How to Strengthen Sibling Bonds with Fun Outdoors
Sibling love may be precious, but it brings with it a set of challenges and tensions for little Hotdogs and parents alike. Here’s how to use fun outdoors to strengthen and nurture their bond:
*image Finlay Fox
Encourage two siblings to squeeze into one coat together with it back-to-front and let them try to navigate their way around the garden as coat monsters trying to catch you! Best played on a safe, open grass space and with children who are steady on their feet.
Get two children to hold a large piece of cardboard between them and place a ball on top. Challenge them to pass the ball backwards and forward and try to avoid it falling on the floor. Up the challenge element by timing how long they manage so they can beat their personal best.
Balloon keep it up
There’s something really satisfying about the simple game of patting a balloon to try and keep it in the air! Challenge your siblings to a game together and be their scorekeeper.
Joined at the hip
Stand your kids hip-to-hip with a balloon or ball in between them. Tell them to walk across the garden or courtyard without dropping it and without using their hands to help! If it drops, they’ll need to start again.
*image the_5_duffys (please check out their fundraising link)
Beach ball bounce
A great one for the beach – grab a beach towel and a ball and challenge siblings to bounce the ball as many times as they can without dropping it.
Blind fold treasure hunt
Encourage team work by hiding treasure and asking your children to find it together. The catch – one must be blindfolded and the other must guide them around the garden/park using words.
Jumbo lawn art
If you want something a little calmer, how about getting them outside to be creative (hurray to less clean up!). Grab an old sheet or loads of big pieces of paper to make a jumbo canvas on the ground, then hand them paints to use their imagination however they like. With such a big space to create, the hope is they can create side-by-side without getting in each other’s ways. Plus, they’ll have nature and fresh air to inspire and calm them.
If you think your little ones will enjoy getting arty outside, try a huge garden sculpture using your recycling stash. Challenge them to make the widest/tallest/shiniest sculpture they can, together.
Kids vs Grown-ups
Children love a spot of competition and while sibling-to-sibling competition can be healthy, there’s nothing kids love more than the opportunity to compete against the big kids – parents! Fun physical games to play include tag, hide and seek, ball games, water fights and races. Bonding for the whole family.
*image Amy Colour Fun
Super messy fun
Another way to strengthen siblings is to allow them to do things together that us parents often have a hard time allowing – like making lots of mess! Set up a messy station outside, whether it’s water play, shaving foam, slime – the messier the better.
*image Halfpint Hikes
When the weather is nice enough, take pillows and blankets outside for hours of endless fun building forts. Cardboard boxes are a versatile resource for outdoor fun too – ready for making forts, cars, boats, planes, robot body parts… let their imagination free.
Water fun is always fun too! Water pistols, water bombs, sprinklers, or just taking turns in charge of the hose – let them have a water fight to let their sibling rivalry live itself out safely.
If you enjoyed this blog, you might like more fun outdoor ideas in our article ‘8 Easy Ways To Engage Their Senses Outdoors’.
Fresh Air Stories: Kat Brown in Kent. The first in a series of interviews talking openly about how we can get our kids outside more.