Nine years ago this month, I lost my sister. Too early. She would be turning 51 this month.
When I think of Lisa and the last few years when I could have spent more time with her, the regret sticks in my throat.
She left this world before my kids entered it. She never got to meet them, and I never got to ask for her advice on being a good mom.
She took me to my first professional baseball game. To my first pro basketball game, too. On my first roller coaster. I never took her to do something new she hadn’t done before. Not even to a new restaurant.
She always gave me two birthday cards. A sweet, heartfelt card, and one to make me laugh. After I left home for college, I don’t think I remembered to send her a single card.
What You Should Know About Sisters
On the icy day that I was born, when the ambulance couldn’t get to our home in time, 13-year-old Lisa was on the phone with 911. They told her what to do, and she did it. She was there from the very first second I entered this world.
She used to make us nachos in the microwave. The best freaking nachos. And I’ve never been able to get mine to turn out as good as hers.
When I was 13, she had me watch Nightmare on Elm Street. I wouldn’t take a bath for years afterwards because I was afraid Freddy Krueger would come up through the drain. But she also let me watch Dirty Dancing before my mom would let me. And then a few months later when my mom decided I was old enough, I had to sit there and pretend it was my first time watching it.
Sisters have a special brand of magic, and now I see that same magic sparking between my girls.
Watching them grow up together fills my heart to the brim. Watching their sister magic—even when they’re driving each other crazy—I can’t help but smile.
But the regret. It sticks in my throat.
I wish I could go back in time and do all the things I never did with my big sis.
And so I made myself a promise. I will nurture this beautiful, sometimes volatile sister magic between my girls. I will set the stage for my girls to do all the things that sisters should do together.
20 Fun Things to Do With Your Sister to Feel Closer
If you have daughters, look for opportunities to support and encourage these sibling bonding activities so your girls can deepen their bond of sisterhood.
And if you’re an adult with a sister and you haven’t checked off all these awesome sister bonding activities quite yet, it’s never too late to enjoy spending some quality time together.
1. Stay up late.
You can snuggle up in bed together or drag sleeping bags into one of your rooms for your very own sister sleepover. Then bust out the flashlights and stay up late gossiping or whispering made up stories to each other. Bonus points if you work in a pillow fight!
2. Be guinea pigs.
Try out new hairstyles on each other. (As long as no scissors are involved.)
3. Sneak in.
Follow in the footsteps of a long line of older sisters and sneak your little sister into a movie she’s technically too young for.
4. Plan a date.
Pick a time when you’re both free, and treat yourselves to a special sister date. You can pack a picnic for a nearby park, plan a morning hike on nearby trails to get some fresh air (definitely grab breakfast tacos after!), or go out to dinner at a restaurant to celebrate a special occasion.
5. Get competitive.
Challenge your sister to a fun game from your family’s game closet. My daughters can never get enough of Splendor, but when time is short, they go for a quick round of our favorite card game: Love Letter.
Bonus: All game orders placed in our family-owned shop get a $7.99 bonus credit after purchase to spend on instant downloads!
“This game is deceptively easy, but it requires you to think ahead and build a strategy. With every game we played, I could see my kids learn how to plan ahead better so they could have a chance at winning. These days, they routinely beat me!” – Laura
“My teen and tween love this quick little card game. To win, you need to rely on your deductive reasoning skills, plus a bit of luck. You can play a whole game in 20 minutes, but if you’re short on time, you can play one round in 5-7 minutes. But warning: Even when we set out to play ‘just one round,’ we always end up playing several!” – Tyler
6. Make up.
When you have a knock-down-drag-out fight over something stupid, apologize to each other, without anyone forcing you to.
7. Admit something scary.
Open up about your deepest, darkest fears to each other—whether she’s afraid her nose is too big for her face or you’re afraid you’ll never understand chemistry.
8. Borrow something fun.
Scrounge around in each other’s closets for clothes or jewelry to borrow.
9. Puzzle it out.
Tackle a 1000-piece puzzle together. Or if that’s not a challenge, try a 5000-piece puzzle!
10. Connect on a different level.
Share inside jokes that no one else understands.
11. Make something yummy.
Bake something together and get batter everywhere, even the ceiling.
12. Listen to new tunes.
If you hear a new song you love, share it with your sister for an impromptu dance party. If she loves it as much as you do, go on an all-day binge listening to all that artist’s music.
If you need some inspiration, check out 20 Best Kids’ Dance Songs or 11 Best Girl Power Songs to Inspire Your Daughter (And You).
13. Trick someone.
Play a prank on your parents—or each other.
14. Feel pretty together.
Give yourselves matching pedicures or manicures. Or turn it into a bonafide spa day with face masks and shoulder massages while you screen your favorite rom com in the background.
15. Schedule movie night.
Pick a night where it can be just the two of you, then cozy up on the couch under blankets watching whatever movies you love best and eating your favorite movie night snacks. Or pick a weekend day and spend all day in your jammies watching movies!
16. Go for a thrill.
Ride a scary roller coaster together.
17. Listen to each other.
Read aloud from a book you love.
18. Move together.
Try a new kind of exercise together, like a pilates class, roller skating, or a backyard circuit workout.
19. Show up.
Go to each other’s sports games, concerts, and plays.
20. Take her side.
When she’s fighting with her friends, listen and take her side—because she’ll return the favor one day.
Before you go, get my FREE cheat sheet: 75 Positive Phrases Every Child Needs to Hear
What ideas do you have for fun things to do with your sister? Share in a comment below!