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How To Teach Your Toddler The Value of Sharing

Toddlers tend to be overprotective of their things and they have a hard time taking turns. Thus, it is the parents’ responsibility to teach their children the value of sharing. Here are a few useful tips you can try out.

Talk About It

Talk about sharing with your toddler. Make it a frequent topic of conversation in your home.  For instance, while you are playing together, say something like “Can I have a turn?” or “It is your turn.”. Or, when you are going out to run some errands, explain to your little one that he sat in the front seat last week and it is his older brother’s turn. After reading a book, ask your toddler’s opinion. Or, if a fight took place at the playground because David did not let Dennis try the swing, ask him how he would feel if he was Dennis or what would have happened if David and Dennis took turns using the swing. This is an excellent technique to help your little one grasp the concept of sharing.

Practice It

While you are playing with your toddler, have him stack a block on top of yours or take turns putting puzzle pieces. Tell him to flip one page of the book while you flip the next during reading time. Role play with your toddler. He can be the friend while you can be the child who does not want to share a basket of apples with others. Demonstration helps your toddler realize that sharing and taking turns is fun.

Organize A Play Date

Invite a few of your neighbour’s kids over to your house. Provide items that can be shared such as blocks, coloring books, crayons, markers, clay and jigsaw puzzles. Or, you can ask your little one to put away his special toys but leave 3 or 4 toys that can be shared. You may also prepare some games that encourage sharing and teamwork. Some good examples include:

  • Band Game – Collect all your toddler’s musical instruments, give each child an instrument and let them play the instruments at the same time.
  • Hunting Game – Divide the children into 2 teams, give each team a basket and a list of things they need to find. Give a time limit and emphasize that each member of the team should be able to find at least one item on the list to ensure they will help one another.
  • Play Doctor – Provide the children with a teddy bear. Assign one toddler to be the doctor while the other will be the daddy. The teddy bear (the patient) will have to be passed to the doctor for a check-up and then returned to the daddy. Then, switch their roles, the doctor will be the daddy and the daddy will be the doctor.


Each time you see your toddler share, praise him. Let him know how happy you are because he shared his sandwich with a playmate who forgot to bring his snack box or commend him for giving his old toys to charity. Remember, all it takes is a little praise to encourage someone to continue a good deed.

Most importantly, make sure you let your toddler witness it with his own eyes. Give him the last piece of cookie. Share your ice cream. Offer to open the door for an old woman.

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