I thought I would share a list of activities my two both like getting stuck into. If you have a closer age gap, it might not be so helpful but it may give some ideas of things to try with your own children:
- Chasing games
- Ball games - simple throwing, rolling or kicking a ball back and forth
- Hide and seek - the youngest can't really play of course but has great fun running around looking for her brother. She and I team up and hide together too.
- Jumping on the trampoline (we're lucky to have been passed down one that we have in our garden. Even though my youngest can't jump yet, she loves being bounced around and falling down)
If you can bear a bit of mess and confine it to an area, this is probably the biggest hit for them both. Some ideas include:
- Lentils/dry beans
- Shaving foam
- Painting (finger painting or with brushes/rollers/potato printing)
- Sticking stuff onto to paper/cardboard with glue
- Drawing/scribbling with crayons/pencils or on an etch-a-sketch
- Play dough
- Lego (my daughter used to destruct my son's Lego creations but is now happy sorting through the box of Lego pieces or playing with figures/doors/windows while he builds)
- Building towers - with boxes, blocks, stacking cups. Both ages love to build a tower and then knock it down!
- Gardening. Allocate them a patch of garden to dig around in or a pot of soil that's just for them. Let them help with watering the plants and if you have any rocks/gravel, they'll have fun scooping it up. The older sibling can help plant seeds, pick homegrown produce and such like.
- Books. The older sibling will likely enjoy hearing stories you read to the younger one, or will want to take turns lifting the flaps etc so it can be a nice relaxing activity to enjoy with both children. Maybe the older child can even read a book to the younger sibling.
- Walks/parks/playgrounds. Letting them both run around, climb, explore, splash in puddles, pick up sticks is always fun!
- Music. We have quite a few intruments at home for the children (maracas, tambourine, harmonicas, an accordian, flutes and more!) and they both love playing them and generally making lots of noise! If you don't have instruments. putting on a children's CD and/or having a sing-song is another option.