Fun Barbie Babysitting Games

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a natural with kids. Despite my Red Cross babysitter training, lots of help and guidance from my parents, and plenty of experience watching other babysitters doing their thing, I was very nervous when I first started watching others' kids.

Heck, the first time I formally babysat, the evening ended in police getting together a search team (complete with search dogs) after I took my infant charge for a walk that lasted just a bit too long. Talk about humiliating.

After a couple more babysitting gigs and some trial and error (with an extra side of error) I realized that caring for others' kids can be fun- especially once your find out what their favorite toys are and make up fun games to play with them!

Don't let your babysitting gig explode. Play some fun games and the evening will fly by!
Don't let your babysitting gig explode. Play some fun games and the evening will fly by! | Source

Playing with Barbie

Barbie is (and perhaps always will be) a classic toy, and a common favorite amongst young girls. Most girls I've looked after have had a decent Barbie collection, and they love playing with them.

Designing fun Barbie babysitting games can be a great way to draw out a shy child, get chores and other tasks done in a fun way, and generally make the hours speed by.

Here are some cool babysitting games you can play with Barbies that have worked well for me! The fun thing about these is that Barbies can be substituted for pretty much any favored doll, action figure, or stuffed animal, so even if the kid you're watching loves Transformers, these games still work.

Once you get started with these, you'll come up with a bunch more ideas for games of your own - all I'm saying is they're much better than many other (disastrous) babysitting ideas I've come across!

It's not a fountain! It's A LAKE!
It's not a fountain! It's A LAKE! | Source

Imaginary Road Trips

One of my favorite things to do as a child was to create a pretend boat, mobile home, plane, or magic carpet, load on my most favorite toys, and go for long trips around the world.

Why not take your babysitting buddy on a similar adventure? Ask your charge where he or she would like to travel to most, then build a pretend ship or bus or plane and go there!

If you have a lot of time, you can build an actual fort for yourselves and pretend to go along with your Barbie posse. If you're looking for a more short-term trip, just toss Barbie in a Barbie car, plane, boat, or homemade (but smaller scale) conveyance and enjoy the vacation vicariously.

You can spend hours exploring the house via Barbie's car - turning hallways into vast expanses of highway, living room rugs into lakes and oceans, and bathrooms into multifaceted amusement parks. Have fun with it! All you need is a bit of imagination, and chances are the child you're babysitting can loan you some if you're a bit short.

Road trip time!
Road trip time! | Source
Looks like we have a future interior decorator / table etiquette maven / restauranteur!
Looks like we have a future interior decorator / table etiquette maven / restauranteur! | Source

Play House!

While some might not call this a 'game' per say, I say constructing homes (or better yet cities, empires, and universes) is a great babysitting game to play!

Building homes, neighborhoods, and towns is particularly easy to do with Barbies because so many kids have Barbie houses, cars, and other products that make miniature urban development a total breeze.

Engaging in this sort of activity is a great way to get to know the kid you're babysitting. I've babysat some children who only want to construct relationships between dolls, whereas others just want to dress them, or arrange their homes, or construct cities, cars, and freeways for them (others just wanted to throw them). By seeing what your charge chooses to construct, you'll learn more about what makes him or her tick- relationships, structures, problem solving, or something else entirely!

That's one sweet fort. And evidence that all forts need not involve extensive cleanup.
That's one sweet fort. And evidence that all forts need not involve extensive cleanup. | Source

Build a Fort!

Building a fort is great for Barbie lovers since most Barbie owners only get to put their dolls into sepcial constructions.

Building a fort using some chairs, pillows, couch cushions, and blankets is special because it involves constructing a special home for all parties- Barbie and her pint-sized human pal. Building forts is better for longer babysitting shifts, since they often take time and involve more cleanup, but they're really fun to create in the late afternoon, as once it gets dark, forts gain a special magical aura that nothing beats. After all, a small fort in the middle of a dark living room enables one to feel as though one is out camping pretty much anywhere!

Source

Dress Up

If you don't think dress up is a compelling game, I challenge you to take a look at some fashion magazines and reconsider your stance. The process of assembling, arranging, and accessorizing outfits is incredibly entertaining (and addictive0, and playing dress-up with Barbies is a lot less of a hassle and mess-maker than playing dress-up with life-sized children.

You can turn Barbie dress up time into a more structured game by helping your charge set up and run a runway show. Kitchen counters make for excellent runways, and if you want to be extra creative, you can challenge your little friend to construct custom couture using paper towels, toilet paper, or wrapping paper, or old scraps of fabric.

Barbie Games for Specific Events

One thing I've always found challenging while babysitting is handling potentially troublesome tasks and events, such as travel, social events, and mealtimes. Here are some Barbie babysitting games that can keep children occupied and well-behaved in these potentially trying scenarios.

Travel can be stressful and freak kids out since they have no control. GIVE them something to control by having them manage Barbie's trip!
Travel can be stressful and freak kids out since they have no control. GIVE them something to control by having them manage Barbie's trip! | Source

Travel

Traveling with kids is no small feat, and because going from one place to another can be so chaotic and uncomfortable (not to mention boring), it comes as no surprise that kids often misbehave. Offering a fun game to play with a favorite toy is an excellent way to keep a kid occupied while traveling- and to help her understand everything that goes into a complicated trip as well!

If you would like to teach a child how to adequately prepare and manage a trip early on, you could make a more prolonged game of prepping for and managing travel by having your charge manage his or her favorite toy's travel. Before the trip, have the child explain to the Barbie (or whatever) where you're going and what wil happen. Encourage your child to pack (either literally or in a pretend manner) all the supplies that toy will need, and during the trip, encourage the child to make sure the toy watches its luggage, buckles its seatbelt, and has its tickets in order. You can make things extra fun by snapping pictures of the toy during the travels- they will make for a very fun photo album!

Again, let children control their OWN world by encouraging them to recreate the event they're stuck at- in Barbie form!
Again, let children control their OWN world by encouraging them to recreate the event they're stuck at- in Barbie form! | Source

Events

On several occasions I've been asked to watch children at a special event so their parents can focus on the 1,000 other things that require their attention. Bringing Barbies along to these events is a great idea, since usually kids are just squished into itchy clothing and given nothing to do but stand back and look pretty.

One very fun thing to do at large events is get all the kids together and have them re-create the event that is taking place in doll/toy/Barbie form. If it's a wedding, have them re-create a little Barbie wedding. If it's a birthday party, have them make their own mini-birthday in the corner, and steal a little bit of cake for the lucky doll. These games make great photo ops, and also make kids feel less like little marionettes (since it gives them something to dress up and order around), which helps to reduce irritability.

If Barbie eats it... it can't be THAT BAD....
If Barbie eats it... it can't be THAT BAD.... | Source

Meal Times

I was a dreadfully picky eater as a kid, so I know how uncomfortable meal times can be. If you're caring for a kid who never gets excited about meal times, one thing you can do to spice things up is to set the table for two- the kid and her/his favorite Barbie!

Dolls, toys, and other action figures are typically aspirational figures to kids, so having Barbie eat the same thing as the child you babysit might make this child feel a bit more interested in eating! It doesn't work all the time, but it worked for me as a kid, and it just might work for your little charge as well.

What are YOUR favorite Barbie games?

Did you have Barbies as a kid- or play with other sorts of dolls or action figures?

What sorts of games did you play with your Barbies? Did you ever play Barbie games with other kids whom you babysat when you were older? What worked and what didn't?

Share your favorite Barbie games, activities, and babysitting tricks in the comments below!

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Comments 16 comments

marriedwithdebt profile image

marriedwithdebt 5 years ago from Illinois

Nice hub. As a dad, I sometimes feel like I'm babysitting when I watch my own kids. My sister had Barbies, but I think my GI Joes were at war with them. I like the picture of the Barbie eating - made me laugh


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

I never have been much of a babysitter, but I love Barbie and her grand adventurous spirit. I think she could entertain any child. Thanks for the suggestions on Barbie entertainment for children. I shall pack an emergency Barbie in my car in case I get roped-Uh-Asked to babysit someone's little darlings.


Robin Anderson profile image

Robin Anderson 5 years ago from United States

Simone - as always, I love to read your hubs!


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco Author

Well, parents are babysitting ALL the time, marriedwithdebt!! I would love to stage a Barbie-GI Joe war. That would be so cool. And also really fun to photograph!

That's actually a great idea, Hyphenbird! If I were to go back to my babysitting career, I would definitely have a bag of toys to bring to every house- Barbies included.

Thanks for the kid words, Robin Anderson!! It's an honor to have you stop by!


stugod profile image

stugod 5 years ago from Bradford

I absolutely love babies. I Can not eat a whole one though. he he


dagny roth profile image

dagny roth 5 years ago from Neverland

Cute hub! I have two little girls who live to make-believe! It's fun reading new ideas to keep mommy way cool!


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 5 years ago from Illinois

Well - I'm not sure what to say. I guess if I lived in San Francisco and had young children I would call you to babysit. The entertainment factor alone would earn you a healthy salary. This really was funny - especially paragraph 2! ~voting up and hilarious (funny)~


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

'Build a fort' now that's my kind of game!

I'm always building stuff like that with my grandchildren, a couple of blankets, pillows and a torch, the torch is so much fun!

Great hub loved it and voting up!

Take care Mm


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco Author

Ugh, I KNOW stugod!! I tried once, but they're just too fatty.

dagny roth, it must be so much fun to watch them create entire worlds using their imaginations! I hope playing with them re-ignites your own imagination as well :D

LOL ktrapp, you might change your mind once you've heard more of my horror stories.

Yay for fort building, Movie Master!! You're an AWESOME grandmother!!


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA

These are some terrific ideas. I wish they would have worked for some of my situations. Somehow I would end up with a child that hated to play with toys, was a picky eater, and didn't follow instructions without throwing a fit. It took alot of creative ideas to entertain them.

I will never forget a time my uncle was in charge of watching five children at one time. (From oldest to youngest was a ten year age gap.) I remember he took us downstairs to the unfinished basement and set up two army groups. The three older kids in one group, the youngest two with him. He then showed us how to use concrete to build forts and walls out of small pebbles and rocks. (They couldn't be any bigger than one inch taller than the army guys we were using.) After our forts were complete, he then used my dad's gun powder and his fire crackers to "create a war" between the two groups. To this day we still talk about it. (It was amazing that no one got hurt.) That was one of the longest parental debates I had ever witness, when the parents found out what he had done.

Thanks for sharing these ideas!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Funny! A search team, Simone? LOL Well, I grew up with lots of younger brothers and a sister and between taking care of them and helping out sitting with the tons of neighborhood kids, it wasn't any big deal for me.

This hub shows lots of great photos and things to do. Good one!


shea duane profile image

shea duane 5 years ago from new jersey

Tin foil makes a great space dress for space travel, too! Great hub


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

The few times-and I do mean few times as I never took to Babysitting-I looked after children-usually related to me, by the way-I was playing with dolls including Barbie . The favourite accessory besides clothing was the Home and Office. I also had a motorhome that I eventually gave to a niece.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

I notice that you are over 1,000 followers. Congratulations.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Awesome suggestions! Barbies were never my favorite toy so if I have a girl of my own someday who enjoys them someday, I may need some inspiration like this.


mina 4 years ago

very v v v bad

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