HomeJean Marzollo, author of I SPY

.......................................................afternoon baby-sitting
From Superkids by Jean Marzollo - Illustrations by Irene Trivas

Many of the activities on these pages may require adult supervision.
Be sure to tell a grown-up about what you're planning and ask for permission before getting started.

With a parent home but otherwise occupied.


Many parents would be happy to pay a boy or girl to play with their children one or two hours each afternoon. Usually, if the baby-sitter is under the age of twelve, at least one parent remains at home, working or resting inside while you, the baby-sitter, work outside in the yard watching the children. You have to learn to do your job in a relaxed way, even though you know that the parent is probably keeping an ear open for trouble. Don't let this bother you. Parents are concerned mainly with the welfare of their children. They are not out to judge you in any way except as a baby-sitter. What they want you to do is take good care of their children and keep their children happy. If you can show skill at this, they will like you and probably hire you again.

How to Get the Job

You can call someone you know who has a young child. You might say, "Hello, my name is ________ .
I was wondering if you would like me to watch your child in the afternoon for an hour or two. I am __ years old.
I can play with your child so that you can do something else in your own home. I would charge $___ an hour."

You might also put a notice in the local paper or on a bulletin board at the supermarket or pharmacy.

Prospective employers will probably want to know how you will get to their house. Do you need to be picked up? They may want references - that is, the names of people who know you and would recommend you for the job. They may ask you what ideas you have for playing with children and if you know how to do certain things, such as change diapers, make a sandwich, and so forth. Be honest.

Before you start work, ask your employer what exactly he or she would like you to do. Write it down. If you take your job seriously, you will do what's asked reliably. You will get there on time. You will take good care of the baby or child. You will pay attention to your work. You will pick up after you and the baby as you go along. If you can do these things and enjoy the job, then baby-sitting is for you. If you don't think you can do them, better consider another way to make money.

The parents probably will have ideas for you regarding their child's play. They may ask you to take the child for a ride in a stroller around the block. Or sit with the child in the sandbox. Or play catch. Or read to the child. Do these things with enthusiasm. One of the most annoying things for a parent to see is a baby-sitter sitting like a blob next to a child. Get involved. Not hyper, just involved. Make sand castles. Talk. Let your voice convey interest and enthusiasm.


Blah Babysitter



interested babysitter


If the parents ever leave you alone with the child, know where they have gone, where the emergency phone numbers are, and what the parents expect you to do in case of emergency.


Click here for READING TUTOR


Click here for MORE IDEAS!


Based on the book SUPERKIDS: Creative Learning Activities for Children 5-15
Text © Jean Marzollo, Illustrations © Irene Trivas

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