Hiring a Babysitter for My at Home Party

Updated on November 23, 2012
A.M. asks from Sterling Heights, MI
11 answers

I am planning a party at my house for 5 familes. Between us all there are 10 children age 3 - 8. Most of them are in the 4-6 age range. I am thinking about hiring our babysitter to help at the party with the kids because...

I thought it would be nice if this time the adults could play some games together, like charades or White Elephant. I can't really see that happening, though, with 10 kids underfoot. Also, my husband has terrible back pain but has a hard time staying in his comfy chair when he's worried about what the kids are up to. (We all watch our own kids, but he finds the need to check on them often as well and to help our own kids with their food, etc.) Because of that, he usually has to go upstairs to lay down long before the party is over.

So, I was thinking we could all eat our finger foods for a while with the kids and then when it's time for games we could send the kids into the other room with the babysitter for either games and/or a Christmas movie. The babysitter is very responsible and is the oldest (15) of a family with 4 kids and lots of cousins, so she has experience watching large groups of kids with NO adults at home.

Does this babysitter at parites idea work? If so, do you have suggestions for successful activities for the kids? Rules for the kids/babysitter? Feasible responsibilities/guidelines for the babysitter? How much would you pay her per hour? (The parents will obviously be there for back up also and I know we will have to intervene/help out some too).

My main concern is that this doesn't really work and that the kids don't stay with the sitter and then the sitter ends up feeling uncomfortable trying to keep the kids away from their parents.

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answers from San Francisco on

I've been to a party where there was a babysitter. It worked great for all the kids except mine. >:( He refused to stay with her and she could not chase him since there were several other kids under her care.
My point is, it depends on the kids, and it has to work for all of them to work.

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answers from Norfolk on

If I were in your situation, I would recruit two babysitters and have them close but not in the same house. LIke next door? Otherwise I think the kids would be running in constantly no matter what activity or movie you had going on.
If this is a holiday party, you could get easy craft items for the kids to make Christmas ornaments. You can also buy cheap supplies for them to decorate picture frames. Check out your local Michaels. And you could make a big batch of homemade playdough and let them go to town.
I can't imagine the adult portion of the evening would take more than, what, about 2 or three hours? I would pay each babysitter $15 an hour plus tip.
Also, you want to make sure the other familes are on board with the plan. If Jane and John's mom doesn't want to surrender them to the babysitter, you'll be wasting your money.
I think they key is geographic separation so the babysitter can babysit and the parents can have some adult fun.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Yes the concept is good... however, I would have all the children at a nearby home instead of your home. I would also hire an extra sitter to help her out unless you are spot on sure she will be ok qith 10 children.

As far as pay, around here minimum is $10/hour but for 10 children, I'd pay more.

My daughter is 17 and the last time she babysat 6 kids alone (2 couples, total 6 children and the 2 couples went to a concert in Dallas) she was paid $160 cash. She typically averages $12-$15 per hour because she is good...

Holiday time... (with pre approval from parents) she takes gingerbread houses to decorate or holiday crafts from Pinterest. On regular sitting job, she also takes crafts, helps with homework, teaches Spanish and is very involved with the children.

Yes I think the adults will have a better time if the children are not there.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I think the idea of TWO sitters is a good one. I would pay about $25 per hour. Rules would be:

1. Keep your hands to yourself;

2. Use inside voices;

Talk with the two sitters and see what sort of activities they might want to do with the kids. I would definitely have some sort of holiday crafts and some board games and maybe some card games (Go Fish; Old Maid).

Have a great time!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Syracuse on

10 kids in the 4-6 age range, you need at least 2 sitters. I guess it depends on what the kids are like. My 4 year old would be thrilled to hang out with a bunch of kids and a sitter while my other son would be attached at my hip if he knew I was in the next room. I like the idea of having the kids at a nearby house and having 2-3 sitters, give them 10.00/hour. All the parents could chip in some?? Otherwise I might not bother.



answers from Portland on

I think Sara had some great suggestions:
separate space
planned activities (ensure that there are things for all ages-- three year olds would likely be ecstatic to do playdough while the older kids are doing something more 'project' oriented)
Firm rules (check in with the hosts about this--their house, their rules)

I am a seasoned preschooler and would not want a mixed-age group of this size. From experience, it would be like herding cats to keep them out of your hair and where they are supposed to be if they are at your home. Do any of your families have preschool teachers who might like a little side work?

Frankly, the other potential problem with having the parents immediately available is that it's confusing for the kids to know who is really in charge. And if one person lets their kiddo hang out for a few minutes-- it can be go downhill pretty quick. And then the kids get mad because the sitter is "keeping" them from their parents. All dynamics I've dealt with. :)



answers from Chicago on

I would have an adults only party and send your own kids to a sitter. I think 10 kids all in the house and expected to stay out of the adults area is a hassle waiting to happen.


answers from Lansing on

I'm not certain 1 babysitter for 10 kids would work...but I will tell you this.

A couple years ago, we went over to a friends house for NYE. My friends daughter is the same as my daughter then I have a daughter 2 years younger. Well it just so happens my friends niece wanted to spend the night with us too as her parents were going out. She was around 14-15. Well it just so happened the kids were so consumed with her in the basement we got to enjoy a ton of adult time.

So yes, I think the concept would work, however I'm not sure about with that many kids. And I'm not sure how much to pay....



answers from Boston on

Yes this works great. For my sons 3rd birthday in July we had a neighbor come over and supervise the kids and make sure no one got hurt in the jumpy house we had rented. If you put in a movie there is probably going to be little for the babysitter to do when that is playing as kids are usually glued to the TV when something good is on. We paid our babysitter like we usually do when we go out. You could also get some craft materials and have them do some crafts as gifts for Santa.



answers from New York on

If this is an evening party, just invite adults. People can get their own sitters. Ten little kids, while you are trying to enjoy yourself, not going to happen.



answers from Phoenix on

I did this for a jewelry party and it worked out great. My babysitter is 15 also, knew all the kids at least a little and the ages ranged from 2-9 with about 6 kids total. We set our own children up with plates for dinner and then she took over and we went upstairs in the living room for the adult party. The kids played with all the toys on the playroom, watched movies, she got out coloring and project stuff for them and they had their own party. I didn't see my kids all evening, but the Mom of the youngest had a hard time separating from her, so she just sat on her lap upstairs most of the night. The babysitter checked in with me or the parents when she needed to, but knew the house rules, what was allowed and had autonomy to make choices as if we weren't there. I let the other parents know in advance of the party that I was paying her $10/hour, which is what I pay her to watch just my 2 kids, and that they could add a few dollars per hour to that if they wanted to use her also. I worked well for us parents and she made out like a bandit, since everyone paid her fairly.

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