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Gifts for Child-Care Providers

The Gift of Knowledge

You might want to check this baby-sitter's guide if you employ a baby-sitter:

  • Write down the family name, the names of the children, the house address, the number of the nearest relative and/or neighbor, emergency numbers, and the phone number where you will be.
  • Write down any special instructions about diets, medications, bedtimes, nighttime rituals, and so on.
  • Walk through the house and familiarize the baby-sitter with exits and deadbolt locks (in the event of a fire), locations of telephones, kitchen equipment (if necessary), baby equipment, and so on. Instruct the sitter to keep windows and doors locked.
  • Introduce the baby-sitter to the family dog or cat.
  • If you have a pool, set down rules for its use.
  • Give specific rules about visitors and phone use. You want to be able to get through to the sitter if necessary.

Is there someone in your life who does the things you can't get to yourself? Show this person how much you appreciate his or her service by giving a hand-crafted gift.

Baby-Sitter's Bag of Tricks

Help the baby-sitters in your life keep the kids entertained by making them this bag of tricks. They'll be the most popular baby-sitters on the block when they show up with these toys for the tots.

Time frame: One to two hours

Level: Moderately easy

What you need:

  • Material or canvas tote (Make your own gift bag, or you can purchase a tote from a craft store.)
  • Squeezable fabric paint
  • Coloring books
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Construction paper
  • Storybooks
  • Water colors/paintbrush
  • Stickers
  • Stamps and stamp pads
  • Book of mazes or hidden words
  • Curling ribbon (optional)
  1. Buy or make a canvas tote bag. Use a bottle of squeezable fabric paint in a contrasting color to the bag to write the baby-sitter's name and the words “Bag of Tricks” on the front of the bag. Allow the paint to dry.
  2. Assemble the art supplies and books and place them in the material bag or canvas tote. If using a canvas tote, tie the handles together with curling ribbon and curl the ends for a finishing effect.

Loving Nanny

If you're running a household and holding down a job, you know how important the people who keep your life operating smoothly are to the survival of your family. You might want to show your appreciation by making them these special message blocks.

Time frame: Six to eight hours including drying time

Level: Easy

What you need:

  • Unfinished wooden blocks
  • Antique white craft paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Heart stencil
  • Red, blue, green, and yellow stencil paints
  • Stencil paintbrushes
  • Flower stencil
  • Letter stencils
  • Gift certificate
  1. Buy enough blocks to spell out “We Love [person's name]” and add two blocks for the heart and flower design. Paint the tops and sides of each block white and allow them to dry. Turn the blocks over and paint the remaining sides. Allow them to dry.
  2. Place the heart stencil over one side of one of the blocks. Stencil the heart with red stencil paint. Place the flower stencil on a block and stencil in with yellow paint. Place a “W” stencil on one side of a block and stencil with blue paint. Stencil an “E” in green, an “L” in red, an “O” in yellow, a “V” in green, and an “E” in blue. Then stencil the letters of the recipient's name on blocks in alternating colors.
  3. Set the blocks up where the recipient will see them. Place them near a homemade gift certificate for a day off, if you can arrange it in your schedule, or a dinner for two at a local restaurant.

More on: Crafts for Kids

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Great Gifts © 2001 by Marilee LeBon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


August 28, 2014



Variety is the spice of life! Swap out boring sandwiches for simple and healthy alternatives, like crackers and cheese, veggie or fruit kebabs, pasta salad, or breakfast for lunch (such as yogurt and granola, or whole wheat waffles).


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