As doctors and scientists continue to fight the Coronavirus, society is fighting to flatten the curve by staying home and physically separate from others. However, parents are still in need of child care help so that they can continue to work from home. We’re all adjusting to this new normal in many ways—including through virtual sitting.

What is Virtual Sitting?

To be clear: a virtual sitting is not the same thing as in-person babysitting. A virtual sitting is hiring a professional to engage children digitally for a short period of time. The sessions can be used to assist kids with schoolwork or facilitate an interactive game—like charades. It’s not a replacement for physical care. Families and sitters considering a virtual sitting during this time should continue to view safety as their top priority.

Sitters Should Keep in Mind:

  • Building Trust is Still Important
    Even though you aren’t physically in their house, you’re still spending time with their child.
  • Parents Shouldn’t Leave Their Child Unattended
    You aren’t able to physically supervise or control the child when connected only by video.
  • Review Planned Activities
    Work with the parents to determine what’s appropriate for their child.

Blue banner with text saying "When working from home clashes with homework" and showing a babysitter helping a child with homework.What Can You Do For A Virtual Sitting?

There are considerations for the sitter to be able to lead activities over video as well. The types of possible activities will be different than if you were physically in the same room. For younger kids, you might be focused on keeping them occupied and could have the opportunity to teach them responsibility by asking for their help to do certain activities. For older kids, you could be focused on providing companionship for them that might challenge their thinking more than just watching TV.

So what activities can you do virtually? We’ve come up with a list of ideas to get you thinking. Ultimately, extra communication with parents will be critical. If they’re aware of what activities you’re planning on doing, they can plan the child’s physical environment accordingly.

Games to Play With Kids Remotely

Simon Says
I Spy
Online Chess or Checkers
20 Questions
Online Video Games
Thinking Games
Words with Friends (Scrabble)
Board Games They Have
→ They can move your piece for you—they already do anyway!
Scavenger Hunt in the House
→ They have to bring you with them.
Alphabet Game
Animals, Items in the House, Food, Famous Characters
Play Minecraft Together

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Remote Creative Play

Choreograph a Dance Together
Pretend Cooking Show
Doodle Art
Play Charades
Make Shapes With Playdoh
Draw With Stencils
Watch Animal Videos and Move As They Do
Play Freeze Dance
Race To Build a Tower of Blocks the Fastest
Balancing Contest

Writing + Reading

Read a New Book Together
Write + Illustrate a Story Together
Have the Kids Act Out A Book As You Read It
Read a Wordless Book Together
Find Particular Words in Non-Kid Places (Newspaper, Magazine, etc.)
Find Funny Things to Read (Cookbooks, Instruction Manuals, etc.)
Write Poems About the Same Topic and Share

Learn New Things

Help with School Packets or Tough Subjects
Science Experiments
Yoga and Stretching Together
Teach Them How to Play Solitaire
Ask the Child to Teach You Something
Learn How To Do Magic Tricks Together

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