“Mum, xxx isn’t sharing”, “They keep knocking down my things”, “I don’t want to share, they are touching my toys”…are words we may hear from our little learners as they discover the complicated world of sibling play.
So, what can us Mummas do, to encourage positive sibling play. Here are 6 tips to put into action when you are ready.

SIT WITH ME time with the eldest – this is a strategy used to fill one another’s cup. The idea is to complete an activity in it’s entirety free from distraction and interruption. This way your eldest learners’ cup is full and they are more likely to be more accepting of the siblings involvement in their play.

PREPARED LEARNING ENVIRONMENT – setting up the playspace with specific spaces for learners to play in different ways eg, individually, collaboratively, alongside one another. This allows for learners to create personal space when it is needed as well as opportunities to practise the skills required in sibling play. Having it set up ahead of time means sibling rivalry and the regulation of emotions can be focused on immediately with a safe space for learners to play in.

VISUAL TIMETABLE – displaying the days events for the family to see is a great way to nurture the flow of play. Learners can clearly see what is happening in their day which helps to establish a positive and meaningful daily rhythm and/or routine.

SETTING EXPECTATIONS – as with most things, being aware of the expectations helps to guide our actions and attitudes. By setting clear expectations and maintaining consistency as best as possible we can help our little learners understand how sibling play can work.

MULTI AGE LEARNING EXPERIENCES – having a bank of play ideas that cater for our learners collective interests is a handy tool to have. Four of our favourites which may become your favourites too are:

•nature hunts with sticky frames

•floral playdough

•puzzles and

•sand & water playtrays.

We also recommend checking out these two accounts for more inspiration as they share their play journeys with multi age learners Play At Home Mummy and Simply.Play.Today

FOLLOW THEIR LEAD – Observe learners carefully looking at what they are choosing to play with, wait for them to engage in the learning experience and then listen to what they say to themselves or those around them. These conversations are great indicators on what play your learners enjoy engaging in. This can spark inspiration for play ideas that can include all learners.

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Happy PLAYing,

Erin xx