The fighting and competition that comes with sibling rivalry is frustrating, difficult and disheartening for parents. To teach your kids how to cooperate and work together, you can engage them in some therapeutic activities to help strengthen those skills. Your kids are more likely to willingly participate if the activities are enjoyable, engaging and involve play.
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Building blocks are an entertaining way to teach your kids how to work together. Ask them to draw a picture of a large tower or city and then tell them to build it with a bin of blocks. Sit back and watch as they plan and execute their ideas. They will have to use cooperation and problem solving-skills along the way. If the tower doesn’t work the first time or falls over in their efforts, they will have to learn to deal with frustration and start over.
Cooking can be a therapeutic group activity for the kids. Offer your children a kid’s cookbook and have them pick out a recipe or two. Have them take turns reading each step of the instructions out loud before beginning. Encourage them to find, measure and mix the ingredients. They can assign tasks or do it as team. The product is their reward for their hard work and cooperation.
A rope game can get your kids working together for a common goal. Grab a piece of small- to medium-width rope that is at least 10 to 15 feet long. Tie several knots in the rope and place it on the floor in a straight line. Have each child stand next to a knot. Ask the kids to untie the rope without taking both of their hands off the rope at any given time. Each sibling must learn how to effectively communicate, share common space with the others and how to work cooperatively to finish the task.
Your kids will enjoy the challenge of completing a colorful puzzle. Hand the kids an age-appropriate puzzle and ask them to put it together. Sit back and watch as they focus on a common goal, share space and discuss where the pieces go. They must work together to be able to complete the task. To make it more challenging and exciting, time them with a kitchen timer.