Dear American Girl,
My little sister constantly wants to play with me, but I'm too old to play her favorite games. I don't want her to be sad, but I also want to do things that are fun and not "babyish." How can I do things with my little sister and be happy, too?
-Not little anymore
Here's your advice:
My little sister always wants to play with me, too, but usually she is happy just sitting in my room playing with some toys I keep around for her. Ask your sis to choose a couple of her favorite toys to put in your room, or pick a few toys you've outgrown to pass along to her. Your sister will enjoy hanging out in her big sis's bedroom.
-Julia, age 12, Maryland
Spend time doing things you both like to do. If you and your sis like animals, walk around your backyard and pretend you're at a zoo. Do you both love to read? Go to a library and read together. If you try, you're sure to find some things that you both will like doing.
-Julie, age 10, Louisiana
Teach your sister a few of your favorite games. Little siblings usually think that whatever their older siblings do is super-cool. My little sister and I love to play board games together.
-Naya, age 11, California
Try not to rush into growing up. You're never too old to spend some quality time with your family members. Don't think of your sister's games as "babyish"—think of playing with your little sis as a way of getting closer to her. .
-Victoria, age 13, South Carolina
Take turns choosing the activities. You could start out by playing a game that your sister likes. Next you could play a game that you both enjoy. When you play one of her games, focus on spending time with her and not on the game. Chances are, you'll end up having fun.
-Emily, age 12, Texas
Doing activities you both enjoy at the same time isn't as hard as you think. For example, if your sister wants to color, give her some paper and crayons, and while she's drawing, work on a craft project of your own. That way, you'll both be happy.
-Emma, age 11, Massachusetts
Instead of thinking that spending time with your sister means you have to do "babyish" things, why don't you come up with ways to make it fun? Suggest a funny game, draw creative pictures, or take goofy pictures together. You'll smile when you look back at the fun times you've had together.
-Aylin, age 10, Connecticut
When your sister asks you to play, is anyone looking? No games are too "babyish" when it's just you and your sister. Don't be afraid to act a little silly― you and your sis could have a lot of fun together.
-Brenna, age 12, Arizona
Choose a book that was a favorite when you were little, and read it to your sister. Small children love stories, especially ones with pictures.
-Mary, age 13, Wisconsin
Younger sisters usually love to pretend they're "big girls." Why not let your sister dress up in some of your clothes and put on an imaginary fashion show? Or perhaps you could teach her a few spelling words or something else you're learning in school. You'll be surprised at how happy this could make her.
-Sarah, age 12, Oregon
It's great that you want to spend time with your little sis. Chances are, as long as you are playing with her, it won't matter to her what you play. Suggest some things that you'll both be happy with, but remember: if she's little, she'll be able to do only so much.
-Abby, age 13, Oklahoma
What are your favorite games? What are your sister's favorite games? Try to make up a new activity that mixes elements of each favorite game. Your sister will love helping you invent something new to play.
-Natasha, age 9, California
You and your sister could start a hobby together. Paint pictures, collect seashells, or identify birds in your neighborhood. You'll be spending great quality time with your sister.
-Kaleigh, age 10, Oregon
Your little sister wants to play games with you because she thinks you're an awesome big sister. Take this as a compliment! Playing games with your sister shouldn't make you feel embarrassed. There are plenty of big siblings who play with their younger brothers or sisters. Spending quality time with your sis is more important than what anyone might think of you.
-Allison, age 12, Kansas