5 Activities for Strengthening Child Sibling Relationships
As a parent, you face a lot of challenges: potty training, temper tantrums, a general lack of sleep. But there’s one hurdle that doesn’t get talked about enough: getting your kids to like each other.
At ParentEducate.com, we’re on a mission to make parenthood easier for families like yours. That includes helping you foster healthy, loving sibling relationships between your little ones.
To help you do just that, we’re sharing five of our favorite bonding activities that will have your kids feeling like friends in no time.
- Have a combined storytime.
Books are one of the most powerful tools you have as a parent to help your child learn important life lessons. Schedule a joint storytime with your kids (bonus points if you build a fort), and go through books that focus on sibling bonding. Some of our favorite titles include:
- The Evil Princess vs. the Brave Knight
- Dollop and Mrs. Fabulous
- Maple & Willow Together
- Just Like My Brother
- I Used to Be Famous
If one of your kids is of reading age, you can even have them read the story to their younger sibling. They’ll love following the tales of other siblings and will learn what makes their relationship unique in the process.
- Set up a team competition or activity.
It’s no surprise that siblings love to compete with each other. Take that competitive spirit and channel it into something healthy by teaming up your kids for a fun activity. Whether it’s a scavenger hunt around the house or an obstacle course in the backyard, they’ll learn things are better when they work together. Plus, they’ll have the chance to laugh and play with their sibling in a new way.
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to making a scavenger hunt, here’s a round-up of some of our favorites.
- Introduce them to a collaborative art project.
Art is another easy way to show your children what can happen when they work together. Set aside time every day for a week (or once a week for a month) for your kids to work on a collaborative art project together. The project can be as simple as a large coloring poster or something more in-depth like a family heart piece. Find a project you and your partner can join in on, too, for added fun.
- Start a family kindness journal.
Family kindness journals are one of our favorite tools for fostering intentional sibling relationships. Go to the store together and pick out a family journal (and any supplies you may need to decorate it), along with a set of pens and pencils. Then, talk with your kids about setting aside time each week for them to write in the journal. Their entries should focus on what their sibling did to help them that week, or something they enjoyed doing with their sibling. These moments of mindfulness will help them reflect on their time together, and it’ll help them be more intentional in their relationship. Finally, set aside time every few months to go back and read the journal as a family.
- Give them unstructured time together.
While there are a number of activities you can foster for your children that will help strengthen their bond, the best thing you can do is give them free time together. This will allow your kids to explore their common interests (and differences), independently work through conflicts and create memories that are all their own. Plus, unstructured play has been shown to help children develop self-esteem, self-determination and creativity — three things that are important for siblings to have, as well.
Want to learn more about how you can strengthen the sibling relationship between your children? Our online course can help! In Fostering Healthy Sibling Relationships, you’ll learn more about the importance of bonding, how to encourage empathy and how to deal with conflict. Visit ParentEducate.com today to sign up for a seven-day trial and access the course for free!