A few years ago, as summer was approaching, I was concerned with some of the one-on-one relationships my children had with each other. I’m a mother of four and my biggest concern was that my oldest (8 going on 9 at the time) and my five-year-old had NO friendship. They often bickered and fought.

So I came up with a plan based on the well-known thought “you love those you serve” and created a schedule for my children to serve each other. It worked so well we have done it every summer since.

Create a Simple Schedule for Siblings to “Serve” Each Other Through Fun Activities

This is how it works: every child is paired with every sibling every morning. The combos over the years have included activities like:

-11-year-old daughter and 10-year-old-daughter write and produce a play (including script, costumes and sets).
-10-year-old daughter and 5-year-old-daughter make up dances together.
-5-year-old-son reads an easy reader to 7-year-old daughter.
-7-year-old daughter and 5-year-old-son play jump rope, hopscotch, basketball or soccer.
-5-year-old son and 4-year-old-daughter color a picture together.

As Your Kids Grow, The Activities Can Become More Advanced

As my kids have grown we have continued the tradition and the activities mature as my children do. This is what we did last summer:

-13-year-old daughter and 12-year-old-daughter prepared dinner each morning (including a weekly menu and shopping list). They did all the prep work they could in the morning, together, then one of them did the actual cooking each evening.
-13-year-old daughter and 10-year-old-son played board games each day.
-13-year-old daughter read Alice and Wonderland and The Chronicles of Narnia to my 9-year-old-daughter.
-12-year-old daughter and 10-year-old-son practiced timetable flash cards.
-12-year-old daughter taught 9-year-old-daughter piano basics.
-9-year-old-daughter practiced her reading with my 10-year-old son.

The kids love this part of the day — and thankfully, they love each other. I will continue to do this as long as I can. I feel like this is one of the best things I’ve done for my children.


Credits: By Sara Urquhart, photo by Katrina Davis for Design Mom.