10 Sibling Cooperation Games for “Why Can’t You Just Get Along!?” Days
Break it up! Break it UP! Now distract, redirect, and relax.
Josey Miller · 5 months ago
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Are the kids at each others’ throats lately? (Go ahead. Blame quarantine. We’ll pretend they weren’t also like this pre-pandemic.) The secret to siblings who get along may just be games that teach them to team up — where they aren’t competing against each other, but rather, relying on each other to achieve a goal (and, sometimes, to win). These are a few of our fight-free favorites.
1. Mindful String Games
Remember the string games you learned on the bus ride home from day camp? The next time the fam needs some quality together time, meow-mix things up with some Cat’s Cradle. The calming string games your kids will learn from this boxed set are much more fun with multiple people, and there’s nothing competitive about them. Read: no cat fights.
Make believe, not war! Guesstures is a lot like charades, but on steroids. To set the scene: Get your teammate(s) to guess what each card tells you to act out before the timer runs out. Hint: Forget about looking silly! If you throw self-consciousness to the wind, you’re more likely to win.
3. Ravensburger 500 Animal Selfie Puzzle
It’s a pepuzzelfie! (That’s "pet puzzle selfie," in case you were wondering.) This idea is sure to help your kids connect as they work together to solve the puzzle. Ravensburger also uses extra-thick board so their pieces fit with less frustration. That said, there are still 500 in this particular puzzle, so we’re talkin’ many much-needed hours of piece and quiet for everyone. And it’s fur older kids fur sure.
4. Trunk Works Storytime Travel Card Game
Many kids enjoy the ritual of playing games that are always pretty much the same. If that's your kid, this particular game may not be for them. With these story cards, kids take turns pulling prompt cards from a deck. They then go back and forth using the prompts to build on each other’s plot ideas. And they live happily ever after. For an hour or so.
5. LEGO Creator Expert Roller Coaster Building Kit
This LEGO set is complicated. Over 4,000 pieces! Cue: dividing and conquering… and the process could still take the course of several weeks to complete. But the endgame is a fully functioning roller coaster with two trains (and even a cotton candy machine for a true amusement park experience). If/when they finish the structure, they’ll feel such a joyful adrenaline rush that you might even forget how much the set cost. It also might not be ideal for small apartments — the side-by-side big dippers take up a lot of space.
6. 101 Improv Games for Children and Adults
Would you please set the table? No. Clean your room? No. Do some improv? Yes, AND...! Improv games like the ones in this book really play to people’s silly sides. They also teach serious life lessons like teamwork, commitment, body awareness, finding humor in the everyday, creating something from nothing, and resourcefulness. But we won’t tell if you don’t. Bonus: Your kids may also find themselves with some inside jokes after playing.
7. Story Magic Wooden Beads
Parenting fantasy: Your flower children sit criss-cross-applesauce designing necklaces and bracelets for each other and their friends while singing Kumbaya with dandelions tucked behind their ears. Parenting reality: You could be finding a few of this kit’s 350+ wooden beads in corners and under furniture for many weeks to come. But if you get even a glimpse of the fantasy, wouldn’t it be worth it?
8. Gravity Maze
It’s a maze! It’s a marble run! It’s… Gravity Maze! Kids follow the challenge cards to try to create a path their marbles can follow to the finish line in this 3D logic puzzle game for future engineers. It teaches persisting through trial and error, and it’s easy to get hooked. Note: Only geeks need apply (and we mean that in the most affectionate possible way).
We’re big fans of playing children-versus-grown-ups. It’s an opportunity for your kids to band together against a common foe — or in this case to banz together (sorry, had to): their parents! You may have seen similar concepts on talk shows like Ellen: You ask yes or no questions in hopes of figuring out the image — an animal, food, or object — on the card on your forehead, where you can’t see it. But time might run out before you do so you have to hustle!
10. Crazy Forts: Flexi Forts
Pillow-and-blanket forts are guaranteed good old-fashioned fun. But what if you could build one that’s less likely to collapse — and in pretty much any shape you’d like: a rocket or a circus tent or a boat, for example? With these flexible rods (and a bedsheet or two), the nearly life-sized options are truly next level.
Make your room the coolest spot in the solar system — no, the galaxy. No, wait — in the *universe.*
Sarah Burns · 5 days ago
Know someone special with a September birthday coming up? We've got you covered!
Maria Bailey · 16 days ago
Be the kid EVERYBODY wants to sit next to.
Margo Gothelf · about 1 month ago
"Feline" fine with gifts cat people will love the meow-st.
Sarah Burns · about 1 month ago