Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Don't Leave the Bubbles Unsupervised and Other Important Advise

I really enjoyed Chris Clark's essay, Un-Coaching. I found his tone humorous and liked how he spent the essay giving advice on what not to do, which goes against the typical essay which is usually about what one should do. I'm going to attempt to do something similar in terms of what not to do when working with young children, ages zero to two.

Over the summer I had the opportunity to work as a counselor at a family camp. My job was to supervise and entertain (essentially babysit) children ages zero to two twice a day for a total of about five hours. Previous to this job I thought I knew how to care for children and what it took to keep them entertained. I was wrong. The following is a list of some lessons I learned over the course of the summer.

  • Don't expect the one year olds (and a fair amount of the two year olds) to be interested in crafts. Typically they'll be more interested in playing with toys, going outside, or crying because their parents just left as opposed to caring about what you're doing with glue, paper, and crayons.
  • Don't take any children for walks who aren't firmly strapped into a stroller. Even if they promise to hold your hand chances are they'll see something/someone they want to go play with and they will run away from you. Unless you want to spend time chasing a child in an non-enclosed area with the chance of their parents seeing you almost lose their child, I would suggest leaving the child that is not in the stroller back in the fenced off yard with the other children and counselors.
  • Don't leave the bubbles unsupervised. Even if you think the lid is screwed on tight enough, chances are it's not and that someone will get a hold of it and spill most, if not all of its contents. Also, don't let the kids hold the bubble wands if they are under the age of two. If you do they will likely not know how to actually blow a bubble and will just get really sticky.
  • Don't leave dropped snacks on the grass for the squirrels to find and eat later. Often times it's not the squirrels who end up eating those discarded Fruit Loops and Gold Fish crackers.
  • Don't attempt to put down certain children in cribs after they have fallen asleep in your arms. Often times they will wake up and if you thought it was hard getting them to sleep the first time, it's going to be even harder the second time.
  • Don't push the kids too high in the swings. Some of them love it and if they ask for that, great, give it to them. But if they don't ask to go high, don't assume they want to go high.
  • Don't discount the power of a good Disney movie when trying to put the kids down for a nap. Even if they "aren't tired," they will likely still lay down to watch it and chances are they will still fall asleep.
  • Finally, don't forget to have fun. Because as hard as it can be sometimes to watch 16 two-year-olds with only one other person to help you, it can also be a lot of fun and an opportunity to make some good memories.
Picture from Pixabay.com


  1. My favorite is the bullet point about the snacks on the ground! That is too true. I love how with each one, readers can tell you learned this by experience and not just by observation. Very entertaining to imagine.

  2. So I loved this! It cracked me up. I too loved the bullet point about leaving the snacks on the ground. You described such simple occurrences and events yet made them hilarious and interesting. You painted a great picture for everyone reading. And I love the picture you included at the end.

  3. Great what not-to dos! It's nice to reveal your experiences in a not-so-explicit way.