You’ve created an Adventure and a parent has booked you to lead that Adventure with their child—congratulations! As you’re getting ready for the big day, here’s a checklist of things to help you be prepared to lead your new little explorer.
Reread Your Messages
Take a look back at all the messages you and the parent have exchanged and make sure you’re on top of everything you discussed. This includes but isn’t limited to:
- The name of the kid(s) and their ages
- The start and end time
- Where they live
- Specific interests or characteristics about the kid(s) that the parent shared
Packing Your Bag
Having the right bag packed is standard practice for sitters, but make sure you’ve got everything you need specific to your Adventure.
Whether it’s a recipe, step-by-step instructions, a timetable of events, a list of activities, etc. Write down your specific plan so that in case you draw a blank, you’ve got something to reference.
There were specific supplies you listed on your Adventure that you said you would bring. Make sure you have each of them and in enough quantities for the number of kids you’ll be caring for.
It never hurts to have extras, of everything. Things break, kids need a do-over, etc.
Do you need a specific bag to bring things back home after the Adventure is done? For example, a brand new bottle of honey can be thrown into a bag with other things, but an open/used bottle of honey can be sticky on the outside and you probably won’t want it in your backpack with a scarf or paper.
Plan For Safety
Keeping kids safe is already part of any child care job, but here are some safety tips specific to leading Adventures to think about:
Verify Ages & Number of Children
If you haven’t already, make sure you and the parent are clear about how old each of the kids is going on your Adventure. This is critical to making sure what you’re planning is appropriate.
Special Needs and Allergies
If any of the child(ren) has any special needs or allergies, think about which necessary preparations you need to do to keep those kids safe.
Accidents can happen. Anticipate how they could arise during your Adventure and be sure to be explicit with the parent about how you’ll be protecting the child and practicing safety in those instances.
Prepare To Be Flexible
With kids, anything can happen. Think through how your Adventure can be flexible for anything that could come up and make a backup plan (or two).
What Could Not Work As Planned?
Does the success of your Adventure hinge on something working perfectly? Think about what you can do to keep the spirit and fun of the Adventure alive even if things don’t go exactly as you planned.
Think about what could take way more or less time than you planned. How can you have materials planned in case things are moving too slowly? What extra activities related to the Adventure can you plan if you get through everything faster than you thought?
Loss of Interest
Some days kids aren’t interested in something they were excited about yesterday. What’s the backup plan if something isn’t working or the child isn’t interested?
You’ve got this! Remember to focus on what you love and find exciting about your Adventure. You’re the child’s guide to experiencing something new and exciting, so your enthusiasm will have a huge impact on the time you’ll spend together. Have fun!