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Fun Things to Do With a Ten Year Old While Babysitting

by Jennifer Brozak, studioD

Sure, babysitting is a rewarding profession, but watching over a child who has reached double digits comes with a peculiar set of challenges. After all, 10-year-old children are undergoing a number of cognitive, emotional and physical developmental changes, and these changes can make it difficult to entertain or even engage this age group, especially since their ever-growing sense of independence can make them feel as if they do not "need" a babysitter. With a little bit of ingenuity, however, you can plan a host of fun activities to engage your 10-year-old charge.

Board Games

If the child you're babysitting is -- like many kids in this age group -- obsessed with electronics, it may be time to slide the power button to "off" and show him a few old school games. According to Scholastic.com, classic board games can help teach a child how to communicate verbally, share, take turns and interact with others. They can also help a child to increase a child's attention span and focus -- while fostering a love of play and competition.


Depending on your kitchen skills, the child's experience in the kitchen and the parents' comfort level, try engaging the child in a cooking session. Consider starting with something simple, such as spaghetti, or try creating a simple dessert like chocolate chip cookies. If the child's parents are worried about their child being near a hot appliance, you could make smoothies, a fruit salad, or even build special sandwiches or wraps together.

Science Experiments

Most children love experimenting, so consider harnessing that interest and planning a few safe science experiences to test out when you are babysitting. Using simple household ingredients, you could try making slime at Science Bob (link in Resources), a balloon rocket, or a foamy fountain. The possibilities are endless, and a simple web search will provide countless numbers of safe, 10-year-old-kid-friendly ideas.

Physical Activity

If the weather cooperates, consider taking your kiddo outside for some active play. Simply kicking or catching balls, blowing bubbles, or riding a bike (while supervised, of course), can provide the 10-year-old with plenty of fun. If you're feeling more creative, or are physically active yourself, you can set up an obstacle course for the child or challenge him to a race. Raining or snowbound? Try setting up an obstacle course inside using everyday household objects like pillows, chairs, and tables to crawl under.

About the Author

As a mother, wife and recovering English teacher, Jennifer Brozak is passionate about all things parenting and education. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and St. Vincent College, Jennifer writes features for the IN Community magazine network and shares her daily escapades on her blog, One Committed Mama.

Photo Credits

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