Sharing Really is Caring: The BEST Sharing Activities for Toddlers
We’ve heard it pretty much about a hundred times, “sharing is caring”. We also all remember it being a huge part of our development growing up. We learned from a young age that sharing is incredibly important, with our parents reminding us to “please share!” whether it was with a sibling or a friend. However, what are some of the best ways to teach your toddler to share? We are here to help you see what you can do to help your toddlers and children learn to share and begin to understand why sharing is incredibly important to their lives as well as to their relationships!
Sharing, for many children, is a wild and pretty much unthinkable concept! Most toddlers are often thinking and saying, “This is MY toy, why the heck do I have to share?” However, it is a parent’s job to help their children understand why sharing is so important and help outline what exactly sharing looks like.
Overall, sharing is the right thing to do! Although, yes, sometimes we do have the right to play with a toy that is ours, we also must learn to take our turns. The best way to describe this to a child is when we talk about how, sometimes, we want to play with someone else’s toy. Often, a child’s reaction is to grab the toy, without asking typically, and begin to play with it. Parents can help explain that when a kiddo wants a toy, they then ask if they can play with it, and, if someone else willingly gives it to them to play with, that is the best example of sharing! So, when someone does that for you, the kind thing to do is to share one of your toys with your friend! This is how sharing can be explained and expressed to your kiddo.
Sharing Activities for Toddlers
Toddlers are not immediately built to understand that sharing is a neutral part of life and that is okay! We have all wanted things we can’t have and it can be quite frustrating. Therefore, it is essential to help kiddos see that sharing can be fun! Sharing is something that comes along with education and awareness and is an essential part to a child’s education. So, here are a few sharing activities that help our toddlers see the value and beauty of sharing:
Taking Turns - The Basis of Sharing
An important part of sharing is the concept of taking turns or allowing someone else the chance to use a toy or speak. This can be done easily by showing children that they can very easily take turns with their siblings or friends. A great way to do this is to sit children down together and ask questions to the group at large. By doing this, you can help children understand that they must take turns when speaking and we should not talk over each other. Overall, this is a fantastic way to learn and understand how beneficial sharing can truly be! We are able to learn from each other when we take turns, especially in speaking! Therefore, sharing is so much more than sharing toys or objects, instead, it also is beneficial to share our thoughts and feelings with one another. This also assists a child in emotional development, not just mental development. They can begin to understand the value people and their thoughts have, regardless how simply they may be. when they begin to understand the value of taking turns and sharing.
Let’s Talk about Talking Sticks
Although they are silly and a bit funny, talking sticks are another great example of how we can help kiddos understand sharing and taking turns. By helping kids understand, especially when they are having conversations, those who are “holding” the talking stick get to speak and others must wait their turn. This, again, is a great resource, especially for those chatty kids who may need a little assistance in learning that! Talking sticks are a very basic way for toddlers to understand sharing.
Let’s Share Together!
Another fantastic way to help a toddler begin to understand sharing is to do an activity together. This could be a craft, drawing, or even putting together a puzzle (such as ToyVentive’s puzzle set!). The key to this, though, is to have only one set of tools or pieces as this allows the sharing to occur. Then, a parent is able to help show a child how sharing is really essential to day to day life. “Please, pass that piece of the puzzle” or even “Can I use the green crayon?” are both really great ways of helping a child learn a small bit about sharing. They can see that sharing and working together really is beneficial. Especially when you are doing something and sharing an activity with another person! Not only does this provide quality time with your toddler, but it also helps ensure that your child can see you share with them.
Lead By Example
Children learn to share when they are seeing it from those they look up to, whether that is older siblings, parents, guardians, etc.! Toddlers mirror what they see and if they see an adult unwilling to share then they are far more likely to follow that example. Therefore, by daily doing something that shows a parent likes to share, such as with a spouse or a friend, can really help impact a child in understanding that sharing really is a great thing! This can be done by sharing a bite of your meal or even sharing a look at a book. This can help your toddler see that sharing is a natural part of life and something that we all must do, even their parents!
Share and Play
We all know by now that children truly do learn and benefit from play. Therefore, we can also help our kiddos learn by sharing through play. This really is the most basic and, honestly, most fun version of learning for a toddler! By having a child learn through toys, such as learning to share ToyVentive’s activity cube with a sibling or friend, children can begin to see the value of sharing. By taking turns and both being given a certain, but even, amount of time with the toy, they will ultimately learn the importance of giving each other time with the toy. It also helps a kiddo learn patience and that sometimes you do need to wait for something. The fun is always worth waiting for and that combination of patience and sharing is really important for a kiddo’s development!
Overall, sharing activities truly are an essential part of a toddler’s development mentally and emotionally. Sharing is one of the most important aspects to our daily lives and something we must do everyday. Therefore, it is important for toddlers to start young in learning these important concepts. They can start simple by playing fun games and eventually learning the more complex aspects of sharing. Therefore, by following some of these sharing activities, parents can help enhance a child’s development and begin to see and understand why sharing truly is caring!