How do you squeeze time in with all of your children to make sure they feel like they have your attention? How do you have engaging fun together after school when they are all home?
Here are a few ideas that I want to share with you to help make your afternoons fun for everyone in the house. Plus making time for siblings makes homework time a lot more successful.
Our house gets a little bit busier when big sister comes home from school and even during the summer break! Over the past few weeks I’ve been noticing more and more attention seeking behaviors from my 5 year old, wanting more attention from Mommy than I was giving her.
Truthfully, our 1 year old is a busy little one who been keeping me on my toes quite often. So I was brainstorming ideas for activities we could do together so they both felt like they were getting all of my attention in the afternoon.
Here are a few ways we discovered to spend time together with both older and younger siblings that I wanted to share with you.
Ideas for Sibling Activities
- Reading Together– Big sister and little sister snuggle up with books. Their favorite place this week was in the wagon together. My oldest enjoyed reading stories out loud to the younger one.
We also discovered that the high chair is a fun place to read while the littlest one enjoys her snack.
- Play Kitchen Fun– They love to cook in the play kitchen together. My youngest loves putting things in and out of the cupboards while my biggest enjoys creating a Tea Party for all of us to join in the fun.
This has been a favorite for quite some time now and I’m sure will continue to be for a while.
- Pretending Together– They both enjoyed playing with baby dolls, Little People Toys, animals, large car, & large play house. Always making sure they are safe and child friendly. We keep big sister toys in her room to help with safety concern.
- Puzzle Fun– We pulled out our puzzles and they worked on building them together. They were easy for big sister but she enjoyed helping little sister find the right spots and talking with her about what the pieces had on each of them.
- Water Table Fun– Since my youngest can stand and walk they could both stand at the water table and play in the water with the water toys . To be honest my littlest one enjoys splashing water a whole lot more than my oldest ever has so this was a fun one to see how silly my youngest got with her big sister.
- Hide And Seek & Tag Games– They both enjoy playing Hide and Seek together and a few games of Tag, just reminding my bigger one that little one is still learning and we have to be gentle.
- Playground Fun– They had so much fun going up and down the stairs and slide together. Although my youngest still needs much assistance my oldest felt like they were playing this together and they both got my full attention.
- Building Fun– We discovered that building towers with blocks can be so much fun together. The Duplo Legos were a big hit too since they are toddler friendly but still leave enough for the imagination that a Kindergartner enjoys playing with them too.
- Snacktime Fun– Who doesn’t enjoy sitting with a sister or brother at the table.
- Sandbox Fun- They loved to play together in the sand box. My older one would hide things in the clean sand for her to find.
- Bubble Fun – We brought out the bubbles and discovered what fun it is to take turns blowing bubbles and chasing bubbles together.
- Outdoor Walks- We put little sister in the stroller and big sister on a bike and rode around the neighborhood. We also pulled out the wagon and went on a few adventures too. Plus now that the youngest can walk we took some adventures through the field and trees together discovering all sorts of treasures in the yard.
- Ball Fun- We found that we can play catch together and kick the play together
- Music Fun- We turn on the Children’s CDs or radio and have a little dance party or pull out the instruments and have a jam time and SING.
- Bath Time Fun – After all our adventures in the afternoon we got a little messy so the both hopped into the tub and had a grand old time splashing in the bubbles and playing with the bath toys.
- Field Trip Fun– It’s always fun going on adventure with your sibling. We went to a local farm this week and enjoyed feeding the animals together. Last week we ventured out to a local park to find shark teeth together.
Next week we’re hoping to go pick some strawberries at a local farm.
We enjoyed having such fun together! When it’s time for dinner time and homework time they both felt like they had enough attention from Mommy that they were more willing to play and work independently. Plus they had spent time together building their relationship with each other and with me together.
Create Your Own Sibling Book
We took some pictures over the week and we made a sibling book from it. The text was very simple but something that they both will enjoy over time.
I can __________ with my sister
We did this to help form a strong relationship with each other. It also helps them both to understand the types of activities that they can do together. It sat with my 5 year old and we talked about the things she can do with her sister and we wrote them down on a sheet of paper.
Then we put those words into sentences together on the computer and printed it off. They she glued the text onto the page and drew a picture of the activity. Then we also printed off a real picture to go with it.
Here are some sentences from our Sibling Book
I can read with my sister.
I can play toys with my sister.
I can pretend with my sister.
I can play on the playground with my sister.
I can eat with my sister.
I can play ball with my sister.
I can dance and sing with my sister.
I can go on adventures with my sister.
I love my sister and she loves me.
Hope this helps if you’re in the same situation I’ve been in the past few months. Spending time together during playtime can make homework time and making dinner time and lot more productive.
Sharing time with siblings is important and something that we need to help our children learn how to do to form lifelong connections with their siblings.
Great ideas especially the sibling book. My girls are 6, 5 and 3. Because the first two are so close in age I've worried about the youngest being left out. I've tried to help them play together and see each other as sisters/friends. Thank you for your ideas.
Kim @ The Educators Spin On It says
Thanks Lydia for your reminder to use the word friend too when talking about siblings. Mine are 1 and 5 and 19 and my 5 year old still calls her big brother her best friend and he call her his best friend.
I love the list of things for them to do together! My kids are a little older now, but I remember a couple years ago when they first started playing together, and many of the things on your list were things they loved to do – especially playing in their kitchen, with bubbles and playing hide and seek! Thanks for linking up to the Afterschool Blog Hop!