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5 Tips to Help Preschoolers Learn How to Share

Ever had a yellow wagon day?

If you teach preschool, you know what it's like to come home from a day where sharing space and toys was difficult for many children in your class. Today was one of those days for me. What happened? The yellow wagons.

Yup... spring has sprung here in Idaho and with that comes the ability to use more outdoor toys. Many of these haven't been seen since the fall. And this week it was the reintroduction of the yellow wagons. 

EVERYONE was so excited. They all wanted to use the same time. ... and cue the screaming. One child even tried putting her foot in front of the wheel to stop it from moving while another kid was pulling it. ..... Yes, even seasoned teachers have these sorts of days. 

Here are five tips for teaching preschoolers how to share:

1. Model sharing behavior: Children learn by watching others, so make sure to model sharing behavior whenever possible. This means sharing toys and other items with co-teachers (saying out loud that they can have a turn.) Model taking turns with the children ("I am going to use this blue crayon to make aline and then you can have a turn.")

2. ​Use positive reinforcement: When your child does a good job of sharing, give them plenty of positive reinforcement. This might include praising them or giving them a high-five. Be specific when praising such as "Wow! You waited for 5 minutes to use the wagon. You drew until it was ready."

3. Have clear rules: Make sure your child understands that sharing is important and establish clear rules around sharing. For example, you might say that everyone gets a turn with a toy and then it gets passed to the next person. You can have a turn taking list, a timer or you could have children place their name card on a table so when the child is done they know whose turn is next.

4. Use stories and books: Reading stories and books about sharing is a great way to reinforce the concept with your child. Try out the story I wrote "Sammy Learns to Share: A Lesson in Taking Turns." It is a great way to introduce turn taking with two adorable puppies! There are some great activities to do with the kids in the back of the book to support turn taking in the classroom.

5. Be patient: Remember that learning to share is a process and it will take time. Be patient with your child and offer plenty of support and encouragement along the way.

Don't Forget To Celebrate Progress:
When your child starts making progress with sharing, celebrate their accomplishments. This will help them feel proud of themselves and encourage them to continue practicing their sharing skills. Teaching preschoolers how to share is an essential skill that they will use throughout their lives. 


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