10 Critical Things to Include in a Babysitting Kit
A good babysitter knows to always have a few things on hand when she reports to work. Since such a large part of a babysitter’s job is keeping her charges occupied, bringing along a bag of tricks is a good idea. In addition to saving your sanity, your babysitting kit may bring you more work when delighted kids ask for you by name.
- Crayons and Paper – Stock your kit with both white paper and the brightly colored construction variety and crayons. If you really want to earn points, sharpen the crayons before each job.
- Kid Safe Scissors – Make sure there are enough pairs for each of your charges to prevent arguing, and always be sure that they are the “kid safe” variety so that no one cuts themselves.
- Washable Glue – For older kids, liquid school glue is probably fine; if your charges are on the young side, it’s best to pack glue sticks to cut down on the mess.
- Miscellaneous Supplies – If you have specific projects in mind, bring along the supplies. You should keep in mind, however, that kids usually have their own ideas. Being able to go with the flow is a must when you’re dealing with children.
- Plastic Sheet – Some kind of plastic tablecloth or other sheeting should be included for covering work spaces. Glue, paint and other craft supplies can get very messy, and you don’t want to damage any of your employers’ tables or floors.
- Card Games – Games like UNO are great to keep on hand. They don’t take up much space and are perennial kid favorites.
- First Aid Kit – You never want to rummage around in your employers’ medicine cabinets or closets, even if it’s just to locate bandages or antiseptic ointment. Keeping a supply of first aid items in your kit means that you’ll always know exactly where they are, and won’t have to look through the house for them. Adhesive bandages with kid-friendly patterns also do wonders for boo-boos.
- Flashlight With Extra Batteries – Though the official reason you’ll want this in your kit is in case of a power outage, be prepared to use it for imaginative play when your charges discover that you have it.
- Babysitter’s Notebook – When you report to work for a new family, come in early to talk with the parents and fill out your notebook. You should have emergency contact numbers, special instructions and other useful information; keeping it in one notebook means that you’ll only have to ask each family for these details once.
- Sense of Humor – The most important thing you can bring to work with you is a sense of humor. Working with children is fun and rewarding, but it can also be stressful if you’re not prepared to laugh.
When you put together your kit, remember that you’ll want to keep it as compact as possible. Large packages that are heavy or unwieldy can be difficult to transport, and you’re more likely to leave things behind if there’s too much to keep track of.