What is Babysitting Remotely
By Babysits, 5 min read
With social distancing the phrase of the moment, people are often rethinking their actions, being more conservative, more often self-quarantining or isolating, and less open to going out and doing things. Even so, babysitters are still providing a valuable resource for parents to use - even when they can’t be there in person! However, how can people make use of a babysitter if they are suggested not to or prefer not to have a babysitter come to their home? Welcome to the world of remote or virtual babysitting!
What is remote babysitting and why is it useful?
What do we mean by remote babysitting? Remote babysitting or virtual childcare is helping to entertain, look after, or care for a child remotely, by using a video calling app such as Skype or Facetime. This can be valuable for parents for plenty of reasons. Should the parent be momentarily preoccupied with or need to concentrate on something, for example while working from home, it can be really beneficial for the children to have a virtual babysitter to entertain them. In this way virtual babysitting can be a helpful aid to parents who need to work from home with their kids as well as many other parents. However, the situations in which babysitting remotely take place may, in many cases, differ from situations where in-person babysitting would take place. It is not meant to suggest that a parent should leave their child with a remote babysitter the entire day and go out and run errands.
Special Considerations for Babysitting Remotely
There are some certain measures to keep in place and things to be aware of when it comes to babysitting remotely. First of all, it is not the same as babysitting in person. Sounds straightforward, however, to be clear, while babysitting remotely there are often quite strict limits as to the type of care or aid that a babysitter can provide. For example, they won’t be able to feed children, or provide aid in the case of an accident or emergency. Because of this, it is vital that parents are aware of this and are still home in the case that there is an emergency or other such situation that a babysitter cannot handle virtually.
To avoid this, it is also important for the child that they are in a controlled environment. What this entails also varies by age, for example, younger children may want to be in a room without any potentially dangerous objects, whereas it may be less necessary with children who are older. It is also important to make clear, this isn’t meant as an option for caring for babies - as they are generally more vulnerable and may need more instant care that a babysitter cannot provide remotely.
What does a virtual babysitter do?
While taking into consideration the above limitations, a babysitter can still provide a lot of help remotely! They can do plenty of different things to help look after kids, keep them entertained, and help them learn, here are some of our favorite ideas:
Arts and Crafts!
There are plenty of DIYs and arts and crafts projects that can be set up so babysitters and children can do them together via video call! Depending on the age of the children this could include many different crafts. Think of things like drawing, painting, or making origami! Parents can also prepare some materials for a DIY to make it easier for the babysitter and child to jump in and get busy crafting. For some craft and DIY inspiration, have a look at our DIYs page!
Once done crafting, many DIYs can serve as great toys to play with together. Craft a paper airplane (or a plastic one from a recycled bottle!) and see whose plane can fly the furthest! Or craft and paint some cardboard animals and make your own virtual zoo! Crafts are a great way to engage kids and their imagination - even when doing so remotely - however, there are plenty of other games that can be played to entertain children while babysitting remotely.
When you think about games and virtual, probably the first thing that comes to mind is video games! However, there are plenty of different games that babysitters can play with children while video calling, that aren’t video games. Need some ideas? Try out some of these games:
- Simon says
- I Spy
- Rock, paper, scissors
- Learn or create a dance!
There are also plenty of other games that a babysitter can do virtually with the children! From playing together and making a story about the kids toys and dolls or acting out different scenes from movies, imagination is the only limit!
Reading to children
What’s better than an audio-book? Having a babysitter who can read to a child remotely! This way babysitters can entertain children and help them learn by reading to them. Children have more opportunity to learn and have fun because they can stop and ask questions, learn new words, and the babysitter can explain things to them if they don’t totally understand what is happening in the book. This can be a great way to engage children, and it can also be fun to improvise and change up what's happening in the story - creating your own story in the end!
Another significant way babysitters can help care for kids remotely is by helping to tutor or teach them. This can be a great way to take care of them as well as help them continue learning new things! Here, babysitters can help children learn and understand homework that they may have been given by their school or otherwise maybe even create their own lessons and teach them things in different subjects. Like reading to kids, this can have a positive impact and enormous benefit on their education and intellectual curiosity!
For babysitters looking to help tutor kids virtually, we have some helpful tips for how to best help tutor children online.
There are plenty of babysitters now, particularly during these times, that are offering their services to look after, entertain, and help teach the children remotely for parents who need it!