Here’s the thing: Make sure your preschooler sees you do it. Set a good example!
If you have more than one child, encourage them to do the same to each other. Not so easy for them? Be patient. It’s usually easier to appreciate your siblings in hindsight, after you’re grown up and can respect all the character building exercises you had together (you know what that means).
While they’re still young, they might have a longer list of complaints than compliments for their brother or sister, but here are a few things that toddlers and preschoolers can probably understand well enough to be thankful:
- For having someone around to play with all the time. Friends from preschool? Needs to be coordinated. Sibling? On demand access!
- For being a source of entertainment and maybe even a little responsibility (if the sibling is younger).
- For demonstrating how stuff works and doing fascinating things (if the sibling is older).
Today is also a great occasion to have them build their relationships and not just their characters. Here are some fun kids’ activities to celebrate National Siblings Day:
- A dress-up photo shoot. Have them pick out some costumes for each other and set up a backdrop. The sillier the better.
- The family that cooks together eats together. Find a quick recipe and have everyone work together in the kitchen on it. If the weather is nice you can take it outside afterwards for a picnic. If it is not so nice, well, indoor picnics are possible too; you just need a little more imagination.
- Go shopping together and have them pick out cards for each other. It’s a great way to kill two birds with one stone if you need to get some cards for your siblings as well. Hint: your kids can also “call” each other or send an email to each other if that’s how you are contacting your brother or sister. (Well, preschoolers are probably better off with emoticons. Anyway, they know what is going on.)
- Have your kids do a craft project for each other. Badges or maybe specially decorated t-shirts are relatively quick-to-make presents for the special day.
Would you add something else? How did your preschooler thank his or her sibling and how did your children celebrate National Siblings Day?