6 Tips For Your Babysitter On Overseeing Playdates

By Ashley Paskill on February 7, 2023

Playdates are an excellent way for your kids to socialize with other children and they can give your babysitter a chance to meet other babysitters or parents. However, having your babysitter oversee playdates comes with its own set of challenges. Your babysitter is not only responsible for your children, but also someone else’s. It is important that you let your babysitter know what to expect and prepare them for what to expect.

Have food and snacks on hand

While you should always have food and snacks available for your children, it is especially important to ensure you have enough on hand for your children as well as the children they are having the playdate with. You may also opt to leave money for the babysitter to order out. Check with the parents of the other kids to see if they have any food allergies before you or your babysitter order food to help minimize the risk of emergencies. You may even have the kids help the babysitter prepare the food.

Help plan activities

Coming up with fun things to do for children they know can be intimidating enough, but when other kids they do not know are coming over, it can be tough to brainstorm activities that all will enjoy. It is likely that you know the kids your children are having the playdate with, so you know what they like and dislike. Give your babysitter some ideas of activities they can have available for the children so they are not bored. These can be anything from crafts to sports. Be sure to include backups just in case the activities are finished early or the children are not interested. Having options can be helpful for times when activities fall through.

Timing is everything

You know your own kids’ schedules and you know how important routines like nap time and lunch are. When setting up a playdate for your kids, it is a good idea to be mindful of the other kids’ schedules as well to help your babysitter manage the children. Arrange it at a time that does not interfere with nap time if possible. If the time falls around lunchtime, plan on having food available. Communicate with your babysitter so they know what a sample schedule could look like. You may even want to write out a sample schedule for the day so they know exactly what to do and when, but allow the babysitter to use their judgment and make amends as necessary.

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Establish playdate rules

It is likely that you have specific rules for how your children are expected to behave and what their roles are during playdates. You may also have specific rules that you want your babysitter to uphold. Before the playdate, be sure to sit down with your babysitter to go over these rules so they know what is expected of them and so that they can help your children be successful. It is crucial that you and your babysitter enforce the same playdate rules that are in place when you are around. The rules may even be different if your babysitter takes all of the children to a different location such as a pool or a museum. The babysitter can only uphold and enforce rules they know about, so be sure to establish them before the playdate.

Choose a location

You may be okay with having playdates within your home, especially if you know the children that your kids will be playing with. Otherwise, you can opt to have your babysitter take your children and their playmates to a public place like a park, pool, museum, or zoo. Again, communicate expectations and rules so the babysitter can uphold and enforce these with the children. If the location charges admission, make sure the babysitter has enough money to cover everyone’s entrance.

Keep communication open

Communication is crucial when it comes to the health and safety of your children and the children they are having a playdate with. The first line of contact should be between you and the parents of the other children. Reach out to make sure you know how they expect their children to behave and to find out if they have any health issues or allergies your babysitter should be aware of. On the day of the playdate, be sure to be reachable in case the babysitter has any questions or concerns during the playdate. You may even opt to give the babysitter the contact information of the other parents just in case they need to be reached. When you return, follow up with the babysitter to see how the playdate went to find out if things went well or if things need to be reconsidered for future playdates.

Trusting your babysitter to oversee a playdate is a huge step, especially if the playdate is at a location outside of your home, but with proper guidance, your babysitter and the children will have a successful day.

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