School holidays can be a mix of awesome family time and grinding torture haha. This one simple idea restored some sanity to my days and helped my kids to play together better than ever.
We had our 4 year old daughter 6 years after our sons (10 and 12) and they all love each other to bits. The boys are pretty self-reliant and can usually occupy themselves well but we are often then left with the little one who can’t always go to play with them or keep up.
The Simplest Idea
As the holidays wound on we hit on the idea of ‘Brother Time‘.
It was a simple idea where each of the boys had to do an activity for 30 mins with their sister. There wasn’t much else to it except that it had to be an activity that she wanted to do and it couldn’t involve a screen … it could be a game, drawing, dress ups, making cubbies and all the usual stuff.
The whole family loved it.
The boys really enjoyed their Brother Time each day and little Miss 4 reveled in the attention from her heroes. We had an extra hour up our sleeve to get the day organised and it was helping our kids learn and play together.
Now don’t get me wrong, the boys play with their sister anyway, but having a structured time day after day meant that they had to get a bit more creative. Everybody learnt new skills in negotiating the activities and helping them to succeed. We noticed that they got better at this and had to be very unselfish as it was designated as her time to play with her brother.
Another thing we have learnt over the years is that giving something a name really helps. Its easy to communicate your expectations as they get to know that activity and in a strange way it makes is more legit and exciting. So we called it Brother Time but you will probably think of something better haha
So give it a go on the weekend. A little structure even when simple can help to make the day predictable and run more smoothly.