My oldest two children were only 14 months apart and they were as different as night and day. There were daily conflicts about whose elbow was on top in the back seat of the car, what to watch on TV, whose turn it was to clean up dog poop, or “Why are you looking at me that way?” It was a constant battle for control and competition.
Having a sibling is our kids’ first opportunity to learn what healthy relationships look like. So just keeping the peace and shouting “You should love your sister!” didn’t seem like the right approach. Instead, I discovered tools to proactively teach them togetherness, teamwork, and serving. And they worked! Try these 10 activities to help siblings get along with each other.
Having a sibling is our kids’ first opportunity to learn what healthy relationships look like.
And if you want your kids to put their efforts down in writing, iMOM’s Sibling Peace Contract printable is the perfect tool to make progress on their relationship.
1. Put them on the same team and have a snowball or water fight against Mom and Dad.
2. Buy walkie talkies and encourage them to pretend they are detectives solving a mystery.
3. Ask them to be the family cheer captain for their sibling’s event. Let them lead, with your guidance, how their sibling will be celebrated. If you have more than two kids, have them take turns being the captain.
4. Have them create a song list together for a family dance party.
5. Buy craft supplies and set aside a time when they will create a work of art for their sibling based on what they know about him or her. You may need to coach them a little to focus on what their sibling likes, not what they themselves like.
6. Host show and tell at home so each person gets to share an object and why it’s important to him or her. Mom and Dad can participate as well.
7. Give them a scavenger hunt list and a reward for finding everything together. Put items on the list that you know each person appreciates. If you don’t want to create your own scavenger hunt, we have a bunch to choose from, like this treasure hunt.
8. Make a list of the other sibling’s favorite things. If you have more than two kids, assign them one sibling each. You also could have them make a list for each of their siblings. Give them a piece of candy for each thing they guessed correctly.
9. Build a fort in the living room and play in it with them. Make sure each person’s ideas are implemented in some way and comment on how each of those ideas adds a fun element to the whole.
10. Together, have them plan a family outing that includes things each of them enjoys doing.
What are some other activities to help siblings get along and learn to value, serve, and celebrate each other?