No matter what your family looks like, getting siblings to connect can be a challenge. Here are some ways to grow sibling relationships.

National Siblings Day: How to Help Your Children Connect

April 10th, 2021 is National Siblings Day

Siblings share a bond that’s not quite like any other. Growing up with 14 brothers and sisters who are all also adopted, my siblings and I always had our good and bad days. With so many different personalities under one roof, we always didn’t see eye to eye on things. Most of my siblings and I have a frayed relationship, but no matter what, deep down we all realize how important all of our unique relationships are to one another. They say there’s no better friend than a sibling, and in fact, there’s a day to celebrate the amazing sibling relationship.

National Siblings Day falls on April 10th, 2021, and there’s no better way to celebrate this special day—and every day—by planning fun and meaningful activities to help your biological and adopted children connect. By showing the importance of sibling relationships, you can help give them a special day that they’ll look forward to celebrating each year. In this article, I’ll list some fun, creative and meaningful ways to make National Siblings Day unforgettable and to help your children connect.

Some Fun and Creative Ideas

Plan a Family Road Trip

Planning a family road trip can be an exciting way for your children to bond. Ask your children where they’d like to go or completely surprise them with a scenic road trip. Your children can take pictures of the amazing sights, and they can connect to each other by talking about their favorite attractions.

While on your travels, if you have a DVD player, the kids could take turns watching their favorite movie. You could have a road trip jam session and have each sibling sing along to their favorite tunes. You could also have the kids play a game of I-spy. There are tons of road trip activity ideas on Pinterest.

Have a Picnic

Having a picnic on a nice sunny day surrounded by your children laughing and eating their favorite foods is another way to help your children connect. Ask your children what their favorite foods are, and have them help you make their lunches. Older siblings can help the younger siblings make sandwiches, and the younger kids can help by putting their favorite snacks in the picnic basket.

Once you get to your picnic destination, have all your children pitch in to set up the picnic. t’s also a great idea to set up your picnic at an area where your children can play, like the picnic area at a playground. Your children can come up with fun games to play like hide-and-seek or tag.

Go to an Amusement Park

Amusement parks are a great place to spend the day by. You can hear your children talk about what favorite rides they’d like to go on, see the smiles on their faces, and let them taste the great food! Your children can bond by taking turns going on their favorite rides together, and they’ll always remember spending a thrilling day with their siblings.

Have a Games Day

Set aside a day where you and your children can spend the whole day playing games! Whether you play board games, video games, bowling, laser tag, or anything in between, just playing together can help your children have a closer sibling bond. Have your kids choose what games they’d like to play and have them take turns choosing. If one of the kids hasn’t played the game before, have the experienced sibling teach them. By having siblings teach each other how to play their favorite games, you’ll be giving them space and time to connect.

Have a Family Movie Night

Bonding over the love of movies is another great way to help your children connect as siblings. You could plan a movie theme night and have your kids choose their favorite movie from whatever theme you choose, such as a Disney movie night. Having your children share their favorite movie will be a sure way for laughter, fears, and emotional moments to bring your children closer. Have your kids choose and help prepare the snacks, and don’t forget the popcorn!

Have a Dance Party

Dancing is another sure way for your children to connect as siblings. Show your children some great and silly dance moves, and have them show off some moves of their own too. Let your kids take turns choosing their favorite songs to dance to, and listen to the fun, music, and laughter that’ll help your children connect.

You could also plan some fun dance games for your kids. Some good games can be Just Dance, a spotlight dance, dancing with balloons, freeze dance, glow in the dark dance party—the list is endless! With your kids playing dancing games, they get to see each other’s individuality and improve their connections.

Go Stargazing

Clear starry nights are always so full of awe and wonder. Have your little astronomers go outside to get a closer look at the stars. See if you or your kids can find any constellations like the Big and Little Dipper. You don’t have to necessarily buy a telescope, but you can see much more, and siblings can also bond by using it together. Just simply being out in nature is a great way to form a strong sibling connection.

Cook or Bake Something Together

Learning a new skill like cooking or baking is a great activity to help siblings connect. You can have your children bond by making cookies together for loved ones. You could have them help you make kid-friendly recipes for dinner. Or, you could sign the whole family up for cooking classes and have each sibling help each other make a yummy meal.

Go to a Community Event

Community events are always a good time for siblings to see what each sibling loves to do within the community. If one of your children likes poetry, you can take all of your kids to a poetry open mic night. If one of your kids likes sports, you can take everyone to a favorite sporting event. Whatever your kids enjoy doing, it’s a great idea that you let the other siblings see what the other likes and why they like it so much. This bonding is great because siblings can share their favorite things and be an active part of your community.

Go on a Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are another way to promote sibling bonding. Ask your children what kind of scavenger hunt they’d like to go on, and once you have it all planned out, have your kids work together to solve the fun clues. You could even have fun prizes to win at the end of the scavenger hunt.

Go Camping

Camping is a fun experience that’ll help siblings connect. Let the older kids take the lead on the activities, and the younger kids will look up to their cool older siblings. The older kids could also teach the younger ones what they know about nature. By letting the older children take the lead, you’ll provide an opportunity for the younger siblings to respect and admire their older siblings.

Whether helping to pitch a tent, going on a beautiful nature walk, or roasting marshmallows for s’mores, siblings can feel more connected just by doing fun camping activities and being in nature together.

Some Meaningful Ideas and Tips

If you’re looking for some meaningful and heartfelt ideas to help siblings connect, here’s a list to follow.

Create Some Family Traditions

Making some new family traditions is always a festive and creative way to help your children connect. If your adoptive child is international, you can see what holidays and traditions they celebrated in their home country. Have your family be open to trying new things like multicultural foods and going on trips to places that are familiar to your adopted child. Not only will that help your children bond, but it’ll let your other children learn so much more about their adopted siblings.

Respecting their Individuality

Respecting each other’s differences and individuality is a strong key factor in sibling connections. Not everyone is the same, so by showing what makes each child special, you’ll be showing the importance of being your own unique person. If your kids have a special talent, have your kids show support to one another. If one of your kids is proud that they won the science fair, have your other children express how happy they are for them. If your adopted child is extroverted and your other children are introverted, show appreciation and support for all of your kids’ personalities.

Open Communication

Communication is key, and if your children are having quarrels with one another, sit down with them to communicate about the issue to help your child bond with siblings. Or, if your adopted child is struggling with not knowing their biological parents, you can openly communicate about their birth families.

Being open to conversations both in and out of your home is also important as well. If your family is transracial, there will be topics that’ll need to be discussed, especially if your adopted children feel different from everyone else. It’s best to avoid creating invisible children in transracial families. It’s also vital to show love, understanding, and acceptance for all of your children, and for your children to show all of that to each other, in order to form a lifelong connection.

Give Them Time

Giving both your biological and adopted children time to warm up to each other is crucial for them to bond. Adopted children sometimes feel like they’re intruding on someone else’s territory, but with assurance and love from you, you can help your adopted child know that they’re always welcome in the home.

Biological children could feel like they aren’t going to get enough attention, so they might distance themselves at first. Giving them time to cope with having new adopted siblings in the home is vital for them to be open to connecting with their new sibling.

Show Them That They All Fit into the Family

All children thrive on the sense of belonging. There are ways to show adopted children that you love them and for your other children to show that they love their siblings.

Have your kids share their toys or other items with each other. Let your younger kids play games with the older siblings. Create something with your kids. Most of all, show and tell all of your kids that you love them and their siblings love them too.

Read Books or Watch TV Shows and Movies about Adoption

Reading books and watching entertainment about adoption is a powerful way to help your children connect. There are all kinds of books about adoption for children, and even good books for adoptive teens and parents.
There are also tons of great and relevant tv shows and movies about adoption. When your children see the characters on the screen, they’ll feel encouraged to bond with their siblings.

Get Some Extra Support

If you find that your children aren’t connecting at all, seeking outside support is always beneficial for everyone in the family. It’s okay to ask for help, whether it’s the help of family, friends, or adoption professionals. Look online for some articles about sibling bonding ideas, activities, and support forums. You’d be surprised by just how much you can learn from others who know what you’re going through.

The strength of the sibling connection provides the foundation that your children will have for a lifetime. Adopted and biological siblings will always have an impact on each other’s lives, so be sure to make ways for them to have a positive bond. By trying these family-oriented ideas, your kids will feel closer to one another, and will hopefully have that connection throughout a lifetime.

Do you feel there is a hole in your heart that can only be filled by a child? We’ve helped complete 32,000+ adoptions. We would love to help you through your adoption journey. Visit or call 1-800-ADOPT-98.

Kandice Confer