Small children often have difficulty with patience, and that's often what sharing is all about. Your child might have a hard time waiting for his turn or sharing his toys, but this is a vital skill he must learn to get along with other kids and build relationships. A few activities can help your child understand the concept of sharing with others.
Completing puzzles helps children work together to reach a goal. Lay all of the puzzle pieces out on a table and let the children take turns choosing pieces to connect. Or build a tower with blocks, letting each child take a turn placing one block on the tower. Purchase a memory game or print pictures on card stock to make your own. These pictures could be animals, cars, toys or other interesting items. Print two of each picture, so each card has a match. Cut out, shuffle and place the cards face down on a table. Each child will choose two cards during his turn to attempt a match. If a match is not made, turn the cards over and allow the next child to play. The children should watch and remember during the other players' turns. Place all the matched cards in a single stack so the children work toward the common goal instead of competing against each other. Encourage them to cheer, praise and help each other.
Children love to pretend to be adults, and this activity can provide an opportunity to learn to share. When playing house, children often want the same role. Tell them that each will get a turn playing the part. Set a timer for a few minutes, and let one child play the mother, for example, while the others are the children. When time is up, another child gets to be the mother. Variations include trading roles as the doctor and patient or a teacher and student.
Show and Tell is an important exercise in learning to share. Have each child choose a favorite toy or book and seat all the children in a circle. They will take turns showing their object and telling the other kids about them. The audience must sit quietly. The children can ask questions about the object for 1 minute, then the object gets passed around the circle. Each child may hold the object for a moment, then pass it on. Praise the owner of the object for sharing her prized possession.
Coordinate a play date with parents and ask for each child to bring a small bag of treats to share. These might include pretzels, miniature marshmallows, cereal, chocolate chips and crackers. When the children gather, tell them the story of "Stone Soup." Explain how the villagers were unwilling to share, so soldiers told them that they would make soup out of stones and, eventually, the villagers contributed what they had to create a grand feast. Place a scrubbed stone in a pot or bowl, then ask each child to contribute the treats he brought. Add all the treats to the pot, then scoop some of the mixed goodies into a cup or plastic bag for each child to enjoy.
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