7 Sharing Activities for Toddlers
Teaching your toddler to share doesn’t have to be painful… no, really! These sharing activities for toddlers can help you sneak in some sharing lessons and let your toddler have fun in the process!
Pass the Ball
It doesn’t get any simpler than this. A classic game of rolling or tossing a ball can help your toddler
Feed the Monster
For this activity, you’ll craft a hungry monster (or whatever animal you like) from an old cereal box. Cut out a large hole for the mouth and use paint or construction paper to make a face. Then, it’s time to feed the monster! Fill a bowl with craft pom-poms or dried pasta for the food. Tell your toddler the monster is hungry, and give them a spoon to scoop and “share” with the monster. Sure, it’s not the same as actually sharing with a sibling or friend, but it does let them practice giving something to “someone” else.
Choose What to Share
This one isn’t a game so much as a pre-playdate activity. If your toddler struggles when they have to share their toys, give them some control and let them choose what to share ahead of time. Let them pick a few “safe” items they don’t have to share, and then put these items away for the playdate. Knowing that they won’t be forced to share their favorite things can help reduce any anxiety and reluctance they feel about sharing.
Then, have them pick a few toys they’d like to share. If all goes well, after the playdate you can point out how happy they made their friend because they chose to share.
Ever notice how much toddlers love being to one to pass out the presents on Christmas day? Keep that sharing attitude alive all year by letting them gather pretend gifts and hand them out to family members or their toy “friends.” Maybe Teddy Bear would like to wear your child’s favorite pair of shoes, and Daddy would love to get a toy truck. Of course, your child won’t actually be giving away their possessions, but even pretending helps them see that sharing can feel great! Add a Santa hat to get them in the spirit, or make it less seasonal and pretend that they’re giving out “thank you” gifts.
Crafts (with limited materials)
Sharing craft supplies is pretty much an everyday occurrence in preschool, so start getting your little one prepared by sharing craft materials at home. You can work on your own craft or picture as they do and occasionally ask for a crayon, glue stick, etc. Add in a few extra fun items like little gemstones or puffy stickers to let your kiddo get used to leaving enough of the “cool stuff” for everyone.
Cooking with your child naturally involves a lot of turn-taking and sharing various utensils and ingredients. They’ll love feeling like they’ve contributed to the meal, and they’ll gradually get used to giving up the stirring spoon or taking turns with the rolling pin. You can also practice these skills as you pretend in their play kitchen together – with a lot less mess!
If your kiddo isn’t buying the whole “Sharing is Caring” thing from you, maybe the message will sink in through a few pretend scenarios. When you’re playing together with their dolls or stuffies, makeup scenarios where the toys have to share an item or take turns doing an activity. The toys’ willingness to share with each other can help demonstrate that sharing can be easy and fun!
For more sharing activities and other tips to help your toddler learn to share, see our guide to Teaching Sharing through Play!