How to Teach Sharing to Preschoolers and Kindergarteners

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How to Teach Sharing to Little Kids

Hey ya’ll! Teaching our humans the art of caring and sharing is more important than ever in this selfie-obsessed, TikTok world. As parents and teachers, it’s our duty to train our mini padawans in the Jedi ways of sharing and cooperation. This comprehensive blog post will showcase all the tips, activities, and pro-hacks to help your little munchkins level up their sharing skills. Equipping children with stellar sharing abilities will serve them well now and down the road. So let’s dive into how to teach sharing effectively!

What Activities Promote Sharing?

Getting little ones excited about sharing starts with fun activities that turn it into a game. Here are some awesome sharing activities for preschool and kindergarten:

  • Group Art Projects – Foster creativity and bonding through having kids make art together by sharing crayons, markers, paint and other fun art materials. The Crayola Inspiration Art Case makes an ideal sharing art supply set.
  • Interactive Games – Classic games like Duck Duck Goose, Hot Potato, and Musical Chairs that require taking turns and sharing a common resource are a great way to organically teach sharing skills through play.
Fat Brain Toys Squigz Starter Set, 24 Piece

You can also design custom sharing-based games and challenges. For example, give each child a set of the Alex Toys Squigz Suction Construction Toys and have them collaborate to build the biggest, craziest structure by sharing pieces. The key is making practicing sharing feel like an adventure, not a chore. Interactive games make learning cooperation a blast!

In addition to playground-style games, you can also incorporate role playing and dramatic play into sharing lessons. Set up fun scenarios with toys, costumes and props and have children act out sharing stories. This hands-on approach cements sharing concepts through experience and is a great way on how to teach sharing.

How do you Teach Sharing to Stubborn Children?

Some youngsters are more possessive by nature and reluctant to share their precious treasures. To get even the most stubborn kiddos on board with sharing their toys and goodies, try these tips, tricks, and sharing ideas:

  • Model Sharing – Children are amazing mimics who pick up behaviors they are exposed to regularly. Ensure kids frequently observe parents, teachers and peers demonstrating sharing. Actions speak louder than words.
  • Use Positive Reinforcement – Shower generous praise, high-fives, hugs and other rewards when kids share successfully. Consider using a visual sticker chart or punch card to reinforce progress. The Behavior Reward Chart System is perfect for sharing-themed rewards.
  • Set Clear Expectations – Don’t assume that sharing comes naturally. Lay out simple but consistent rules around taking turns, dividing toys, and other sharing etiquette.
  • Offer Incentives – Provide extra privileges or small prizes when children share especially well. Kids love earning little rewards.
  • Lead By Example – Adults need to regularly model sharing behavior for it to stick. Ensure kids see parents and teachers actively sharing items daily.

With unwavering consistency, encouragement and demonstration, even the craftiest sharing-resistant kids will eventually absorb the habit. Patience and persistence are key!

Behavior Reward Chart System - Pad with 26 Chore Charts for Kids, 2800 Stickers to Motivate Responsibility & Good Habits

What is the Best Age to Teach Sharing?

Like any social skill, children gain sharing comprehension at different rates depending on maturity, environment and personality. However, child development research indicates that the window between 3-4 years old tends to be the prime time when sharing ideas start clicking for most kids. Leverage this crucial window by prioritizing how to teach sharing lessons and practice using age-appropriate activities. By age 5, most youngsters have developed the cognitive ability to grasp and apply sharing principles, especially if you establish that foundation early on.

Fun role playing scenarios with dolls, action figures and stuffed animals can help prepare even very young children for sharing habits. Iconic toys like Fisher-Price Little People or Calico Critters make sharing lessons engaging and concrete. Make preschool and kindergarten sharing education a priority, and you’ll equip kids with caring skills for life.

Teaching Sharing Through Communication

Communicating with children frequently and positively about sharing is central to teaching this essential life lesson. Try using these sharing communication strategies:

  • Read Books About Sharing – Curl up together with classic picture books highlighting kindness and sharing, like Friend’s Ask First! or Cookies for Elmo.
  • Have Discussions About Sharing – Don’t just expect kids to share – have open dialogues about why sharing matters, how it makes people feel, and how it strengthens relationships. Meet them at their level.
  • Role Play – Set up scenarios with toys, props and costumes where kids can act out positive sharing moments. Help them verbally walk through resolving sharing conflicts.
  • Offer Praise – Provide enthusiastic positive feedback and validation when children share successfully. Verbal praise is incredibly meaningful and motivating.
  • Demonstrate Sharing – Let kids continually observe family members and teachers modeling caring sharing behaviors. Children emulate what they see.
Cookies for Elmo: A Little Book about the Big Power of Sharing with Friends!

Frequently emphasizing the importance of sharing through books, talks, role modeling and reinforcement ensures the message sinks in. Don’t just say it – show it!

Sharing Circle Time Activity

A fun sharing activity used in many preschools and kindergartens is the classic Sharing Circle:

  • Gather children in a circle, sitting crisscross applesauce
  • One by one, take turns sharing something from your day or weekend
  • Consider passing around a special stuffed animal or object to designate the sharing turn
  • Have kids listen attentively as each person shares their story or item
  • Optional: Discuss how someone else’s sharing made you feel

The GUND Cozys Animal Plushies make adorable sharing circle buddies! This simple but incredibly effective group activity lets kids learn sharing organically by doing it in a safe peer setting.

GUND Cozys Collection Cow Stuffed Animal Plush

Make the sharing circle a consistent routine. Have the teacher model sharing too. The social skills gained from this regular sharing practice are invaluable! Incorporating the sharing circle into the weekly schedule is a great way to provide opportunities for practicing how to teach sharing in a relatable peer setting.

Why is Learning to Share So Important?

For some kids, sharing toys comes as naturally as The Avengers teaming up to battle evil. But for many young children, learning to share takes time and consistent coaching. Here’s why mastering sharing is such a pivotal milestone:

  • Builds Empathy – Considering others’ wants and needs fosters compassion and understanding.
  • Enhances Friendships – Sharing behaviors make kids more fun and desirable playmates.
  • Develops Communication Abilities – Negotiating sharing requires strong listening and expression skills.
  • Prevents Conflicts – Children who share freely avoid many social power struggles.
  • Teaches Teamwork – Collaborating through sharing brings greater outcomes.
  • Reduces Stress – Letting go of constantly guarding possessions relieves anxiety.

Learning to share generously equips little ones with core social-emotional aptitudes that allow them to thrive in groups now and later in life. It’s truly an essential life lesson!

Common Sharing Problems and Solutions

Teaching Sharing, two children sharing a stuffed bear

Every heroic sharing quest has its obstacles. Here are some typical sharing struggles kids face along with troubleshooting suggestions:

  • Hoarding Toys – Start by having kids share just 1-2 special items. Provide a “private” toy box. Praise baby step progress.
  • Snatching Toys – Teach waiting patiently for a turn via songs, timers and role playing. Redirect snatchers to a new sharing activity.
  • Refusing to Share – Make sharing more rewarding and fun using sticker charts, small prizes and abundant praise.
  • Unequal Sharing – Encourage fair divisions with visuals like pie charts. Implement structured turn taking. Offer more of popular items.
  • Tattling Over Sharing – Appreciate reporting problems but guide kids to resolve disputes cooperatively.

With the right mix of empathy, creativity and persistence, you can help kids overcome just about any sharing struggles. Stay positive!

Make Learning To Share Enjoyable

Kids are far more likely to embrace sharing if it’s an enjoyable experience versus a forced chore. Make practicing sharing skills playful and rewarding:

  • Sharing Games – Incorporate games specially designed to require teamwork, taking turns and sharing like Hedbanz.
  • Sharing Songs & Stories – Fun tunes and books about sharing build excitement and reinforce lessons.
  • Small Groups – Begin sharing practice in low-pressure pairs or trios before larger groups.
  • Encourage Silliness & Laughter – A spirit of playfulness prevents tension and resistance.
  • Offer Rewards – Recognize sharing achievements with praise, stickers, pins, high-fives and small prizes. Kids adore little trinkets.
  • Model Enthusiasm – Ensure kids see adults eagerly modeling dynamic sharing. Enthusiasm is contagious!

Adding a sense of adventure makes sharing practice exciting versus boring. A fun, rewarding approach prevents avoidance and speeds up progress. Making sharing hands-on and full of positive energy helps kids embrace it faster. Sharing ideas like games, songs, and imaginative play inject a spirit of play that motivates children to learn to share willingly. The more you can make mastering this social skill feel like an enjoyable adventure, the faster little ones will get on board. A playful attitude goes a long way in making sharing lessons entertaining versus forced.

Hedbanz Picture Guessing Board Game

The Role of Parents in How to Teach Sharing

Parents play a huge part in how to teach sharing successfully to their children. Here are some tips for parents on facilitating sharing skills:

  • Model sharing behaviors – Children emulate what they see consistently. Let kids see you sharing daily.
  • Have sharing conversations – Discuss why sharing is good and how it makes people feel.
  • Praise sharing efforts – Validate your child’s sharing attempts with encouragement.
  • Share stories at dinner – Have each person describe what they shared that day.
  • Role play sharing – Use toys and imagination to act out sharing scenarios.
  • Read sharing books – Snuggle up with stories highlighting cooperation.
  • Play sharing games – Make taking turns and teamwork part of playtime.

Parents who actively demonstrate, discuss and reinforce sharing concepts will find greater success in how to teach sharing.

Fun Ways to Practice How to Teach Sharing

Turning sharing practice into a fun activity can help it click faster for kids. Here are some playful ways to reinforce how to teach sharing:

  • Sharing songs – Sing fun tunes about cooperation and taking turns.
  • Sharing games – Incorporate games that require turn taking and teamwork.
  • Sharing toys – Provide toys that inspire joint play, like building block sets.
  • Sharing art – Do collaborative art projects where they share materials.
  • Sharing circle – Take turns sharing stories or objects.
  • Dramatic play – Role play sharing scenarios with costumes and props.
  • Play dates – Engineer play time with other kids to encourage sharing.

Making how to teach sharing hands-on and full of positive energy helps kids embrace it. A spirit of play goes a long way!

Sharing Games for Young Children

Connect 4 Strategy Board Game
Monopoly Junior Board Game

Incorporating games that require sharing and turn-taking is an excellent way to reinforce lessons. Here are some fun sharing games for young children:

  • Candy Land – This classic game builds teamwork as players collaborate to reach the castle.
  • Memory – Kids learn to take turns flipping cards and remembering locations together.
  • Connect 4 – Players share the task of filling the grid and blocking opponents.
  • Jenga – They have to work together to steadily remove blocks without toppling the tower.
  • Monopoly Junior – Buying properties and moving around the board requires sharing and compromise.
  • Cooperative Games – Special games are designed specifically to require group collaboration.

Playing games with a sharing element teaches cooperation, patience, communication and other social skills in an enjoyable way.

Picture Books to Teach Sharing

Reading classic stories together is a great way to reinforce sharing lessons through engaging characters and narratives. Some good picture book options include:

  • Rainbow Fish – This fish learns to share his beautiful scales to gain friendship.
  • Should I Share My Ice Cream? – An elephant learns the value of sharing his treat.
  • The Doorbell Rang – Each time the doorbell rings, children must share cookies with more friends.
  • The Giving Tree – This tree shares all it has with the boy it loves. A tale of selfless sharing.
  • It’s Mine! – Two toddlers learn to share toys and compromise.

Pair story time with discussions to connect book themes back to real life sharing skills.

Should I Share My Ice Cream?-An Elephant and Piggie Book

Making Sharing Relatable

For sharing concepts to truly sink in, kids need to see examples in their actual lives. Here are everyday ways for parents to model and highlight sharing:

  • Share food and snacks with your child – Let them see you divide treats fairly.
  • Take turns choosing activities – Compromise on decisions and share control.
  • Share household tasks – Do chores and errands together.
  • Share space and possessions – Allow siblings to borrow items respectfully.
  • Share stories from your day – Discuss times you shared to help others.
  • Share with neighbors – Exchange goods and favors to build community.
  • Share with charity – Donate some unwanted toys and clothes together.

Leveraging real-life sharing moments reinforces lessons from books and play. Relatable examples help kids connect concepts to practice.

Sharing Songs for Preschoolers

What better way to engage little ones than with fun, catchy songs? Here are some great options that reinforce sharing:

  • “The Sharing Song” – An upbeat tune about working together and caring.
  • “Share Together” – This singalong highlights taking turns and teamwork.
  • “Sharing Makes Us Happy” – A cheerful melody about the joys of sharing.
  • “The Kindness Song” – Sharing and caring go hand-in-hand in this upbeat tune.
  • “This Little Light of Mine” – Letting our light shine inspires sharing and giving.
  • “Skidamarink” – Playful song endorses sharing, humor, and friendship.

Pairing lessons with upbeat sharing songs makes retention stickier while spreading smiles.

Positive Sharing Affirmations

Two girls sharing toys

Words have power, especially when they reinforce our strengths. Here are some positive sharing statements parents can share with children:

  • I share willingly and happily.
  • Sharing makes me feel good inside.
  • I am thoughtful and generous when I share.
  • Sharing brings me joy and friendships.
  • I am learning to share better each day.
  • It feels great to share something I like with others.
  • I share because it helps and makes people smile.
  • Sharing is caring.

Use affirmations to highlight progress and instill a sharing mindset. Phrase them in present-tense for greater impact. Try posting some of these sharing affirmations around the house as uplifting reminders. Or have children decorate them on cards or crafts to make the affirmations more meaningful. You can even turn them into chants or songs to reinforce the messages in a fun way. Affirmations allow kids to internalize positive beliefs about themselves and sharing. With regular use, these statements can become self-fulfilling prophecies!

Now You Know How to Teach Sharing

Learning to share generously is a lifelong journey, but the preschool and kindergarten years are essential for instilling the foundation. With the right mix of fun activities, role modeling, praise, storytelling and consistency, we can equip even the most stubborn child with stellar sharing abilities. This important life skill will help them thrive in relationships, school, and beyond. Let’s nurture a generation of kind, community-minded kids who know how to share their gifts with the world!

As discussed in this article on how to be a good dad, leading by example and positively reinforcing good behavior are key to teaching children values like sharing. And just as modeling kindness and standing up for others can help address signs of bullying, demonstrating and praising generosity lays the groundwork for raising kids who share freely. But experts note there are also developmental stages to teach sharing based on age and maturity. With patience and consistency using the tips in this article, parents can nurture sharing skills in even the most possessive child!

We hope these tips give you some helpful ideas for teaching your little ones the art of sharing! What has worked well for you in encouraging generosity in your kids? Do you have any favorite games, books, or activities for practicing sharing skills? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below! We’d love to hear your real-world wisdom and advice from the sharing trenches. Let’s keep the conversation going and learn from one another!

Hey there! I'm Allen, but you can call me "The Corny Dad" from Canada. I have a wife and four kiddos. Yep, one's full grown, but they'll always be my babies. When I'm not doing something with my family or playing video games, I'm here, jotting down my bits of wisdom on this blog. From the fun stuff to the parenting chaos, I cover it all. Believe me, with the right attitude, parenting's a smoother ride and I'm here to help.

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