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Monday, October 3, 2011

mother*wonder Monday {three} - Quality Time for Older Sibs


Happy Monday friends!  This topic resonates with me...

Making time and creating breathing space for older siblings. 

After some time playing hoops with E last night, it always impresses upon me the importance of that time together one-on-one.  While I never forget that he needs it, sometimes it can be tricky to make it happen.  I am also empathetic to the fact that before his brothers arrived, he always had me to himself.  I want to be fair about it, and make sure everyone gets some alone time with mom and pops {look for an upcoming post on that}, I think he may crave it a bit more because it is after all how he began.

Overnight our family went from this...

to this...which is a lot for that amazing little guy in the middle to handle.

While our situation is unique in that the rest of my brood does not know what it's like to be a "singleton," a common dilemma is making the older child(ren) know they are just as
awesome and loved as always regardless of how many they are big bro or big sis to.

A few ideas that we have tried that E has LOVED...
{some free activities and some that have required some planning}

I also found it best to be up front about the time we had, but also very into it, so he knew that time was going to be the absolute best no matter how much I wanted to crawl into bed instead.  We also chose more time out for E as opposed to time out for us.  We knew it would speak volumes to him.

Leaving Home
If you're lucky enough to get a few hours out...

*Round of mini-golf and ice-cream
*Trip to science surplus store {for at home projects below}
*Bowling, they love it!
*Rollerskating or Iceskating
*Arcade and pizza
*See a play at a local children's theater, super inexpensive,
we have 3 near us with tickets around $10.
*Minor league baseball game

*Museum/planetarium overnights, places like the Adler Planetarium {Chicago} offer an astro overnight, if you stay until 10pm instead of overnight, the fee is less than half
and you really don't miss a thing.

*Night downtown, play, museum, fun place for dinner...all of the above for something extra special.

*At Christmastime make a scavenger hunt for lights...did he see that leg lamp?!
*Trip to park and library
*Grab a basketball, soccerball, whatever and go play!
*Bikeride with no destination or plan
*Weekend free movie showings
*PJ party at local bookstore, Friday nights here at Barnes and Noble

I also tried to save any giftcards we had to be used during these times to offset some of the cost.  
E joined the reading program at our local library when he was 4 
and the prizes were museum, arcade, ballpark passes.
It's good for them to know they contributed to the fun too.  

Staying Home
Trying to get some time in while feeding, changing diapers, rocking to sleep, etc.
On the days E was not in preschool, I would try to setup a morning activity for him,
one that I could either talk him through or check in on, something easily understood.

*A science experiment.  You can find so many using regular household items online,
or get a kit like this one with everything in it, the experiments build on one another...
Truth be told JoAnn Fabrics sells so many of these and the 40 and 50% off coupons apply!

{via Fat Brain Toys}

*Create activity bags like these...

{via Pinterest}

*Digging, excavation kits...

{via Amazon}

*Before sibling arrives, create ziploc bags for projects that can be easily explained/set up.
These books were great inspiration.  

                                               {via Amazon}                                                                      {via Amazon}

We did not have a plan every day, but I felt like having a plan for some days made me feel like I had say in how much wii was played, tv was watched, etc.  Games are also great, I-SPY does not take much!

Keeping Routine
While it can be so fun for an older child to play with visiting family and friends, we found E felt most secure when he knew specific routines were done by us...bedtime, taking to school, etc.  Yes it was hard to load up 4 carseats with babies twice a day when I didn't have help, but it made all the difference in the world to E and his brothers enjoyed getting out too, even if just for a ride, I did too.

At the end of the day, all they REALLY care about is time with YOU doing something fun!

Taking time for mother*wonder,


  1. So true, my oldest loves one on one time and we try to make it happen as much as we can

  2. great ideas!!

    i love your blog and i just gave you the "versatile blogger award" so feel free to participate...


I so appreciate your sweet thoughts and thank you for sharing. I always try to reply whether it be to your email or on one of your blog posts! Wishing you a wonder*filled day! Michelle

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