When your family begins to grow, it seems inevitable that your children will have squabbles and fights. In fact, it almost seems like a right of passage. As a parent of three children with a large age gap between them, I am always looking for ways to encourage sibling bonding and strengthen our family peacefulness.
This posts is sponsored by Little Tikes.
One of our favorite family experiences is to go on family outings in nature or even just a jog around the block. We love to get out in the fresh air together and just have devoted time to chat and hear about each other’s days. However, time together isn’t always free of conflict. I am a firm believer in children working through their own problems and learning problem solving strategies.
We solve most of our unsolved problems at the dinner table during our family meetings. This has been incredibly helpful for keeping a peaceful household. I wanted to reach out to some of my closest mom friends and get their tips to share with you. Because, let’s face it… we can’t have too many tips for encouraging sibling bonding.
Sibling Bonding Tips from Real Moms
We set up simple sensory play experiences that are great for siblings to do together. Our favorite is simple sensory soup. ~ Tina, Simple Fun for Kids
One way we’ve helped our kids to bond (whether to a birth sibling, or a sibling we have adopted or are fostering) is to ask one of them to help the other with an important task. Often times it is the older one teaching the younger one how to do something like shoot a basketball, or do a math problem. But sometimes it is the younger sibling helping out by quizzing the older sibling on spelling, or we might have the younger one practice reading a book to the older child (who can then help pronounce challenging words). When kids feel responsible for the activity and the other person, their bond grows and they try hard to be successful in whatever the task is. Even simple things like having the kids work on a project together: you make the bubble letters on the birthday sign, and you color them in. Both kids have buy-in and usually end up having fun in the process:) ~ Becky, Kid World Citizen
Create a sibling book that celebrates the things they can do together. Sometimes when there are ages gaps siblings need a bit more encouragement to find those moments to enjoy together. ~Kim, The Educators’ Spin on It
Let them hang out together, without guidance or directing their play. Let them figure out how to settle arguments without you and allow them to have secrets that you (at least pretend) know nothing about. Also don’t force them to play together, and don‘t compare them to each other. Give them a chance to foster their own friendship. ~ Kylie, Someone Maternal
We set aside time once a day for them to play a favorite activity together, without mommy or daddy intervening. I always have to keep an eye on them since they are boys, but find that they can still enjoy that time together even if there is conflict and actually work it out! ~Ana, Mommy’s Bundle
We’ve taught them that having a sibling is a blessing, so they should feel thankful for each other every day. I also encourage them to say “goodnight” and “I love you” to each other every night. ~ Melissa, Fireflies and Mudpies.
We have two girls and two boys. While the girls share a room and the boys share a room, we have made sure they have their own space in their rooms. I do feel like this has helped with their bonding. They look out for each other. The older two help with the younger two. It’s been beautiful to watch their relationships with each other grow. ~ Whitney, Beauty in the Mess
We celebrate Brother’s Day every year. Celebrating who they are and what they mean to one another. ~Kristen, Busy Kids Happy Mom
I have three kids that span 7 years. When I provide them with open ended activities to do together, they play and work better together. Things like building with blocks, playing outside or setting out multi-age sensory bins create lots of positive talk and giggles rather than frustration and anger. ~Amanda, The Educators’ Spin On It
“My top tip is to see the good and speak of it—every day. Notice and praise all of their positive interactions, instead of focusing on the negative. In short, talk them up!” ~ Erica, Let Why Lead
“Read books together and let the littlest one pick what you read.” ~ Kristina, Toddler Approved
We’ve intentionally offered ways she could help as soon as we introduced the new baby. She loves when we trust her with typical adult tasks. We wanted her to feel responsible and independent and proud. here are 20 ways a sibling can help with a new baby. ~ Devany, Still Playing School
“It is a a bit tricky to find games that both boys enjoy and find developmentally appropriate, but it is so worth the experimentation to find them. Kicking the ball to each other, Guess Who, and Snap are three games my boys are currently enjoying together, with minimal help. Sometimes when free play just isn’t working out, suggesting a game can re-set the mood.” ~Chelsea, Moments a Day
Simple Ways to Encourage Sibling Bonding when There is an Age Gap
Remember, how I mentioned how much we love to go on family outings? Just recently, we got a new 4 in 1 Trike from Little Tikes and it took our family time to a whole new level! With such an age gap between our daughter and two boys, sometimes it is hard to find activities that all the children will want to do together. However, the new trike had everyone excited. In fact, it helped me realize even more ways we encourage sibling bonding (even with the big age gap)
Help Put Things Together | My oldest son loves to put his baby sister’s things together. This started before she ever arrived with baby gear and hasn’t ended. When we got the trike, he was the first one to clear a space to put it together.
Model New Skills | I love the fact that both my boys have already been through the stages my daughter is in so they can help her learn new skills. The trike was an excellent opportunity for the boys to show their sister how to steer and eventually pedal, since the trike grows with them.
Give Big Kids Responsibilities | We are always finding small things the kids love to do for their sister like making dinner or getting a bath ready. The new trike created a new job. Both boys absolutely love to push her around on our outings.
We love how this new trike is going to grow with her and our family at the same time. It was such a pleasure to watch the smiles on Super B’s face and the laughter coming from them as they pretended the trike was a rocket ship with autopilot, boosters, and even an eject button.
Little Tikes 4-in-1 Trike grows with your child! It’s a stroller, learning ride-on, and tricycle in one easy-to-use product
The multi-functional features that help build a child’s motor skills and easy for moms to control the growing stages of a child’s peddling needs
· Adjustable sun shade that protects from 99% of harmful UV Rays
· Adjustable seat that can be moved with a flip of a switch (patent pending)
· Seat adjusts to fit children of all sizes
· Adjustable, detachable push handle that allows parents one-handed control
· 5-point seat harness and protective safety bar
· Footrests fold away and detach
· Durable metal & plastic construction
· Convenient beverage holder
· Extra-large storage bucket with dumping mechanism
· Large parent convenience tray
· Easy steer design
You can learn more about Little Tikes 4-in-1 trike by visiting their website or their youtube channel for more information. This makes the perfect gift for any child in your family, especially if they have siblings that will grow with them and the trike! You can find the Little Tikes 4-in1 trike at your local Toys R Us.
What are your favorite tips for encouraging sibling bonding?I’d love to hear all about them! Leave me a comment here or hop over and say hi to Little Tikes on Facebook!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Little Tikes. The opinions and text are all mine.