With a house full of siblings, you can get scratching, hair-pulling and screeching that's loud enough to break a saint's patience. Sibling rivalry is one of those inevitable conditions when you confine two or more children to the same house; the house just doesn’t seem big enough for them. You can set aside those wrestling ring plans for the basement and try a few team building tips first.
1. Scavenger Hunts
Scavenger hunts can help build a sense of camaraderie and develop team skills among siblings as they work together to solve clues. Keep the scavenger hunt clues simple for young siblings and increasingly complex for older kids. With larger families, divide the children into two or three groups and then have another scavenger hunt soon so each group of siblings has the opportunity to work together.
2. Silly Stories
Have your children work together to create a story the whole family can enjoy. Fill a large sack, bag or pillowcase with items from around the home, such as stuffed animals, measuring cups, tennis balls, running shoes and hair bands. Have each sibling pull something from the bag simultaneously without looking. Create a sentence that contains both items from the bag. Write down the sentence and repeat the process. When you come to the end of the game and the bag is empty, have the children organize the sentences they created into a silly story to share at the next family gathering.
3. Blind Obstacle Course
Teach your children to trust one another with a team-building obstacle course. Create a simple course in the backyard from hula hoops, pylons, beach towels and jump ropes. When the obstacle course is complete, place a blindfold on one child and have the other guide her through the course with careful instruction. The rule is that the siblings cannot touch but must use verbal communication in order to navigate the course together.
4. Spot the Lie
For a group of older children, play a mentally challenging game for team building success. Have each child take turns providing two truths about themselves along with one lie. The other sibling must try to guess which of the options is the false statement.
5. Game TIme
Play a family game of touch football, beach volleyball or even baseball if your group is large enough. Put both siblings experiencing the troubles on the same team and watch them work together to accomplish the same goal for their team. If there seems to be a lack of team spirit, lead by example and show them just how to cheer on their own team.
6. Create the Activity
Have your children work together to create a new group activity that encourages team building. Once you have provided them with the opportunity to learn about team building through other activities, let them try to employ the information they have learned by creating a challenging activity, physically demanding game or other activity in which they must work together as a group to succeed. This task helps to encourage a variety of skills that are important to teamwork, such as goal-setting, planning, working together and creativity.
- Siblings without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too; Adele Faber
- Siblings: You're Stuck with Each Other, So Stick Together; James Crist Ph.D, et al.
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