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13 Fun Games to Play With Siblings at Home


Looking to discover new games to play with siblings? Explore a collection of activities to foster connection and learning among siblings.

Remember the days when pillows were fortresses, cardboard boxes were shining armor, and the living room floor was lava? Fast forward to today, it seems like digital entertainment has taken over—putting screens between siblings and creating distance where there once was togetherness.


In fact, one of the most popular parenting books today, The Anxious Generation by Johnathan Haidt, sheds light on the alarming impact smartphones and technology are having on today's younger generation, urging caregivers to be mindful of limiting tech exposure. So if you’re looking for healthier technology-free alternatives of things to do, this list is here to help.


For caretakers wrestling with packed schedules and sibling disharmony, sometimes the answer lies in going back to basics. Sometimes, we need to rediscover the power of simple, engaging games that bring siblings closer together.


The good news is that doing so is possible. In this article, we'll explore a variety of fun, imaginative games that cater to different ages, interests, and abilities. We'll also share practical tips for creating a nurturing play environment and facilitating positive interactions between siblings.


So, let's set aside the screens, dust off our imaginations, and embark on a journey of discovery and delight in games to play with your siblings at home.


3 Benefits of Playing Games with Siblings

Studies show that sibling companionship is a powerful influence capable of shaping behavioral, social, and emotional development. These interactions serve as ‘practice’ that sharpen social-cognitive growth, leading to benefits such as:



  • Increased social competence skills, including negotiation, persuasion, and problem-solving

  • Positive development and improved academic engagement

It's important to note that sibling conflicts during play are not only normal but also valuable learning experiences. As siblings navigate disagreements, they develop crucial problem-solving strategies, emotional regulation techniques, and conflict-resolution skills


By providing guidance and support during arguments between an older sibling and your little one, caregivers can help turn conflicts into chances for growth.

 


How Can Kids Have Fun With Their Siblings?

Of course, for some caretakers, the words “siblings” and “fun” might not seem to mix often, if at all. What can be done to facilitate fun times between siblings of different ages without making it feel forced?


Much of it boils down to one thing: communication.


Children learn by example, and while they may not always show it, they do listen to what you say. Some experts recommend: 


  • Encouraging siblings to see each other in a positive light
  • Reminding an older sibling how much their younger siblings admire them
  • Modeling ideal behavior in your own words and actions

It may take time, but as you guide each child to understand their role in creating a fun and loving environment, it will be well worth the effort!


What Are the Most Fun Games to Play at Home? Types of Games 

Finding fun games to play with siblings is very much a blend of experimentation and intuition. But the right games offer more than just fun memories—they can also serve as stepping stones to develop sibling bonds, targeting key areas of learning and growth.


If you don’t know what to do with your kids today, try some of these ideas! To help you find the perfect games that are not only fun but also help encourage kids to learn through play, here’s a curated list of top games, categorized by type, that are ideal for siblings to enjoy together:


Cooperative Games

Great for kids with multiple siblings of different ages, cooperative games promote teamwork and cooperation in a fun, engaging way. Our top three picks include:


  1. Keep it up – Everyone works together to keep balloons from hitting the floor. The older brother or sister can help a younger child reach up higher, helping them learn the value of teamwork in an engaging and fun activity. For bonus fun, add more balloons over time!
  2. Blind scavenger hunt – A twist on the classic game, with one sibling blindfolded, the others guide them with verbal hints to find hidden treasures. This is a great summer camp alternative to play outside on warmer days!
  3. Team charades – Players split into teams and, without speaking, act out words or phrases while their teammates attempt to guess them within a set time limit.

Collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills come together in these cooperative games to play with siblings. No doubt you’ll enjoy seeing the shared sense of accomplishment build your kids’ unity—and pave the way for endless hours of fun. Slumberkins also offers a cooperative board game that allows kids to work together as a team to complete their mission.


Competitive Games

Engage siblings in strategic thinking and friendly rivalry that is sure to ignite sparks of creativity and a sense of challenge. Popular competitive games include:


  1. Flag tag – Each player has a flag or balloon attached to them; the goal is to collect others' tags while protecting your own.
  2. King’s treasure – This fun activity is great for an older child with younger siblings. Younger siblings team up to steal "jewels" from the elder's treasure stash.
  3. Pillow wrestling – All the fun of wrestling without the anxiety of anyone getting hurt. Stuff shirts with pillows and let them release their energy in a safe wrestling match.
  4. Tournament time – Up the stakes of any card game, board game, or video game at home with fun and simple competitive prizes.

It’s important to remember that competitive games can typically spark some emotional dysregulation and conflict. While these games introduce a competitive edge, they also provide a chance to teach lessons on respect and good sportsmanship. As the caregiver, you can set the stage and prepare your kids for what the objective of the game is truly about.


By just giving your children a quick pep talk, you can remind them these important lessons:

  •  Winning and losing doesn't define them.
  • They can get better at games and keep learning and growing.
  • Even if we get really mad, we are going to take care of our feelings and know that these feelings have a message for us.

When competitive games naturally spark tense moments, practice these skills together. That way parents don't get caught up in thinking playing the game is the important part of the interaction, it is actually the learning in the emotional moments. This practice supports harder moments down the road where conflict is more intense to manage.


Educational Games

Transform learning into a fun and interactive experience that strengthens the sibling bond. Consider educational games like:


  1. Team trivia – Customize questions to match kids' interests in history, science, or geography to keep them engaged and learning.
  2. Word game – Siblings take turns saying a word that starts with the last letter of the previous word, building vocabulary and quick-thinking skills in a fast-paced, fun format.
  3. Group storytime – Choose books with multiple characters and assign reading roles, such as narrator and key characters, to encourage participation and improve reading ability.

These games reinforce academic knowledge while promoting critical thinking, encouraging children to explore and grow intellectually in a supportive, engaging environment.


Creative Games

A fantastic way for siblings to explore their imagination and artistic abilities, these games provide entertainment while nurturing self-expression, enhancing divergent thinking, and boosting emotional intelligence. 


Try games like: 


  1. Super tower – Gather any available ‘construction materials’ like Legos, pillows, and cardboard boxes to build the tallest freestanding tower. Once complete, have fun knocking it down and seeing the creative possibilities in rebuilding.
  2. Art challenge – Use craft supplies along with unconventional items like styrofoam peanuts and rocks as a canvas for endless artistic expression.
  3. Skitplay – Tailor this game to various age groups by letting younger children enjoy dress-up while older children write and perform their mini-plays, fostering creativity and theatrical skills.

Through activities that encourage building, designing, and performing, siblings can deepen their bonds while expanding their creative horizons—all within the joyous realm of imaginative play. Slumberkins Play Kits also offer an excellent opportunity for children to engage in creative play. They foster imaginative fun and can be enjoyed collaboratively with caregivers or independently.


Tips for Successful Sibling Game Time

As mentioned, not all games will always have a positive outcome. Little feelings will get hurt, and arguments will inevitably take place from time to time. 


How can caretakers support children in navigating these challenges? Experts share several tips that can help:


  • Set up a dedicated game area – Designate a specific area in your home as the “game zone.” This helps mentally prepare the children for a fun and orderly play session, making it more special for them—and easier to manage for you.
  • Leave space for spontaneity – It's important to allow time for play to unfold naturally. On occasion, let the children enjoy their playtime without your input as long as it remains positive. When disagreements do happen, try to resist the urge to intervene immediately; these moments are crucial for developing essential social skills.
  • Compliment and encourage – After a disagreement is resolved or a play session ends well, offer plenty of praise. Make sure to compliment the siblings when they're together and on an individual level. This helps each child feel appreciated and seen.

While sibling rivalry is normal, it doesn't have to lead to serious conflict. Strive for a balance between being light-hearted and firm, always prioritizing the importance of their special relationship over any specific incident.


Slumberkins: More Fun Games to Play with Siblings

Playing with siblings is more than just a way to pass the time—it's a chance to build lifelong connections, skills, and memories. And with a little help, you can help ensure these experiences are as enriching as they are enjoyable.


Slumberkins' loveable snugglers and interactive storybooks are the perfect companions for this, teaching children valuable lessons on topics like sibling rivalry, connecting with others, conflict resolution, and self-expression. 


Each of our collections help teach valuable lessons to children, whether that be how to have a growth mindset like the Narwhal or practicing self-acceptance like the Yak. To further help your child identify emotions, try out Creatures full of Feelings Card Game, which will empower your child to express themselves in a safe and playful way.


With a little patience and a lot of love, you give your children a beautiful gift: a strong sibling bond that endures like no tablet ever could.


Sources: 


National Library of Medicine. Sibling Relationships and Influences in Childhood and Adolescence. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3956653/


Raising Children.net. Preventing sibling fights: tips. https://raisingchildren.net.au/school-age/behaviour/friends-siblings/preventing-fights


Genius of Play. 8 Tips to Encourage Play Between Siblings. https://thegeniusofplay.org/genius/expert-advice/articles/8-tips-to-encourage-play-between-siblings.aspx

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