Archive for December, 2011

10 Reasons to Order Pizza for the Sitter

December 31st, 2011 by admin

In tough economic times, justifying the cost of a babysitter, the cost of a night out and ordering a pizza for the sitter and kids at home can be difficult. It’s tempting to ask a babysitter to prepare an easy meal for themselves and your children, but here are some of the reasons you might want to consider forking over the extra cash and opting for delivery.

  1. Convenience – Some babysitters, especially teens, can find it a little bit difficult to prepare a meal while keeping an eye on active children. Opting for pizza means one less task, which could make all the difference if your kids are on the rambunctious side.
  2. Safety – Aside from the potential risk of kitchen fires that accompanies an inexperienced attempt at cooking dinner, avoiding heat sources and sharp knives might be a good idea. Small children will need to be in the kitchen while the sitter’s cooking so she can keep an eye on them, and it might not be the safest environment if she’s inexperienced.
  3. To Avoid “Picky Eater” Problems – Even finicky kids love pizza, which can be a blessing for your sitter. Children that refuse to eat anything that isn’t prepared to their exact specifications can drive a sitter to distraction; ordering a pizza is surefire way to make sure your kids don’t go to bed with empty bellies because the sitter doesn’t know how to cut a sandwich into the right shape.
  4. Easy Clean Up – Instead of a sink full of dishes, a pizza night will only leave a few plates to be washed and leftovers to put away. Despite a good sitter’s best efforts, they’re unlikely to put kitchen implements in their proper places because your home isn’t familiar to them.
  5. To Make Sure the Sitter Eats – Sometimes a babysitter can be uncomfortable eating your food, especially if she’s on the shy side. Leaving money for pizza is the best way to ensure that you don’t have a hungry sitter on your hands.
  6. Easing Separation Anxiety – Some kids have a hard time with separation anxiety, especially if the sitter is new to them. Leaving your children with a hug and the promise of a pizza party can go a long way towards soothing the pains of being left behind.
  7. An Incentive For Good Behavior – Letting your kids know that the sitter will order pizza if they behave is a great reward for their good behavior. Instruct the sitter to only order if the kids follow instructions in front of your children, and they’ll be on their best behavior.
  8. To Keep the Focus on Your Kids – If you expect the sitter to give your children their undivided attention, don’t set her up for failure by expecting her to prepare a meal in the other room. Putting slices of pizza on plates and pouring drinks will require very little of her time to be spent on tasks other than watching your kids and keeping them entertained.
  9. Giving Your Children Their Own Special Night – When you go out for the evening, plan a special night for your kids, too. A pizza party and a DVD rental is the equivalent of a night on the town for kids; they’ll appreciate being able to enjoy their idea of a party while you’re gone.
  10. Leftovers – That leftover pizza is sure to look good tomorrow, especially if a late night leaves you less-than-fully-rested.

A great sitter is worth her weight in gold, and are typically in pretty high demand. If she has to choose between you and the family down the street that expects her to cook an elaborate meal the next time you call her, she’ll probably choose the family that makes her job as painless as possible. Leaving money for pizza might stretch your budget a bit, but it’s a worthwhile investment if it helps you hold on to the best babysitter in the neighborhood.

10 Reasons Every Sitter Should Be Able to Drive

December 26th, 2011 by admin

The average sitter seems to be between 12 and 15 years old, well below the age for driving and for jobs lasting only a few hours that’s fine. However older sitters who also drive can be a boon to parents for many reasons of convenience.

  1. Responsibility – Just by the fact that she is old enough to drive and assuming you have done your homework in background checks and references, if you trust her that means she has what it takes to be responsible. Whether the car is hers or borrowed from her parents, she has shown enough maturity to be able to handle the task of being a driver.
  2. Convenience – If you have very small children it can really be a hassle to get them ready for a car ride to pick up the sitter who will be coming back to the house to watch them. An older sitter can drive to and from the job which makes it easier on parents and children.
  3. Emergencies – In the event of an emergency it’s comforting to know that your sitter will be able to drive your child to the doctor or hospital if necessary. Discuss with your sitter any health related issues she should know about that may necessitate such an urgent trip. Some emergencies are best handled by making a 911 call. Make sure your sitter knows the difference.
  4. Errands – Sometimes things come up and having a sitter who can run a quick errand can be a real timesaver for you. Even though your sitter may be willing to go the extra mile for you, make sure to show your appreciation in a tangible way and never take your sitters thoughtfulness for granted.
  5. Chauffer the kids – Being able to let go of some of your chauffeuring duties can free up some extra time for you. It’s handy to have a sitter who is able to take the kids to and from their activities with no worries on your part.
  6. Drive to the park – In many cities the nearest park is not necessarily within walking distance from home. A sitter who drives will be able to take the kids to the park so they can socialize with other children and get some exercise and fresh air.
  7. Picking the kids up from school – There will be days when your schedule will conflict with that of your children. Instead of scrambling to make it work having the option of calling the sitter and asking her to get the kids means less stress for you.
  8. Outings – Sometimes events come up that the kids would like to attend but you may not be able to take them. If you have a sitter that is willing and able to drive, your children will not have to miss any of those events.
  9. The comfort ride – Okay this may be a bit of a stretch, but face it, some kids only settle down when they ride in the car. If you have such a fussy little tyke, you and your sitter will be glad she can drive. Why spoil a great night out with your spouse when a ride around the block a couple of times with your trusty sitter will put your little sweetie right to sleep.
  10. Change of plans – Not very often, but once in a great while a major change of plans comes along. When that happens it’s a comfort to have a sitter who can drive the kids where they need to go, whether it’s to your parents’ home, your office, or someplace else.

Younger sitters are nice to have and certainly need the experience. At the same time a trusted older sitter with driving capabilities and a clean driving record can be a real asset especially when times get hectic. Ground rules for driving your kids are a must. It’s your responsibility to make sure the sitter is clear on what is and is not allowed including cell phone usage when your kids are in the car. Make sure you reimburse her for gas costs and let her know this extra service is appreciated.

10 Reasons Older Siblings Can Be Terrible Sitters

December 19th, 2011 by admin

It seems only natural for older siblings to be given the position of built-in babysitter. After all, they know the family rules and expectations better than any hired babysitter would. However, even though this may seem the ideal situation, it might not necessarily be the best choice. Here are ten things to take into consideration before bestowing that mantle of responsibility upon the eldest child:

  1. Power – Power struggles can develop, especially when siblings are relatively close in age. There is a saying, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.” Older siblings may abuse their sense of power over their younger ones, which in turn can result in rebellion on the younger siblings’ part and a general breakdown of order.
  2. Following House Rules – Ideally, house rules will be followed while parents are absent, however, there is always the child who feels he or she can improve upon those rules by making them more stringent since Mom and Dad are not around. On the opposite end of the scale is the child who didn’t like the rules anyway and allows anarchy to take over.
  3. Teasing – Teasing can quickly grow from being a mere irritation to real torture. Siblings often tease each other, but in a situation in which there is no adult supervision teasing can easily get out of hand.
  4. Rejection – Some older children may not want to be bothered with watching a younger brother or sister. They may agree to the job, but when the parents are gone, so is any interest in what the younger children may be doing.
  5. Bullying – Once the parents are gone, a sibling who has a tendency to bully may pull the stops out.
  6. Electronic babysitting – In this age of technology even parents resort to the electronic babysitters: television and video games, so older siblings may to make use of this convenience. Unmonitored viewing or video gaming opens the way for children to witness things they shouldn’t see.
  7. Frustration – Older siblings can become frustrated with younger children acting out or being uncooperative and may not have the skills to cope with their frustration.
  8. Fear of being alone – Not everyone is okay with being alone, including some adults. Though technically the older child is not alone, the anxiety of being the responsible one added to the fear of being without adult protection can put a lot of unnecessary stress on him or her.
  9. Communication issues – Parents often comment on how their children don’t listen when they say something, but seem to pay attention when someone else says the same thing. Depending on the age differential, that lack of communication can be an even greater problem between siblings.
  10. Abuse – Sibling abuse often goes unrecognized, since most parents understand it is normal for siblings to quarrel and have conflicts. However, if one child is always the victim and the other always the aggressor, it’s time to take action. A 2005 study showed that 35 out of 100 children are victims of sibling abuse. Unfortunately, it may not be so easy for parents to distinguish sibling rivalry from abuse, especially since the abuse will most likely occur when parents are absent.

Having older siblings babysit can be a financially smart move, especially in this economy. Certainly there are perks to having a “built-in babysitter;” at the same time, parents need to be aware of possible pit falls. It is important to teach all children responsibility and to help siblings learn to watch over and respect one another; however, placing a child in a position of responsibility that he or she is not mature or committed enough to handle can have lasting negative effects on everyone.

10 Ways to Butch Up Your Son

December 17th, 2011 by admin

Let me warn you, if you try these ideas you will be walking a very fine line.  Try not to cross it.  You do not want your child thinking that there is something wrong with him.  If your son likes to play with dolls, buy him GI Joe.  If he likes to cook, keep in mind that some of the world’s most famous chefs are men.  You do not want to damage your son’s self-esteem.  Check out 10 ways to butch up your son.

  1. Take him fishing: Fishing is a great sport and one that is relaxing and not stressful.  It’s exciting when you catch a fish so your son will have a sense of accomplishment.  Fishing does get messy when you have to bait the hook and when you have to take the fish off the hook.  Teaching your son to do this without being squeamish about it should be a step in the right direction.
  2. Teach him to shoot a gun: No, I’m not talking about a hand gun.  I’m talking about a bb gun or a rifle.  Take him to a shooting range.  Let him practice with targets.  The power that you feel when you are shooting a gun is a rush and something that everyone should experience.
  3. Take him hunting: Once your son learns how to shoot you might take him hunting.  Now hunting isn’t for everyone so if you don’t hunt then it’s pointless to take your son hunting.  There’s a lot of waiting around with other men when you are out hunting and being around other manly men might let your son emulate how they act. Be sure to let your son hang out with the guys around the campfire and listen to the stories.
  4. Get him a personal trainer: Often boys who are effeminate are small or frail.  It might do your son good to build some muscles so he can see an image of himself as a man.  There are plenty of trainers around, but make sure that you get one who has experience working with young adults otherwise there may be injuries that will set the whole thing back or end it altogether.  Once he bulks up a little he will walk differently and carry himself differently.
  5. Get him a masculine haircut: Many times longer hair will make a boy look more feminine than manly so by getting his hair cut you may change his image of himself.  It may not work, but it’s worth a try.  Don’t force him to cut his hair super short unless he’s up for it because you don’t want to traumatize him.
  6. Take him for a guys’ night out: The more exposure he has to being around men and seeing how men act around each other the more he could pick up on it and start acting that way himself.  Do you have a poker night with the guys?  Let your son tag along one time and let him experience what it’s like hanging out with the guys.
  7. Teach him to act like a guy: Sometimes boys spend so much time with their moms that it is hard to act like one of the guys.  If he crosses his legs like a girl then explain to him that guys don’t sit like that and show him how to sit with his ankle on his knee.  If you notice something else that seems feminine then just let him know that guys do it differently than what he is doing it.
  8. Teach him how to shave: This is for boys that are old enough to have some whiskers.  This is a rite of passage that all fathers teach their sons how to shave.  As long as he’s not shaving his legs I think you are doing okay.
  9. Watch football with him: Teach him the game.  Boys are not born knowing how to play football.  With patience tell him about the game and why you love it.  Explain the finer points of the game.  If you get a chance to take him to a football game then he can experience the excitement of the crowds.
  10. Put him in a class to learn how to work on cars: There is something about a guy and working on his car that is very masculine.  Not being afraid of getting your hands dirty and getting grease under your nails.  Shop classes in Junior High school will teach the broad strokes of working on and taking care of a car.

 

10 Ways to Use Sports to Teach Math

December 15th, 2011 by admin

All kids are different and some may excel in math naturally while others may get confused by all of the concepts.  Sometimes switching the way a child looks at math is all it takes to get the concept to “click” for them.  For the child who is interested in sports, it may be more fun for them to use sports in order to learn math concepts.  Check out 10 ways to use sports to teach math.

  1. Bowling to teach addition: When you roll the ball and knock over pins you write down how many pins you knocked down.  Then you roll your second ball down the lane and knock over more pins, you add those to what you knocked over with your first ball.  Then a total is created in the big part of the frame on the score sheet.  When the next frame is bowled the student will not only get to add up how many pins they knocked over in that frame, but then they get to add them to what they knocked over in previous frames.
  2. Baseball to learn batting averages: The number of times a player hits the ball and gets on base versus the number of times at bat will give their batting average.  That could be a way to teach percentages to a child.  For example, if a batter is up to bat 10 times, but only gets on base 5 times then their batting average would be .500.  This could be converted to 50%.
  3. Pool to teach trigonometry: A child can use trigonometry when they play pool.  Figuring out what angle needs to be created in order to sink the ball into the pocket can be mathematically figured out.  Using an Isosceles triangle of 3 by 4 by 5 will determine where the cue needs to be to make the shot.
  4. Football to use subtraction: If a player kicked a ball from their 20 yard line and it made it to the 50 yard line how far was the kick?  50-20=30 so the kick was 30 yards.  If team X needs to make it to their 40 yard line to make a first down and they are now at their own 12 yard line because of penalties and such how many yards does a player have to run to make the first down?  40-12=28 yards.
  5. Using soccer to learn statistics: Based on how a player does during the season is a good predictor on how they will do in the future.  If a player has made a goal in 5 out of their last 8 games the odds of them making a goal in future games is very good.  The exact chance can be determined using a formula.
  6. Basketball to teach Mean, Median, Mode and Range:  Open the sports section of any paper and pull up the details from a basketball game from the night before.  Ask the child to write down how many points each player scored on Team X.  The players scored 2, 4, 6, 6, 8, 10 and 12.  After explaining what the above terms mean the student can determine that the mean score is 6.9.  The median is 6.  The range is 10 and the mode is 6.
  7. Car racing to learn velocity: Sprint cars go so many feet in a certain amount of time and a formula can be used to determine the velocity that the car was going. 
  8. Skateboarding and Algebra: If a child is building a half-pipe ramp they will need to determine how long the ramp needs to be and at what angle they need to make it in order to achieve the distance that they want.  They will use algebra to find these measurements.
  9. Basketball can help teach range function: Graphing the angle at which a basketball is shot from and the distance from where it is shot you can determine how fast the ball has to be thrown in order to make the basket.
  10. Using golf to learn probability: There are many sites that contain tons of data regarding sports figures.  So if you don’t like golf you can use many other types of sports for this exercise, but if you look up all of the times that a golfer has made a hole in one and then look at how many holes of golf they have played using probability you can determine how high the chance is that a golfer will get a hole in one.  The chances are pretty small.

5 Reasons Why CPR Training is Important for Sitters

December 13th, 2011 by admin

You may think that CPR training is not important for a babysitter, who is only going to be taking care of kids for a few hours at a time. This is far from the truth. CPR training is very important for babysitters to have, no matter how infrequent their babysitting jobs and how short the time is that they are in care of the children. Here are five reasons why.

  1. Caregiver – Any caregiver needs to know CPR. Being a caregiver means that you are the person responsible for the well-being of those you care for. In the case of a babysitter, you are responsible for the care and well-being of other people’s children. This is a very weighty responsibility and should be entered into with training that will cover as many different scenarios as possible.
  2. Kids get into trouble – Kids do not fully understand all the dangers around them and seem to manage to find ways to get themselves into dangerous situations, no matter how hard you try to keep them safe. They find their way to water, which could drown them. They swallow things that can make them choke. They ingest things that can be harmful to them. They wrap things around their necks, put bags over their heads and shut themselves in small spaces. When a babysitter has more than one child in her care, at one time, it is especially easy to lose track of the most adventurous one. Even with just one, it is amazing how fast they can disappear, when you turn your back.
  3. Emergencies cannot be predicted – To think that ‘nothing’ is going to happen in the few short hours that a babysitter is caring for children is naïve. Although, the risk may be lowered, it still remains. Emergency situations can happen at any time. They only take moments to develop; they cannot be predicted.
  4. Time is of the essence – When a person has stopped breathing and/or their heart is no longer beating, you cannot wait for someone else to arrive; CPR needs to be started immediately. The longer a person’s brain is deprived of oxygen, the lower their chances of being revived and recovering. If a child should require CPR, while in a babysitter’s care, the babysitter is most likely the one who will need to provide it.
  5. The only ‘adult’ in the house – The children are not the only ones, whom a babysitter may need to administer CPR to. Unexpected situations can arise where a babysitter may find themselves giving CPR to a parent, prior to or upon returning to the home. In other cases, it may be a neighbor who is in need of emergency assistance.

CPR training is important general knowledge for everyone once they reach their teenage years and beyond. Emergency situations can arise at any time and in any place. You never know when you will be the only one available to administer CPR.

10 Ways Video Games Help Kids

December 11th, 2011 by admin

Video games get a bad rap.  All of the experts will have you think that video games will rot the minds of our youth.  We’re being told as parents to limit our kids’ screen time to an hour a day.  Really?  Only an hour?  That amount of time is enough for one prime time show with the family or two shows on Disney.  That doesn’t include time to play with the Wii or the DS.  That doesn’t allow any time for working on the computer either.  I’m no expert, but I would say our kids would be better off if we just monitored what they are playing and watching.  Obviously no one wants their child glued to the TV or video game all day, but I don’t think 4-5 hours a day doing various things is a big deal.  Check out 10 ways video games help kids.

  1. Develop hand/eye coordination: Video games do an amazing job of developing our kids’ hand/eye coordination.  The skill that they have to figure out how far and how fast they need to jump in order to land in just the right place.  The examples are endless.  Nearly every video game works on hand/eye coordination.
  2. Problem solving: Many of the games include an element that must be figured out in order to win the game.  Not just win the game, but to progress through the various levels.  Games like Diabolical Box contain complex puzzles all throughout the game that have to be solved in order to get all of the pieces to solve the end mystery. 
  3. Spatial awareness: Figuring out how to maneuver through mazes and worlds collecting coins or objects or tools is difficult.  The trick is to be aware of where you are and where you have already been because these games are timed as well.  You can’t spend all day going over and over the same landscapes.
  4. Logical thinking: Various games will require kids to figure out the logical progression of how a game works.  If I do this then I’m able to achieve higher results than if I don’t use any of the tools.  Something to that effect.
  5. Teaches strategy: Soccer on a video game is a lot like soccer in real life.  The same strategies that are used on the video game can be incorporated on the real soccer field.  Playing the game kids learn which players are the best players and who will score the best against a particular team or defender.  The more the child plays the game the more strategies they will learn.
  6. Decision making: Kids constantly have to make decisions while playing a video game.  If they make the wrong decision their character loses a life.  They have to decide which road to take and which tool to use.  They need to be able to make split decisions on the spot in order to progress in the game.
  7. Learn a foreign language: So many of the video games are created in Asian countries and many of the game’s words throughout the game are in a foreign language.  Kids learn these words.  Can they carry on a conversation in Chinese because they played a video game?  No, but learning foreign words often sheds light on your own language.
  8. Learn history:  Many games are based on real life places and things.  In SIM games or simulation games you create a civilization, an amusement park or some other setting.  Learning from places that exist in real life helps the child create a better SIM world.
  9. Improving self-esteem:  When a child beats a video game or is doing really well on a video game their self-esteem will soar.  They are so excited when they complete a level or beat an entire game.  This is something they can talk about with their peers at school and they will feel better about themselves when they are able to talk about the different things they went through in the game and how they were able to figure things out.
  10. Outlet for creativity: There are many games that are related to art and design.  Even young children can get in on the act; there is a Barbie fashion game where you can work on creating different looks for Barbie and her friends.  Then you can put together a fashion show.  The game makes this all possible for a 6 year old to do.  The kids just think it’s fun, but they are actually learning great planning and organization skills too.

 

10 Tips for Teaching Kids to Pick Up Their Toys

December 3rd, 2011 by admin

Have you ever been to a baby shower where they ask you to fill out a card with advice for the new mother?  The one thing I wish someone would have told me is to start early with having your kids pick up their own toys.  It you get the chance to pass that on to a young mother or father please do.  Try not to tell them as you are tripping over toys coming into their house, but just randomly mention it in conversation.  It may make their lives easier in the long run.  For those that did not start their kids young, fear not!  It’s not too late for you.  Check out 10 tips for teaching kids to pick up their toys.

  1. Make it a game: This works especially well for younger children.  The key is to not make it too difficult.  Younger children have toys with big pieces so that will make it easier to put their toys back together.  Sing the clean-up song or play it on the computer if you are not much of a singer.  Google it and you should be able to pull it up.  It goes, “Clean up, Clean up, everybody everywhere.  Clean up, clean up everybody do your share”.  If you are helping them and showing them how to put the blocks back into their box and to put the balls back into the bin then they will learn where things go.  Making sure that everything has a place to go is key to making this work.
  2. Set a good example: As in all things, kids learn by example.  If you come into the living room at the end of the day and kick off your shoes and sit down then your kids will grow up seeing that.  They will come home from school and kick off their shoes and they will remain wherever they kicked them off.  If you have a rule about taking off your shoes when you come into the house then you should have a place by the door to put their shoes.  If you pick up after yourself then your kids will too.
  3. Set a timer: Sometimes it’s more fun to do things fast.  Not only does it become a race and something that is fun instead of a chore it is something that is for a limited time.  Anyone can pick up for 5 minutes.  It’s amazing what you can do in 5 minutes.  The trick is to do this every day or a couple times a day if your kids are still home.  You can expand this into a weekend routine where everyone sees how much they can clean in 20 minutes.  This will include Mom and Dad and that will set a good example for the kids.
  4. Make it part of their routine: Create routines for your kids and they will be more productive and less likely to forget things.  There are routines already created online if you look hard enough, but you can do it yourself.  Start out by writing down everything your kids need to do in the morning to get ready for school.  Add in 5 minutes for them to do a quick pick up of their room.  This will make sure that the room is presentable all day.  Then create a bedtime routine and add in 5 minutes where they walk around the house and pick up all of their personal items.  They have to either put them away if they got them out (like video game controllers), or take them back to their room.  Then add on another 5 minutes for them to do another quick clean-up of their room.  That way they will have their room picked up before they go to bed and there won’t be as much to do in the morning when they are in a hurry.
  5. Enlist their help in organizing: If the child knows where everything goes than they will be more likely to put their stuff away.  If they have no clue where it goes then they will get overwhelmed when you tell them to pick up their room.  They will tell you they can’t because they don’t know how.  To avoid this argument you can label the bins with what goes where or if the child does not read you can use pictures.
  6. Clean up as they go along: Get your child into the habit of cleaning up one thing before getting out another.  This will limit the number of things they have to clean up when it’s time to go do something else.  If they get out a puzzle they have to put that away before they get out the Legos.  When they are done with the Legos they have to put those back in the box before they get out the dolls.  If they clean as they go then there should only be a couple of things to pick up when it’s time for bed or supper or whatever.
  7. Set up consequences: If you have tried many different things to get your child to keep their room clean or the house clean, then set up consequences.  Let your child know that you are going to inspect their room first thing Saturday morning and that anything you find that isn’t put away you will be putting in a time out box.  To get those toys or personal items back they will need to buy them back from you.  How they buy them back is up to you.  Do you give your child an allowance?  If you do then they can buy things back with real money.  If you don’t give them an allowance you can pay them with fake “Daddy bucks”.  If you Google that you will find a site where you can put an actual picture of Daddy or whoever on a play dollar bill.  Just as if you were paying them with real money you will pay them a wage every week for the chores they do.  They can use those bucks to trade in for toys in a treasure box (usually little trinkets from the dollar store or bargain bin) or a special outing with Mom.
  8. Break the task down: Sometimes doing a big clean up job is hard so you can break it down into manageable tasks.  This works for almost any age child from preschool on up.  Tell the child, “Let’s put all of the little people back into their bus”.  Then tell them to put all of their cars into the garage.  Now let’s put all of the books back into the bookshelf.  You can train them to break bigger tasks into smaller tasks and then they won’t feel so overwhelmed.
  9. Play fun music: Make clean-up time a fun time when you can listen to the music louder than normal.  Let them dance around a little bit as they are putting things away.  Let them shoot the stuffed animals into the toy box as if they were playing basketball.  If you make clean-up time fun then you won’t run into so much resistance when it’s time to clean-up.
  10. Give rewards for doing well: When your child has done a good make sure that you tell them that.  Maybe they can earn bonus bucks or a sticker on their chore chart.  Any little way that you want to reward them.  Maybe they get to choose what dessert gets made for supper that night.  Children don’t have to have big rewards to feel rewarded.

 

10 Great Christmas Gifts for Your Babysitter

December 1st, 2011 by admin

If you have a regular babysitter that you really appreciate, you may want to show that appreciation through a holiday gift. It doesn’t have to be large or expensive, just a token that expresses your appreciation for their loyalty and dependability. Here’s some ideas for this Christmas.

  1. Babysitter Club Books – If your babysitter is in the tween age range, then they probably are reading the Babysitter Club series of books. They include good wholesome entertainment and good tips for babysitters as well. Check with their parents about which books they haven’t read yet and add to their collection.
  2. Book bag – Babysitters usually come toting books to read or homework to do when they babysit. Giving them a new book bag is a great gift idea. Having it personalized with their name and/or #1 Babysitter would make it even more special.
  3. Movie Theatre Pass – Babysitters of almost any age still enjoy going to the movie theatre. Providing a couple of free movie theatre passes is a great, fun gift that they are sure to enjoy.
  4. iTunes – If your babysitter has an ipod for playing their music, an iTunes gift card makes a perfect gift. They can add more of their favorites songs to their portable stereo. It is a gift they’re sure to be happy with.
  5. Fast food gift coupons – Pizza, McDonalds, Burger King, Subway and ice cream shops all have gift coupons or gift cards that you can purchase. Most any babysitter would be happy to receive these in their Christmas card from you.
  6. Personalized T-shirt – Just like the book bag, a personalized T-shirt with your statement of #1 Babysitter on it would make a great gift for your babysitter’s holiday. You’ll probably find them wearing it often when they show up in the future.
  7. Pampering basket – A basket of scented lotions, bath oils and other items designed for pampering a young lady would be quite appropriate for your babysitter’s Christmas gift.
  8. Nail treatment – A gift certificate from a salon for a manicure or pedicure is a great gift to give your babysitter. It is something she may not always have the money to spend on for herself, which makes it a special treat.
  9. Gift cards – You can get gift cards for almost any popular big-box store or small boutique. Teens love to have this opportunity to shop for something new without having to take the money out of their own bank account.
  10. Cash bonus – Some extra cash always works if you want to keep it simple and will always be welcome, no matter what the holiday or the occasion.

Whether it is a Christmas gift or just a token of appreciation for a babysitter that you want to keep coming back, these are all great ideas that would deliver the message perfectly.