Learning to share and take turns are very important life skills that your toddler might not yet have had much exposure to. Whether they have siblings, go on playdates or are even about to start nursery, practising some sharing skills early on can really help their social development in the future. Here are some fun activities you can do at home that will help to teach your little one the importance of sharing and taking turns.
Going to the playground
The playground is the perfect real-life environment to teach your child how to share. They will have to take turns with other children they haven’t met before on the playground equipment, for example, letting someone else have a go on a swing after they’ve been on it for a while. This way they will be able to learn to play cooperatively, as well as good manners.
You can support your child in this setting by prompting them to make the right choices – learning these skills takes time and they won’t be practising them perfectly to begin with! Eventually, however, they will learn to imitate good behaviour patterns.
Reading and storytelling
Another activity your toddler can practice taking turns at is reading. They might read a book with you, their siblings or another child – they can take turns reading a line or a page.
However, if reading doesn’t come easily to your little one, why not try making up a story? As a family you can have one person start with a sentence, followed by the next person adding another sentence, and so on, to create a silly story. This is not only effective at teaching turn-taking but also is great for fuelling creativity.
Baking is an effective (as well as delicious) way to teach sharing. The best way to do this is to have a look at the recipe beforehand and clearly list all of the jobs that need to be done, then divide them up between you. This is a great way to get the whole family involved, not to mention you will have some yummy treats to share at the end!
Baking could also allow you to encourage conversations with your child, as they might have some questions about the process, i.e. the changes that happen when ingredients are baked in the oven or cooled in the fridge. You can talk about how to be safe when cooking and, if you have more than one child, get them to take turns when asking questions about what is happening.
Praising your child after a turn-taking activity is a great way to demonstrate that sharing is good. If you notice that they have successfully shared with others, be sure to reward that behaviour as they will come to associate it with a positive outcome and are more likely to repeat it. You could even use a star chart or give them a sticker when they do this.
Put Development First With Little Acorns
Here at Little Acorns Day Nursery, we are committed to helping your little one develop cooperative play skills and compassion for others so that they can grow into the best version of themselves. To find out more about what we can offer you and your child, give us a call at one of our two locations.