Are you feeling the strain of seeing your kids struggle with being cooped up together? Whilst it may have seemed exciting to be home, for the kids at least, we are definitely at the point where patience levels are low, and we could all do with some inspiration to keep us going.
Here are a few ideas to implement with siblings, to encourage play, patience, and family time.
Stop, collaborate, and listen
If your children are close in age, and prone to being competitive, try to veer towards games that utilize collaboration.
Need some examples?
Have each child make a list of 8-10 items that their sibling must try and find. For example, this could be “something red, something soft, something yummy” etc. Siblings can team up, to work on bonding, or they can work independently but the goal shouldn’t be about beating the other.
Memory Tray Game.
Spread a variety of objects (they could be toys or random household objects) on a tray. Have everyone stare at it for 1 minute, then remove the tray from view and the kids can work together to try and remember as many objects as possible.
Get everyone to work as a team in trying to keep a balloon up in the air either using their hands or perhaps spoons, rulers or even paper plates.
Build a fort.
A great way of keeping the children playing in their own room – all this really requires is blankets, pillows, and a chair or two.
Encourage games and activities that induce laughter
It is hard to nit-pick at your brother and sister if you are busy laughing with them.
Need an example?
Have your kids stand side-by-side and put a balloon between their hips. They must then walk across the room, or garden, without dropping the balloon and without using their hands. Should they drop the balloon then they must start the game again.
Share the responsibilities
Set up activities in which the older sibling can help his or her younger siblings or, design games that give the younger sibling a sense of control.
It can be difficult to encourage an older sibling to spend quality time with a new-born or a much younger sibling, but giving them responsibility for a game (whether it’s hide and seek, building blocks or puzzles) can help foster a deeper connection.
Help your children develop shared passions and interests
If you stumble upon a shared interest between two or more of your kids, maximize the potential!
If two of your girls love to dance, check out YouTube for some free dance lessons. If it is football that your kids love, set up a make-shift goal in the garden – or in the lounge, if you’re brave. If it is music, ask them to put together a group dance to a favorite song which they can perform for the family.
Shared interests build a deeper connection.
In all that you do, aim for flexibility – children are responsive to gentle guidelines rather than strict regulations.