Summer is an exciting time–the idea of having the kids home more feels really sweet and sentimental…but then there is the real-life part of that is how they interact with each other. 

In a home where peace is a core family value, it is really important to cultivate those peace-loving relationships beyond just parent and child. The goal is for those peace-making to extend into every relationship within the family. 

How do we cultivate that + what does that look like?

I have found that one of the ways I love to promote peace in our home is by seeking out collaboration over competition wherever possible. 

I’m not saying that competition is a bad thing, but for a peaceful sibling relationship, collaboration abilities are pretty key. The two ways that work best to promote this collaboration specifically among my children and their relationships with one another are through collaborative games and collaborative tasks. 

Collaboration is more than just “My kids aren’t at each other's throats today so that’s good!” 

It is a vital tool that is necessary for children to have in order to ensure peaceful relationships. 

I LOVE collaborative games because they're fun, calm, and have a clear direction my kids can pursue together. There is less fuss at the beginning and end because there isn’t a concern about winning or losing. The attitude is generally happy and the instructions/expectations are clear for each player because it is still within the rule set of a game. 

Peaceable Kingdom makes some excellent Collaborative games (especially for toddlers + preschoolers) that we love and play regularly in our home. Here are a few…

  1. Monkey AroundMy kids have a bawl playing this! I love the use of pictures on the cards because the game is geared toward kids as early as age 2 but the familiar pictures allow toddlers + preschoolers who can’t read yet to be able to play *mostly* independently without an adult. It has been the source of a lot of good bonding time for my 2! Check out Monkey Around here
  2. Acorn SoupThis became a very fast favorite when my kids were 2 + 3 years old! There is so much room for creativity and even though there is a designated goal (to make a soup according to the recipe on the card) my kids really like to role-play that one of them needs a meal and the other is happy to serve it. Check out Acorn Soup here

  3. Best Dressed BananaIf you have kids who love to be goofballs–this is a game they just might love! Humor is a great tool for kids who need a little help in their relationship. There is nothing intense about this game–rather it is silly and encourages compliments + creative thinking. A win-win! Check out Best Dressed Banana here.
  4. Hoot Owl Hoot and Dino EscapeFor kiddos who like a challenge, but who struggle with losing, Hoot Owl Hoot and Dino Escape are two games that have a strong challenge and goal in mind, but that promote collaboration and teamwork. Both of these games have just enough chance involved to make it fun, but they do require paying attention and promote critical thinking too. Check out Hoot Owl Hoot here. Check out Dino Escape here
We love these two so much we frequently give them as gifts!

Collaborative TASKS are another tool that encourages sibling unity.
This may really depend on paying some attention to the personalities of your kids as you seek to find these opportunities, but for us, some examples are: 

  1. Floor puzzles: Melissa + Doug make good quality floor puzzles that my preschool-aged kids can do together! I’ve found that the smaller puzzles are tougher for little kids to work on together because there is less “me space” for each kid and both of my kids like to have their own workspace. Larger floor puzzles allow them to work together but also have some space. 
  2. Chore time: Chores, or family contributions, are a regular thing in our house, but rather than me delegating every single thing, I’ll often list the things we need to accomplish and let the kids figure out how they can work together on something while I work on something myself. This isn’t always the biggest hit, but it is something we are intentionally working on and is teaching valuable skills of teamwork even on the harder stuff and also enjoying the satisfaction of a job well done together. 
  3. Group art: We really enjoy art in our family–watercolor and dot marker art are two favorites in our home right now! Initially, for our scheduled art time I would set the kids up independently with their own art supplies, but recently I started using large classroom post it paper and having the kids work together on art projects. The dot markers are especially great for this sort of thing. It is a similar concept to the small puzzle vs floor puzzle thing. Sharing a small piece of paper would be a nightmare, but having more space to work together is really great a lot of the time. Sometimes I’ll draw a few tree trunks and branches all over the paper and encourage them to fill it in with leaves and different fruit to create their own orchard. That’s a favorite right now! 

Do you have something that you’re intentionally using to cultivate unity between your littles right now? We’d love to hear it! Add to the conversation in the comments or post to social media and tag us so we can feature your tips. And if you haven’t already, be sure to check out our workshop specifically aimed toward siblings. We know you’ll love it! 


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