Childhood is a time for fun and activity. Engaging in carefree playing with siblings and doing activities together for fun help children learn a lot of things. It helps them learn teamwork, strategise, and cooperate to accomplish the task, but, above all, it helps siblings get close and feel responsible for each other.
Like most parents, while you may also be trying in your own way to help your children bond together, we would also like to pitch in with some ideas to help you. Here is a list of 5 activities that you should make your children do together to have fun and strengthen their relationship.
For siblings aged 3-6 years
Children in this age group are eager to explore their environment and learn. The different experiences they gain through the sense of touch, smell, vision and hearing help them understand the world better. It is also an age when children are learning to coordinate their limb and body movements. Some of the activities your children can do together to develop their physical abilities and bond together are:
Finger painting: While your children are having fun, let them also develop some artistic skills. Give your children a few sheets of paper and some nontoxic paint of different colours. Ask them to draw different geometric shapes or animals using their finger(s) like a paintbrush. They can take turns to paint a stroke and complete the drawing.
Roll the ball: Give your children a long piece of cardboard and a ball. Ask them to hold the two ends of the cardboard and roll the ball back and forth without allowing it to fall. At every new attempt, challenge them to roll the ball longer than the previous time.
Walk with the ball: Although this is one of the simplest indoor games, it is full of challenges, enjoyment and fun. Ask your children to stand close, facing each other. Place a ball between them pressing it against their stomachs and ask them to hold it. Now, tell them to walk up to a designated spot and back without allowing the ball to drop. To make it more challenging, place objects, like their toys, at different heights around the house and ask them to go and collect them without allowing the ball to slip down.
Role play: This is a fun way of teaching your children not only the basics of theatre and acting, but also about the roles and responsibilities of different professions. Your children can play different roles like teacher-student, doctor-patient, shopkeeper-customer and so on.
Memory game: Give your children a large tray and a variety of items. The items can include various things like paperclips, small pictures of various items, toys and so on. The children can take turns to spread the items on the tray, allowing the other to look at all the items for a minute, then looking away and recalling all the things that she saw on the tray. While giving items to children, ensure that you don't give anything that they can put into their mouth and swallow.
For siblings aged 7-12 years
Cleaning the room: As your children grow up, it is also time to instil in them a sense of responsibility and cleanliness by involving them in household chores. One of the first chores you can start with is giving them the responsibility of cleaning their room. Tell them all they should do to clean their room. Then ask them to divide the responsibilities among themselves and work as a team. Once they become adept at cleaning their room, you can enlist their help to clean the entire house too.
Treasure hunt: Once your children begin helping you out with household chores, they also become more familiar with how things have been arranged within the house. Test their knowledge by organising a scavenger hunt. Hide their toys at different spots around the house and draw a cryptic map. Ask them to work as a team to decode the map and find the treasure.
Reading: Give your older child one of his favourite books and ask him to read out the story to his younger sibling. While it would make the older child feel like the big brother and, thus, more responsible, the younger one would look up to his older sibling for an enjoyable story time.
Gardening: If you are lucky enough to have a patch where you can plant a few saplings, involve your children in creating a garden. While the older one can do the spadework, the younger one can put in the saplings, or the seeds, and cover them with soil. They can take turns to water the plants and remove the weeds. If you live in an apartment, your children can use the balcony or the windowsill to grow plants in flowerpots.
Board games: To make your children learn planning and execution through play, you can introduce them to various board games like Monopoly, Chess, and Scrabble. Before you leave them to play on their own, spare some time to coach them on how to play the different games. Later on, you can also join them to share the fun.
Importance of sibling relationships
The relationship between siblings is truly unique. Living under the same roof, they get to share and experience the good as well as unpleasant experiences and even ride out bad times together. They outlast every other kind of relationship and can depend on each other more than anybody else which makes this relationship a truly special bond.
Siblings do understand that there exists an age difference between them. So, sometimes, they are reluctant to play together. However, there are activities that they can do together to bridge this age gap. While our article lists a few activities that your children can do together, you can also come up with your own set of tasks to make them bond and enjoy each other's company.
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