We get this question from curious parents a lot.How do I entertain my 4 year old at home and how will virtual childcare keep them engaged?
Before trying one of our Virtual Childcare sessions, it is hard to imagine their talkative, active, 3 or 4-year-old staying engaged for a full session. Rest assured, we LOVE our preschool-aged kiddos, and we’ve designed our virtual babysitting content with their engagement in mind.
I’m going to start by saying every child is different. You know your kiddo best. My own children are five and seven, so I have that perspective as well as experience from being the virtual childcare host at Flexable. Here is what we’ve done to make our product different, engaging, and may just surprise you with how captivating it can be to even a four year old:
- We’ve vetted our hosts and picked truly the best. We hire folks that have strong backgrounds, passions and experience in working with children. They are smart, diligent, and are looking for ways to engage and have fun with children.
- Our motto is forget the ‘mute’ button. When children are on virtual activities traditionally they are asked to place their computers on mute. The children are told at the start of class that it’s their ‘job’ to stay at the computer as best as they can and to talk (respectfully) as much as they wish! This is a dream for many four year olds; if you’ve ever been subject to a four year old trying to tell you a story, you get it. Our hosts let the little ones talk and share and in turn, they feel HEARD and want to stay!
- We keep our group sizes very small! We know that kiddos spend more time on the computer lately, and that often that time included joining 30 or so other children on a school call. Kids can get lost and their voices go unheard. With Flexable’s virtual babysitting sessions ranging in size from 4-6 children for our group camps and one-on-one for our on-demand sessions, your child will get the right balance of socialization with the peers and time to let THEIR light shine.
- We try to keep our activities simple and fun. This equals engagement. Activities require minimal instructions, very few materials are required (often just paper, crayons, a pencil), and our hosts can read the moods of little ones very well. If the kiddo seems like they need a quick game change, then our hosts will change the course of the class and try a quick game of Simon Says or iSpy! The kids absolutely lead the class, and our hosts are excellent at guiding the ship!
“Our 3.5 yo loved the class and I think a few more and she’ll be comfortable to participate without me. Miss Rachel did a great job engaging her and moving the activities along.” Flexable Parent from this month!
Where to begin? Perhaps your three year old wants to try our 30 minute Circle Time. Yes, at first, you may need to be close by to monitor. Your kiddo may just surprise you with ten or 15 solid minutes of laughter, games, and engagement with a trusted adult. If that’s enough to make a quick phone call or enjoy a hot cup of coffee, I call that a win! At first, this age group might need help once or twice with the technology or be so excited they want to show you something. As they try more classes, they will absolutely get into the swing of things and you’ll get more time back.
Bonus tip: Coordinate with your little one’s family members/friends to take the same class! Seeing a familiar face on the screen and letting two buddies have fun TOGETHER could really make a difference for your child!
Check our our camps for the week of November 9 -13 great for preschool aged children. Don’t be afraid of camps listed 3-10! Our hosts choose activities that are fun for all, and this is a great option for families with siblings in different age categories)
- Acting and Theater
- OR book our 1:1 On-demand with any host at the time that is best for you for a session that is child-led and focused on your just your family!
Meet Miss Caylin:
Hi! I’m Caylin Charrie, I’m from Pittsburgh, PA, and I’m Flexable’s Community Lead. I’m a certified elementary and middle level teacher by trade with a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology. I spent 10 years teaching public school, but ultimately I never could find that harmony that creates inner peace when you’re a working mom, so just about two years ago I made the decision to be home with my children (Geno – 7 and Emilia – 5). Working with children and teaching is part of my identity, so when I saw the opportunity to work with a company whose mission is to create innovative childcare solutions for working parents, I felt like that could be an amazing fit. I dove in early 2020 onto our powerhouse team of strong intelligent people who are working for this common mission, and I’ve never been happier. I love creating content for our hosts, training and onboarding new hosts, creating relationships in our business development, and supporting our customers!