Every one has those days where they feel like every one is picking on them… Or they feel the need to be the one doing the picking. I’ve been babysitting the same four kids for about three and five years, so we’re all real comfortable around each other. Most of the time we play nice or loudly sing random songs, but sometimes they bicker, or don’t follow directions well.
I have found that when they are having a hard time makeing good choices its time to take them out side. I have been watching them long enough for them to know that I will not take them to doing anything fun if they are misbehaving, so I try and get them out before timeouts are necessary.
We live about mile away from a park, so we walk to it. Yes at three and four they can walk a mile, play for a little while and then walk another mile to get home for lunch and nap time
Another thing they like to do is throw rocks (and leaves) into the river. It’s the best thing ever because 1) their attitudes flip. So where I have one crying because the other has taken and ate her imaginary thing, and he just keeps taking it. They are now getting along, and cheering each other on for how far they’ve thrown their rocks. 2) the fresh air sunshine and long walk will tire them out enough to where they don’t have it in them to bicker, so they sit and play nicely with the weebles while I make their lunch and then they go to sleep.
Another option is letting them watch tv. Which I don’t like to do. We don’t really watch tv during the day, the room where we play doesn’t have a tv in it. I do let them in the winter or on rainy days if I can’t come up with something better for them to do. When they were babies I would turn on Signing Time when when they were fussy and I needed to clean up the table from lunch or something. The kids definately enjoyed it, and I loved that it made it easier to communicate with them. We have not watched it in a while so we’ve forgotten a lot of what we had learned, but I am able to tell them to stop doing something with out having to shout if we’re out and about.