To figure out how to teach kids to share toys, ease them into the idea by using subtle activities to demonstrate the same. Whenever you share something with your toddler, point out that you’re sharing it and tell him how good it feels. He’ll soon learn to follow your footsteps.
Having difficulty sharing is common behaviour for toddlers and many parents struggle with it. It can also be frustrating and even embarrassing at times. As a caregiver, you’re the first role model for your child, which is why the key is to lead by example.
7 Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Share Toys
1. Show Him
Kids closely observe what their parents do, so let your child see you in the act of sharing. Parents should also make it a point to show their kids how to share things with one another. It can be anything- a book or a sandwich or a lick of ice cream.
2. Put away the Best Toy
Everyone has a few prized possessions, even your toddler. He might not want to share his favourite toys, so let him put them away before his friends come around. Don’t force him to share them; instead, give him the rest to play with his friends. He’ll be more than willing to!
3. Time It
The next time your child doesn’t want to share his toy, set a timer. Let him know that he’ll get to play for sometime and then when the timer goes off, it’s his friend’s turn to play for the next few minutes. This makes your child wait for his turn.
4. Give to Charity
Festivals are a good time to talk to children about sharing with others less fortunate. While celebrations are usually about getting new clothes, shoes and toys, you can explain to your child what the less fortunate miss out on and what they need. Encourage him to donate some of his own toys or clothes that are no longer in use. Once he grows up a little and learns to empathise better, he’ll be more inclined to share.
5. Praise and Encourage
Teaching a 2-year-old to share toys is no easy feat. Even a small effort on your kid’s part at sharing should be encouraged and praised. He may share unwillingly the first few times, but he’ll soon get the idea.
The idea of sharing needs to be reinforced on a regular basis rather than waiting for things to begin at the park or at a play date. Practice sharing as much as possible, even at home.
7. Paint a Picture
Sit down to paint a picture with your kid and keep exchanging art tools like crayons during the activity. Remind him every now and then about how much fun it is to share and paint.
Teaching toddlers to share shouldn’t be restricted only to playtime. It should happen when eating a snack and during story time too. Your child should also be taught to share with people other than you and your husband. Every time he shares, praise him. He’ll learn to associate the act with something positive.