During the winter months, with cabin fever factored into the equation, there is a definite escalation in sibling rivalry amongst my two daughters. The equation is simple: Too much energy + not enough outlets = bickering and picking on one another.
I’ve found that the best solution is what kids need anyways: activity – lots of it. Here are some simple ways I’ve made these cold days more fun and engaging for our girls.
This is one of my favorite ideas. Our girls get to go on “dates” with their father and I. We typically coordinate: I’ll take one of the girls to a movie or shopping; My husband takes the other bowling or to the arcade or trampoline facility. This way the girls get alone time with each parent and it allows for some personal conversations and bonding without competing for attention.
Think game night. Break out the board games or even use the home game system like wii, so that you play together and foster friendly competition.
This was an idea I got when at Epcot. My girls were fascinated by the different cultures for each country. So, on cold days, we’ll immerse ourselves in the culture – learn the language, cook foods, play dress up, watch movies or play games from that country. You’ll have so much fun, you’ll forget you’re learning.
My husband hates this idea because the idea of kids running in the house freaks him out, but desperate times call for desperate measures. It doesn’t take too much to do just a few “sports” like jumping jack competition, stair climbing, fort building, who can read the most pages of a book in 30 minutes or who can last the longest in a dance contest. These are sure to rev up the competitiveness in the house, but also tire little ones out. If you want to really eliminate sibling rivalry make it kids against parents. Nothing makes kids work together harder than trying to beat mom and dad!
What’s your favorite way to keep your kids active during the winter months?