When your toddler is playing with other children, you will often hear “Mine!” or see small squabbles happen over toys that each child wants to play with. This is very common in children, and they just need a little guidance and support to learn how to share. Here’s how you can help:
Be an example of the behavior you would like your child to follow by sharing with them. This could be done when playing together, sharing a treat after dinner, or sharing a spot in your comfiest chair.
During playtime, build something together. Take turns arranging blocks or stacking items to build your masterpiece. You can also try playing Jenga, a game in which each player takes turns pulling a block from the tower and placing it on the top. The goal is to keep the tower intact as long as possible. The game ends when the tower falls.
Let your child help when dividing food between family members. This works great on pizza nights, giving one slice to each person. They can help you during any meal in which you can serve a certain number of each item; for example, putting 5 apple slices on each plate during breakfast. This helps with both sharing skills and math skills.
If there are certain toys that your child is uncomfortable with sharing, put them away when friends come to play. Before the playdate, work with your child to designate which toys can be shared. Give choices: “Would you rather share this toy or that toy?” If there are certain toys that everyone wants to play with at once, set a timer for each child to take turns.
When it is time to clean up after playtime, take turns putting toys back into their rightful places or folding up clothes that were used to play dress-up. If your child has a friend over, supervise them while they take turns cleaning up like so. This will teach them how to take turns as well as how to split responsibility equally.
Make sure your child knows when they have done a good job sharing. Whether it be with you or with a friend, express your gratitude by saying things like “Great job sharing with your friend! Look how happy it made them.” Always thank them for sharing when they share with you.
At Children’s World Learning Center, we know that the early years of life matter because early experiences affect the brain. As a child’s brain grows, the quality of the experiences that a child has creates either a sturdy or fragile foundation for all of the development and behaviors that follow. Parents want to make educated choices for their families, and getting things right the first time is better than trying to fix them later.
Scientific research has shown that the most important components of a high-quality program are the educational levels of staff and the activities that occur on a daily basis with children. That’s why here at Children’s World Learning Center, we strive to deliver the highest quality childcare in Greenville NC. Contact us today!