It’s National Sibling Day on April 10. They say the sibling relationship is so special because it may be the longest of our lives. Siblings are often your first playmate in life. Experts say sibling relationships can help promote empathy, social-emotional connections, and conflict resolution skills.
10 Sibling Activities & Play Ideas
1. Pair Up for Pretend Play. Give kids a scenario that involves multiple roles and encourage them to take turns playing each role. For example:
- Grocery shopping for a big party
- Restaurant grand opening
- Doctor’s office checkup time
- Vet visit (it’s always fun to play the animal!)
2. Sketch a Sibling. Encourage siblings to take turns posing for portraits the other draws. Take a cue from actual portrait-making and have each child hold a meaningful toy, doll, or lucky charm in their hand while sitting for their portrait.
3. Share Sibling Stories. Pull out those baby books or scroll back through Facebook and Instagram for reminders of your children’s milestones. Then share with each of them their “firsts” (words, steps, foods) and “favorites” (toys, baby books, lullabies). They’ll get a kick out of comparing notes!
4. Letter Love. Have siblings write (or dictate to you) a letter for their siblings telling them what they love about them and then hide it somewhere to be found another day.
5. Secret Sibling Handshake. Suggest kids create their own secret sibling handshake!
6. Follow the Leader. Set a timer for a 30 minute sibling playdate where for the first 15 minutes the younger sibling calls the shots and chooses the play patterns and for the second 15 minutes the older child gets to make the choices.
7. Sibling Showdown. Host a Sibling Olympics with events that work for your kids and space: “Laundry Basket Basketball (with socks)” and “The Floor is Lava Long Jump,” for example. Don’t forget to award medals (kids can even craft their own!) — everyone’s a winner!
8. Set a Sibling Record. Challenge siblings to set a “personal best” record for “tallest tower of blocks” or “the most ball tosses” or “the most ball bounces” between two or more of them without dropping!
9. Sibling Scavenger Hunt. Have siblings hide five of their favorite toys for the other one to find. Help them create clues to the hiding places to find the treasured toys!
10. Silly Sibling Tricks. Have one sibling try to teach the other one a silly skill, such as playing rock/paper/scissors, thumb wrestling, whistling on a blade of grass, hula hooping, or skipping stones!
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