Finding Your Inner Mary Poppins

Fun Easy Crafting Ideas

From New York’s Easy Care Sitter, Britney

Just as we adults become bored with our daily routines, children too become bored with the same toys, games, and crafts.  No matter how many toys a child may have, there is still the possibility of boredom. We’ve all experienced it!

Babysitter: Jacob would you like to play tag?
Child: No thank you.
Babysitter: How about coloring?
Child: No thank you –I did that yesterday.
Babysitter: How about we go outside and play soccer?
Child: No, I have soccer practice tonight.
Babysitter: I see you have tons of fun games here, would you like to play Clue, Sorry, or Scrabble?
Child: I don’t like board games. I play them all the time.

So what do you do when the child doesn’t want to play with any of the things at home?

Luckily, some children have the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Easy Care Sitters with whom children NEVER become bored!!! But how do you guarantee fun and not an ounce of boredom while babysitting?

It’s simple! Just grab a spoonful of sugar and become a real life Mary Poppins! Well not exactly! My trick to handling the possibility of boredom is to come prepared.

Whenever I babysit a young child, ages 2 years- 8 years old, I almost always pack a few handy crafting tools –paper plates and brown paper bags.  I bring these two tools with me to turn arts and crafts into an extraordinary unforgettable experience. There is something about coming to a job equipped with your own nifty tools and ideas for craft projects that make the youngsters thrilled. 

Below I have outlined instructions for two of my favorite Arts and Crafts activities to do with younger children. I have done these activities with children as young as 2 years old. 

1: The Paper Bag Puppet, Created By One of  Easy Care Sitter’s Favorite 4 year old!

What you’ll need:
2 Brown paper bags (One for you and one for the youngster)
3 Sheets of white paper
Scissors
Markers
Glitter and beads

Draw, color, and cut out any facial features such as ears, eyes, whiskers, hair, tongue or nose that you want to use. If you have additional art supplies, you can get creative and use pipe cleaners for whiskers or yarn for hair. I personally used felt paper to help construct the ears.

Lay the bag in front of you with the folded flap facing upward.

Begin by adding each of the facial features in the appropriate locations. I would recommended using a glue stick when possible though tape and liquid glue work as well.image1

Personalize your puppet with glitter, paint, beads, and any other crafting tools available –this is my favorite part!

Allow the puppet to dry as needed.

Stick your hand inside your puppet and put on your own imaginative puppet show with the youngster using the puppets that you each created.

2: The Spirally Flying Snake, Created by One of Easy Care Sitter’s Most Crafty 2 year old!

What you’ll need:
1 Paper plate
1 piece of paper
Scissors
Markers
Yarn

Draw a large spiral on the bottom of the paper plate –this will guide you and the youngster in later steps.

IMG_6756Color both sides of your paper plate completely.  If you choose to paint, allow approximately 30 minutes for paint to dry.

Use your sheet of paper to cut out eyes (or use googley eyes!) and a tongue for your snake.

Make a small hole in the center of the plate and tie a piece of yarn. This is so that you can bounce and fly your spirally snake around.

Cut the paper along the spiraled line.IMG_6753

Add the eyes, tongue, and any last minutes decorations. 

Allow the snake to dry as needed.

If it’s a nice day out, head outside and test out the spirally flying snake. Hold the yarn, run around in a circle, and watch your snake twirl and twist behind you.

Fellow sitters, don’t be afraid to find your inner Mary Poppins—if you have a talent or craft, come prepared to share!

 

 


Written by Britney W, Easy Care Sitter since March 2015.

Favorite Music Class with Kids – EVER!

Awesome Music Classes for kids in NYC

Music can be a beautiful, inspiring, and fun activity to share with your children! In fact, one of my favorite activities with kids is dancing and music classes!  New York has a lot to choose from, but my favorite, by far is Musical Theatre with Audra Rox. As a sitter, I enjoyed taking toddlers to their music classes at Jalopy in Red Hook.  Music for Aardvarks (and other animals)  is an interactive and fun class for kids, sitters, and parents. Through music, movement, playing instruments and singing, children in these classes enjoy the silly and powerful ways music teaches them words, creativity, and connection to new friends. And through the songs written especially for them, kids focus on the joys of being a city kid!  The weekly classes are offered all around Brooklyn, and you and your kiddos will not be disappointed! So next time you’re in a pinch and aren’t sure what to do, check out a local music class. Your kids will be singing their praises before you know it (pun intended).

Written by:
Nichole D.
Easy Care Sitter since June 2013

Learn to be a Birthday Bash Pro!

How to throw the Perfect Birthday Party!

A simple guide for an epic birthday celebration

Having a birthday party for your little one can be a daunting task. It’s hard to know what to do to entertain the kiddos, how long the party should last, or whether you should have a party in the first place. Hopefully these tips will help take some of the stress away, and you’ll be able to plan a fun, and carefree party for your kids.

First, don’t invite more than 15 guests. That’s a manageable number and not everybody will come, so the idea is to end up with around 12 guests.
Second, hire 2 sitters (Easy Care Sitters can help!) or 2 friends you trust who will listen to instructions you give; this will be essential in making the party fun for the kids, and hassle-free for you.
Third, the party should only last 2 hours, that’s a great amount of time to allow guests to arrive, have playtime, do some crafts, have the birthday cake, and then say goodbye.

Finally, create a schedule, and stick to it:
12p: Party Starts, guests arrive, open play time.
12:30p: Have 1 sitter/friend guide a craft project, something simple and age appropriate, something they can finish and then take home. Meanwhile, the 2nd sitter/friend sets up the food/drinks.
1p: Food! Finger foods are best, and to be less wasteful buy gallons of juice/water as opposed to juice boxes/water bottles.
1p: Some kids might not want to eat, or will eat quickly. Have one of you sitter/friends ready with another activity, like a sing-along or a game like duck-duck-goose, to keep them entertained while others eat.
1:30p: Cake! Gather all the guests, have one of the sitter/friends lead the singing, and help with distributing cake.
2p: Goodbye! Hand out party favors (if you have them) and pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

Check back for ideas on simple arts and crafts projects! We hope this helps you plan a party your whole family can get excited about.

And the Easy Care Sitters Blog, begins…

Childcare is one of the most rewarding, frustrating, exhausting, and exhilarating jobs of all time. From poopy diapers, to a child’s profession of love—we experience it all. And in the end, we’re better for it. Before even starting Easy Care Sitters, I went through my fair share of babysitting gigs, and I feel all those experiences contributed to who I am today. I’m more patient because I know how to deal with a stubborn 4 year-old who thinks he knows best. I’m creative because I had to entertain 3 kids for 5 hours with only paper as my tool. And I’m nurturing because there’s nothing quite like being that beacon of hope when the child you’re caring for has a boo-boo, and you’re the one reassuring them.

I opened Easy Care Sitters on whim, not thinking too much of what it would lead to, and here we are today, 5 years old and growing. We pride ourselves in being a small company, offering families a personal touch in a world that’s gone entirely too tech-driven and detached.

So now we’re starting a new chapter for Easy Care Sitters. A blog written by myself and my many amazing sitters, with all things childcare! Be it tips for child-friendly activities around the city, or memorable babysitting stories, we have it here. We hope you’ll come to learn with us, and if you have something you’d like to contribute, let us know! We’d love to have you share your stories with us.

Thank you for making us who we are. Easy Care Sitters. Always Easy. Always Reliable.

Cristina Twigg
Owner
Easy Care Sitters, NYC