When caring for different aged children, it can be helpful to have toys that appeal to children of various ages. Open-ended toys can encourage sibling play and provide opportunities for everyone to do something together.
Toys that can be used by both older and younger children include blocks and other building materials, balls and open-ended items that allow for children to engage at their own skill level like arts and crafts supplies, dancing to music and playing musical instruments. Infants can even be included by encouraging them to clap when an older sibling catches a ball or by encouraging them to bounce or dance to music.
Younger siblings enjoy learning from older siblings and older siblings feel proud when they teach their younger siblings a new skill. Encouraging sibling play not only provides an opportunity to engage in learning together, it can strengthen relationships while having fun.