on the wall, without disturbing the natural beauty of the property.

Finding new opportunities to entertain kids is a babysitter’s biggest task. With these simple craft ideas for kids of all ages and abilities, people can make sure that everyone ends the day with a smile.