The Dynamics of Twin Play

If anything, being a parent of multiples has been an eye-opening experience.

As I’ve said before, I don’t feel entirely comfortable in comparing my kids to one another, yet when you have one child and then have multiples – you just can’t help but to compare every facet of their growth. After all, parents take the learned experience from parenting the first time, and apply that to the next round, so to speak. In doing so, I can’t help but notice the differences when raising twin girls. 

Which leads me back to my original statement: being a parent of multiples has been an eye-opening experience.

For example, when Isabelle was younger, she’d play as any child would. Since I worked out of the home full-time, the play I witnessed was solo play. She was creative and imaginative, talking to her toys as she went along. She made up the wildest stories and chatter through stories, and nothing held her back. Sound familiar? 

The twins, well, they always have a play-mate. Not very often are they apart and when playing at home, there isn’t the question of ‘wanna go play?‘, they just go along together like they’re joined at the hip. Which is a bit of reassurance to parents with twin babies who already worry about keeping track of two trouble makers children, when they are old enough to have the run of the house. Trust me, where one is – the other won’t be too far away. They travel in packs! 

Anyway, as I was saying, one difference between my oldests play and the twins now – is in the bond. Let me explain this with an example…

Last week Sophia spent a day at home, due to a queasy stomach that had kept her up for a portion of the night. Only a short while after her sisters went out the door to school, Sophia collected couple Barbies and settled on the couch, only to Immediately fall asleep.

A little girl sitting on a bed

After a short nap, she woke and picked up a Barbie. She’d study her clothes, smooth her hair, position her arms – then, nothing. Sophia was eating and drinking as usual, yet spent her day watching TV, cuddling with me, and reading books. Every so often she’d pat Barbie on the head and reposition her, yet turned down the offer for me to play with her. She actually didn’t say much at all that day. There Barbie sat the whole time, a friend at her side, yet a silent and still one. 

Considering she was kept home for not feeling well, I assumed her quietness and lack of play was due to just that. 

Yet, when Katelyn walked in the door, Sophia literally flew off that couch and ran to her. Barbie in hand, her and Katelyn took off to the toy room an immersed themselves in play – chattering away and acting out the latest adventure. 

A little girl sitting on a bed

Her immediate and sudden change, threw me off a little. I pondered this for a while, trying to decide if she was really that sick all day and it was just coincidence that she was completely better when her twin came through the door. After replaying the day a couple times in my head and analyzing the events, I figured out exactly what had happened.

Sophia had felt better and more to her usual self after her early morning nap. She positioned the Barbies and got them ready for play – and then waited. and waited. For her twin. 

She simply didn’t want to play without her sister there.

Now before you go assuming that twins {or at least mine} cannot play independently, let me reassure you – they most certainly can. My girls are in different classes at school, and actually from what I hear, don’t even play together at recess. While they’ll most likely play a game or colour together at home, there are times when they go off for some time and do something independently. Basically, twins have a choice of what they do together or separately.

In this example of Sophia at home all day without her sister, I realized that when it comes to playing Barbies, they choose to only play together. They will take care of Barbie, like brush her hair and change her clothes – but when it come to talking out a story and puppeteering Barbie – they opt to do this together. Realizing this now, I think back and can’t recall a time when they played Barbies by themselves. 

twins sister dynamics barbieproject

As I’ve mentioned before, the twins Barbie play involves a lot of ‘sister’. “Sister, I like those shoes with that dress“, “Sister, let’s pretend we’re going to the mall then for dinner“. Even when I play Barbies with the twins, I too am always ‘sister’, and never any other role. Even when the girls are playing ‘evil queen and the vampire is trying to get us’, there is still that mention of being sisters.

Being a SISTER is remarkably important to my twin girls. While I knew this before, the fact that they even choose not to play with Barbies at all without each other, only reinforces just how much being a sister means to them. Sure it’s habit for them, yet it’s also an intense comfort and reassurance for them. It’s genuine love shared and memories made. 

While the girls do love it when I get down to play Barbies with them, I know that when given a choice, they’ll pick each other over anyone else. Including me, their Mom. Know what? I’m completely ok with that. In fact, their natural magnetism is something to be admired. 

One eye opening experience after another, and though it comes with it’s share of hard days, it is amazing being a parent. I’m so completely and unequivocally pleased that I am along for the ride. 

twins sister dynamics barbie play barbieproject

**The couch photo wasn’t taken on the same day as the rest. As you can tell, their Christmas onesies are much loved = you’ll be seeing them a lot for the next while.

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  1. My girls are 2 years apart and are so close as sisters. It’s nice to see the friendship between them grow. There is 8 years between my sister and I, and I sometimes feel like she’s a stranger to me!

  2. Great read, I think it is fascinating they share such a close bond. I am 7 years away in age from my next closest sibling and I admire the bond your girls have.

  3. You know what I’ve always wondered? And this is a real question. How the heck do you tell twins apart? I mean they look EXACTLY the same.

  4. My twins are the same age as yours – but I have a boy and girl. (in my opinion mixed gender is not as economical so good for you! lol)

  5. I think that is so sweet that your twins have that special bonding with the barbies and love to play together. I got my daughter her first barbie and she loves it. But she won’t let me play with her. lol. She is a solo play girl when it comes to her barbies.

  6. Tammi
    I have taken care of my best friend’s twin boys (identical) for six years. We’re so bonded, and I’ve watched them be the same, be different, have different talents, but so many similarities, it’s AMAZING. They are now in first grade, and when one is home sick, the other one constantly asks when the other is coming home, yet really loves the special attention. They don’t play together at recess, have their own best friends, but when they are here, they can’t be too far apart from each other. They don’t move as one boy, but they move as their own little community. One just got picked to have his art hang in the museum, but other one is in advanced reading. One eats peas. One refuses. They pick different socks, but insist on same type of pants. The other thing is that one will be really close with me and then it switches. If you want to see them make biscuits look up biscuits on my youtube channel and you will see how fun they are. spinachtiger youtube is all you need. I have made several videos with them and I can’t say enough how much these twins have changed our lives. We didn’t have our own children (my husband has children from first marriage) and this has bee just a wonderful treat. Twinship is so special, but nothing like people without twins think. I really enjoyed your article and I the way she held onto their Barbie is how they hold onto a car or teddy bear.

  7. I love to see my kids play together although is few and far between as i have a boy and girl. Whereas i grew up one of six girls and was never short on playmates for Barbie!

  8. Your daughters are so adorable! I can’t imagine what it must be like to watch those two beauties growing up right before your eyes.

  9. I’ve never had the opportunity to experience two children of any age in the house. We have one son. It must be quite a trip to have thing one and thing two running around!

  10. I remember how my daughter would act out the Barbies day and pretend that Barbie had kids as well!! Love all the new accessories they have come out with over the years.

  11. That was such a touching story. I am also a twin and my brother is my best friend. Even as adults, the bond I share with him is like nothing else in this world. Well we didn’t play Barbies together, we could often be seen hand in hand sharing our ever changing world together. My Husband and I just welcomed our first baby boy into the world and I had told my Mother over and over throughout my pregnancy that I wished for twins as she had so that I could be “done”, an instant million dollar family. Well, now that I am a parent to one, I have no idea how she or you did/do it! Having twins is amazing but being a twin is like nothing else! Your girls are absolutely adorable <3

  12. I loved playing with Barbies when I was a young girl. I enjoyed watching my daughter play with them as well. My favourite Barbie was pilot Barbie!

  13. Oh my goodness what cute girls you have! I can’t wait to have a little girl to introduce barbies to!

  14. My girls play Barbies all the time but my 5 yr old always wants to be the husband or dad. It is like they cannot plays as is!

  15. Being a twin I can relate to this. As twins my sister, Marion and I always played with eachother. We were separated after the third grade. We did get use to the new situation. We did have different friends while in school. While in High School we did have a few classes together. We have a few of the same friends from school,but not many. Your three girls are adorable.

  16. I think it’s adorable that your girls enjoy playing together so much. Your girls are adorable. I was down on the floor earlier today playing with my son’s super heroes with him. He didn’t want me to get up.

  17. my twin nephews were fascinating to watch as babies before they were speaking words. they would babble to each other with gestures in a way they did not communicate with anyone else.

  18. Some moms make raising twins look easy and other’s are at whits end. I raised one child, and that was hectic.

  19. I have noticed something very similar with my girls although they are almost 6 years apart in age. think being sisters has a special bond. My boys, while somewhat close, never seemed to connect the same way as my girls do.

  20. I have an almost 3-year old and boy/girl twins that are almost 4 months. I can’t wait to see how the twins play together when they’re old enough to do so. My oldest sounds much like your oldest – her imaginative play fascinates me! I wonder how different it will be for the twins.

  21. I love how twins have that special bond only twins will know about and feel, sure you can be close to your sister or brother but nothing like the strong bond of twins, I have lots of respect for the parents of multiples they had to deal with double of everything, and I thought it was hard raising one

  22. As a twin myself, I must say that the most off putting thing about being a twin was that if I went anywhere alone the very first question was always “where’s Anne”. I found that weird as if I didn’t count on my own.

  23. It’s interesting to watch how siblings play and relate to each other. I enjoyed reading your observations. (Lovely pictures of your twins).

  24. We have a pair of twin grandchildren -a boy and a girl- who are adults now. They seemed to think almost as one. They got along beautifully, with the boy being the lead. They were remarkably close until their teens when the girl began her love of reading. He complained: ‘She is no fun now.’
    Despite all that, they are still closer to each than most brothers and sisters and it was such fun to watch them play.
    One thing we noticed a lot was that they would trade tricycles or other toys without any outward signal that we could see. It was fascinating.

  25. I have twins too and that magnetic force that pulls them together always gets me so I understand just about everything you wrote in this post. The bond between twins is so beautiful and pure.

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