Summer vacation is coming up for us (only 2 more weeks until school is done!) and I’ve been thinking about how to help the kids get along. Recently, there’s been a lot of picking on each other, and typical sibling squabbles. But my concern is that when they’re both home all day long that it’s going to get a little more intense. I want them to realize that they can enjoy each other’s company and not be combative with one another.
I’ve discovered that a cool way to have them come together is to work on a shared goal, maybe even against their parents! They could be on the same team on a board game, work to create something together, or solve a problem together. Recently, I’ve been choosing to focus on activities that make my own kids work together. Here are some ideas:
Playing a board game as a team
We got out Memory (a game we’ve been enjoying recently during family time) and they worked together against me. They helped each other out when they were trying to find matches on their turns. They put the matches they got together and they totally beat me. They even did a little victory dance.
Making a catapult and try shooting it into a target
We got out some materials to try to create a catapult with what we had at home. We tried legos, popsicle sticks, rubber bands and a spoon. While they were each working on their own catapult, they helped each other problem solve and got excited when the other person’s actually worked.
Paper airplane target practice
We made a couple of types of paper airplanes and tried to get it through the doorway leading from our living room into the hallway. They decorated their planes so it was easier to keep track of whose plane it was. Maybe someday I’ll actually put up a paper target for them to get through.
Work on a puzzle together
Sometimes when they’ve been arguing, it makes sense to switch the activity. We recently did this with success. They were getting irritated with one another, so we took a break and started to work on a puzzle of the United States of America. They finished the puzzle and their spat was forgotten.
Make a balloon rocket and see how far you can make it go
My kids got really excited that we were doing this activity too. I set up the activity (it doesn’t take a lot of materials, so that’s wonderful) and then we went outside to test it out. They had to work together to figure out the best place to put the string and to coordinate timing. They worked quite nicely on this project!
Work on a collaborative art project
Sometimes working to create something together can be helpful. We picked up these cool nuudles (corn noodles that stick together if you wet them slightly) and they worked together to make a house. They also worked nicely together sorting the colors and cleaning up the extra nuudles for more projects later.
Go on a scavenger hunt
We love to take walks or just be outside in nature. Sometimes the change of scenery alone can help. Occasionally, we pick something that we’re going to look for on a walk, like how many butterflies we see, or how many chipmunks or how many different colors. If we remember to bring our camera, we even take pictures to help us keep track.
Go to the park
Some of the most peaceful times I had last summer when we were in Toronto were when I took both kids to the park. We’d go to a park and there were always a few other kids there. They would play together with the same group of kids, or sometimes just play by themselves. Being in a new place, meeting new kids and running around exploring was a great way for them to interact positively and work together.
Does it always work perfectly all the time? No, but it’s a start. What activities do your children like to do together?
This post is linked up at Motivation Monday.