In my last post, I mentioned about April 10 being celebrated as National Siblings Day in many parts of the country. Well, guess what I just discovered – today, May 24, is celebrated as Brother’s Day in several parts of the world. Also, my search concluded that there’s yet another Brothers and Sisters Day which is supposed to be celebrated on May 2 every year! I guess these varied occasions just go on to show how special the bond between siblings can be – celebrations galore under different names :)
Talking about brothers, I, unfortunately, was bestowed with none. However, my daughter has been the luckier one in this aspect (ask her though and she’ll vehemently tell you she always wanted a sister). There are times when the two are inseparable. Of course, there are times too when both of them refuse to acknowledge each other’s presence, as if there were decades of enmity between the two of them. And yet, the bond between the two siblings is something special; somewhat similar to the bond me and my sister share with each other since childhood.
Here are three fun ways older and younger siblings can play, learn and bond together.
Build an indoor fort together
Me and my sister’s favorite pastime during the holiday season was to build up ‘elaborate’ forts indoors which served as a safe haven for us right through several days (read: till we got tired of sneaking in there day and night, day after day). Either mum would help us erect a simple fort in the hallway with old bed sheets, string and clothespins, replete with twinkling fairy lights to light up its ‘majestic’ entrance along with a stock of cookies and chocolate milk inside, or if we were very lazy and mum was busy with work, we would sneak in underneath our dining table after covering it with a huge tablecloth which fell to the floor on all sides and had our evening tea parties there. I remember once dad got a brainwave and pitched us a temporary blanket tent over our beds – we were thrilled to pieces each time we crawled in to read a book and then eventually fell asleep – it was our own little castle! For some creative ideas on how to go about it, read more here.
Play board games and video games together
Depending on what age the siblings are, one can get hold of some board games which the two can play together. For instance, there is Chutes and Ladders for young kids, in which they can have fun going up as well as down the ladders, then there’s Sorry as well as Battleship for slightly older kids. Or else, you could perhaps introduce them to video games like the popular Lego Star Wars where they get to construct bridges and spaceships from the building blocks, or even pet games like these where they need to care for a virtual pet, making sure it has had its fill and taking it on adventures online. The idea behind getting them to play something here is to let them settle down for a while and indulge in the same activity together. Apart from spending enjoyable time together, they get to learn about teamwork and foster the ability to focus too – a win-win situation all along.
Learn an activity together
Arrange for kids to, say, attend a class somewhere in the neighborhood where they can learn an activity together, even if it’s on weekends. It could be a music class where they can opt to learn how to play musical instruments of their choice (my son is presently enrolled in a drums class and the daughter is thinking of joining either piano or guitar classes). It could also be a singing class if they are interested in honing their vocal skills or a dance class where they can just let loose and have fun. Spending some time together away from the home environment will do the siblings good, helping them bond on a different level altogether.
I would love to hear about other new ideas involving siblings too.