Entertaining siblings far apart in age can be tricky. They want to do such different things. I can see it first-hand in my friend. She has an 11-year-old and a three-year-old. While her three year old will happily play alone so she can play a board game with her eleven-year-old, she wanted to find a few things to do together.
There are games that they can play or outings to fun places like a park or ice cream shop. But she wanted at-home sensory activities to connect them as a family while keeping them occupied (so she wasn’t pulled in two different directions).
A few ideas to keep both kids busy:
(1) “Everyone has fun with Play-Doh. Even teenagers still love it. Nature walks and nature collages can be a lot of fun. If your kids love to craft, get out the art supplies and let them create! Bake cookies and decorate them together! You can always add a sensory element to anything!” -Rebecca S
(2) “Have the kids do a task together. Raking leaves can be the perfect thing. The oldest can rake and the youngest jump in and then together they can bag up the leaves. It teaches teamwork and it’s fun!” -Marla D
(3) “Anything outdoors: kicking a ball, nature walks, geo-tracking, bike rides. Let the older come up with the games/activities to play.” -Angela R
(4) “Get some plastic eggs out and fill with items you already have and hide them outside or inside. Kids love opening eggs any time of year! Let the kids hide them for each other, too.” -Tammie H
(5) Play a game of senses. “Hide some different items in a bag. The kids have to reach in and guess what the items are just by touch”. – Connie B
(6) “Painting is always fun! Try painting with little cars or animals to make footprints. Have the kids make their own paintbrushes with things from around the house!” – Keri S
(7) “Legos are always a win with kids! Let the 3-year-old play, but give the 11-year-old a task of creating something like a treehouse or a flower out of LEGOs.” – Suzanne T
(8) “Explore some local parks together. When you are at the parks, have the kids look for things of different textures, colors, etc.” – Andreia S
(9) “Head to the library together or check out some local museums. Being a tourist in your own town is always fun!” -Leanne G
(10) “My kids love playing with dried beans. We lay out a large sheet or blanket and then set out a bin with the beans and sometimes dried pasta. Then we get out scoops, muffin tins, etc and they have so much fun sorting, counting, or even pretending to cook! You can even use food coloring to change them. ” -Ashley C
(11) Make Rainbow Pasta. The older child can make it and the 3-year-old can play with it.
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