20 Ways Siblings Can Help with a New Baby | Still Playing School

20 Ways Siblings Can Help with a New Baby

For this Fine Motor Fridays post, we highlight 20 ways a sibling can help with a new baby!

E has been a proud big sister to both Violet and D since she first met them!  We've intentionally offered ways she could help as soon as we introduced the new baby.  She loves when we trust her with typical adult tasks. We wanted her to feel responsible and independent and proud.  We also knew that a lot of these skills would simultaneously work her fine motor skills!

D is now a busy toddler but preschooler E still helps him daily in so many ways. For this list, I've focused on the tasks that double as fine motor practice!

Getting Ready for Our Day

1.  Comb Hair - E loves to comb her brother's hair (or my hair or anyone's hair except her own)!

2.  Fold Laundry - A great chore to start is folding baby washcloths!

3.  Put on Baby's Socks - This is trickier than it seems but a preschooler can figure it out with some practice.
4.  Secure Shoes - E likes to put on her own shoes and then velcro her little brother's shoes, too!  When we get home she has the job of taking them off and putting them away.

5.  Pull Out Wipes or Tissues - For a diaper change or cleaning up a baby's mess there is something irresistible about pulling wipes out of a container or tissues out of their box. Older children love this job!

6.  Stuff Cloth Diapers - Any momma who uses pocket diapers knows the fine motor skills required for this one!


7. Fasten Bib - Whether velcro or snaps are involved putting a bib on a baby is wonderful fine motor work!

8. Prepare Snacks - E has been cutting her own food with a dull knife since she was two so now she likes to cut D's snacks up into appropriate sized pieces.

9. Spoon Feed - Turning the spoon to feed someone else requires different hand and wrist muscles!

10. Burp Baby - An older child can do the gentle back patting while you hold the baby.  Just be sure to demonstrate first!

11. Wash Dishes - A basin with warm soapy water allows preschoolers to wash and rinse bottles, spoons, and plastic dishes.  Bottle brushes and bubbles make it extra fun!

12. Pour Drinks - Pouring is a valuable early childhood skill that most parents overlook due to the mess factor.  Child sized pitchers will allow preschoolers to pour their own drinks and fill the bottles or sippy cups of younger siblings, too.

Play Time

13. "Read" Board Books - Most of our board book E has memorized or they only contain one easily decodable word per page.  She loves to read to her little brother!

14.  Blowing Bubbles - Inside or outside, bubbles are a blast!  Your older child gets the fine motor work of sticking the wand in, pulling it out, and holding it to blow the bubbles all while entertaining the baby!

15. Clean Up Toys - Asking an older child to clean one type of toy not only works fine motor skills and sorting, but it also sets a great example for the younger child.

Bath Time

16. Unfasten Diaper - E usually steers clear of diapers, but lately she's been asking to unfasten the old one and secure the new one which is great fine motor work!

17. Lather Hair - I still do the rinsing and applying of the shampoo but E likes to rub it in and make the bubbles!

18. Zipper Pajamas - After the baby is all dried off and diapered, your older child can choose and zipper up those jammies!

Naptime & Bedtime

19.  Turn on the Monitor - Our daughter loves to fetch the monitor and switch it on for us!

20.  Help Swaddle or Tuck In - Depending on the baby's age, your older child may like to velcro a swaddle blanket or cover an older toddler with a blanket!  Don't forget the kiss good night!

What a proud big sister!  "That's my little brother," she tells people.  How do your older children like to help with the youngest of the family?

Read these other Fine Motor Friday posts for the week:

Yarn Wrapped Rainbow from School Time Snippets

Hammering Water Beads from Lalymom

Wind Sock Craft from Stir the Wonder

Spring Fine Motor Mini Activity Tray from Little Bins for Little Hands

Easy Box & Pipe Cleaner Fine Motor Skills from Powerful Mothering

Simple Colour Mixing Fine Motor Activities from Racheous - Lovable Learning

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  1. Great ideas for big sisters & big brothers! Love looking at these sweet pictures!

  2. Fine motor work and play truly are everywhere!

  3. Wow! What a great list-- so easy to see how important having a good foundation of fine motor skills is very important! Our hands do a lot of things!!

  4. Love these adorable but practical ideas!

  5. I got fooled! These are actually great, but I saw "older" siblings and got excited too soon. My "older" siblings will be 15 and 16 when number three is born! Some of these are still going to apply, though. You have a lovely blog here :)

    1. Oh, I hope they help you in even more ways! Report back with a list of 100 suggestions? ;)

  6. Great tips. I like the hair washing idea.