Introducing The Great Sumo Play!
My most recent fun idea for dissolving sibling struggles between my 6 and 12 year old is (drumroll): Sumo wrestling shirts! We get two of dad's big t-shirts, stuff the front and back with bed pillows (2 in front, 1 in back seems to work well) and then, let the wrestling begin!
I sewed a seam along the bottom edge and tied a drawstring so the pillows don't come out so easily, but you can just stuff them down shorts and pants. The kids can bounce into each other and no one gets hurt, and I stand in as referee. They fall over and laugh and laugh as they try to get back up. The other one will try to help and then they fall down, too.
This has been a great stress-bustling game for when they are slightly off track and want to be physical, but their play is showing signs of intent to hurt because they are feeling disconnected. The game allows then to be close and physical and get in lots and lots of laughter so that the tension comes melting out in waves of giggles.
They always end up in better shape and much more connected!
For more inspiring play ideas try: