As a parent, there is not much that is more wonderful than watching your kids play nicely together. Those are the moments that make us want to pull out our cameras and document the rare occasion (if you manage to catch it, print and frame the picture and refer to it often!)
Sometimes I think the kids have camera radars, though. It seems as soon as the camera comes out, something goes haywire.
Why is it that children can’t play nice all the time?
Ideas for Getting Kids to Play Together Nicely
Unfortunately, playing together is a learned skill and one that has to be encouraged and nurtured.
Research shows, though, that siblings who fight and play together as kids have better relationships with each other in adulthood than siblings who don’t play together and don’t fight much. So be encouraged!
If you’re at your wit’s end, here are a few ideas for encouraging your young children to play together.
Give Them Activity Ideas
Sometimes kids don’t know where to start.
Often, the older sibling wants to do things that the younger sibling isn’t quite developmentally ready for. This can cause a lot of frustration for the older sibling.
Check out some of our FREE Printable Games that are ideal for little ones to play with older siblings.
It may be beneficial for you to step in and make some age-appropriate suggestions.
Be sure to encourage the older sibling to include their younger sibling and compliment them when they do well.
Promote Siblings as Teammates
Take every opportunity to unite siblings.
Whether it’s having them help each other keep moving while getting ready in the morning, pitting them against the adults during a squirt gun battle, or create a treasure hunt so they have to work together to find the treasure.
Remind them that they are each other’s built-in best friends and they are a team, even if it means they gang up on you.
Put them in Charge
Create a fun activity that your kids can lead.
Let them plan a day of family fun, allow them to wash the car in their swimsuits, or have them decorate the living room for a special occasion.
Whatever the activity may be, encourage them to work together to achieve their desired result.
It’s okay if you need to step in to help or referee; they are learning how to work together and it won’t always be perfect.
It’s important to remember that building relationships take time.
Your kids didn’t choose each other as siblings like they choose their friends.
Often sibling personalities are like night and day and they will struggle to find common ground.
Remember that it’s better that they care enough to yell at each other. The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s apathy.
Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.