As children are processing through their early childhood development, play skills and sharing are important components of social development. As with most skills, children require instruction when it comes to sharing, and parents can start working on this skill with their children from a very early age.
Why is sharing important?
Most of us have witnessed children who struggle with sharing, whether the child refuses to share their Legos with a classmate or screaming “It’s mine!” when their parents ask them to let their sibling have a turn with the iPad. While it may be easy to disregard this behavior as ‘kids being kids,’ it is important for all children to develop sharing habits.
This is an important skill for children to acquire as they develop play and social skills, as sharing allows children to interact with their peers in a friendly and cooperative manner. If a child does not share with other children, it may be difficult for them to form friendships during school at an early age. If a child shares a toy with one of their classmates, this also invites the opportunity to communicate with that classmate. As a result, sharing can help children to develop their social skills.
Activities to help with sharing in a therapeutic preschool
If a child is enrolled in a therapeutic preschool program, the teachers might spend time modeling sharing for kiddos who have not yet mastered this skill. A therapeutic preschool program provides added support for pivotal developmental skills, so sharing might be an area of focus for some children.
Books about sharing: If a little one is struggling with sharing, engaging them in a book about sharing can be a great way to encourage this behavior at home and in the classroom. This can be a great activity for parents or teachers in a therapeutic preschool to try. Here is an example of a book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sharing-Toddler-Tools-Elizabeth-Verdick/dp/1575423146/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1488989946&sr=8-1&keywords=sharing+book
Create situations for children to share: If a child is struggling with sharing, it might be helpful for their parents or therapeutic preschool teachers to prompt them to share at home or in school. For example, a teacher might say to the student, “Can you please hand the train to Johnny?”
Modeling: As with many other developmental skills, modeling is an effective way to teach children to share. Parents can use this technique at home, and therapeutic preschool teachers can use this skill in the classroom. For example, the teacher might say to the child, “I am going to share this dinosaur with Betsy, because I know that she also likes dinosaurs.”
Every child responds to different methods, so you might have to use trial and error to determine what tactics work best. Remember, sharing can affect social skills in children, so it is important to learn from an early age.
If you think your child could benefit from a therapeutic preschool in Chicago, contact CST Academy by clicking the purple button below or calling 773-620-7800 to learn more about the services we offer for children, including ABA therapy, speech therapy, feeding therapy, and occupational therapy.