You have finally chosen a great babysitter who you have interviewed and checked current references for. Everything is set for your child to be watched while you work or go out for part of the day or evening, but what about the activities that will be available to your child?
Toys are the best form of entertainment for toddlers and young children when being babysat, as they not only engage their minds and teach them social skills, but playing keeps them occupied and not crying for mom and dad. The best way to ensure your child will be well-engaged with the babysitter is to pack your child’s own toys. This will ensure safety and healthy play.
Age Appropriate Toys
The first step in choosing the best toys for your child is to ensure that the toys are safe. Usually toy manufacturers will note on the toy the proper age of the child for playing with the toys. This can be easy for you to pick, but you should also have the knowledge of what is appropriate for your child.
Infants need more human one-on-one contact as entertainment, but there are soft rattles and cuddly stuffed animals with no buttons or eyes sewed on. These are the most popular. As the infant begins to teethe, there are teethers made of sturdy, chemical free plastics that can be frozen to soothe tooth ache and encourage play at the same time.
Toddlers also enjoy stuffed animals, and also should not have buttons or eyes sewed on as these can become loose and easily swallowed. Children love putting things in their mouth, so you need to ensure the toys are not a choking hazard.
This is also the age where exploration begins to explode, so soft toys with round corners and large pieces are great for small hands and fingers. Toy manufacturers now make non-toxic crayons and finger paints that toddlers can use with special paper that allows the artful creations to stay on the paper and not on walls and carpet.
With the age of electronics, there are many educational toys on the market that are great for toddlers and young children. As most of them are battery-operated, ensure that the battery compartment is secure with one or more screws. Batteries are chemically dangerous and can be a choking hazard.
Many educational toys don’t have to always be battery operated. There are toys that teach young children about shapes, such as putting the correct shape into a slot on the toy. There are also puzzles with large wooden pieces for toddlers and young children to enforce critical thinking skills.
Providing educational toys to your child is a great way to instill the joy of learning. Toys that have bright lights and sounds are the most intriguing to young children and are more likely to hold their attention for a longer period of time.
All toys can be considered educational as well as entertaining for your child. It is just about you figuring out what most appeals to your child and that will bring hours of continual play. If a child doesn’t like a toy, there is no way he or she will be engaged and will be looking elsewhere for entertainment. Babysitting is most pleasurable when the child is happy.