Sharing activities for kids is a great way to help children overcome selfishness, and foster a love of sharing with their siblings and other children they encounter during their day. The more a parent takes strides to build character in a child, especially before the opposite character flaw presents itself, the easier it can be on both the parents and the child.
Sharing Activities for Kids
I often see children and adults, even in my own family, prefer themselves over their siblings or friends all the time. The lack of caring for others is prevalent in our society, but most parents just don’t know how to teach their children to share. I’m hoping that these sharing activities can become part of your parenting, and making this character trait become second nature in your family.
Communicate Sharing In Your Language
I love using vocabulary very early in a child’s life that will help them identify their actions with words.
At a very young age, even before one year, a child demonstrates sharing naturally. They love to feed people their food, hand them their toys to play with them, and even take turns naturally.
I have found that saying things like ‘Thank you for sharing with me’, ‘You are so sweet to share’, and ‘You are being so good to share turns with me’, will build a connection to sharing and their actions.
However, when parents aren’t using these natural tendencies as opportunities to build character on natural behavior, they create extra work for themselves down the road.
Encourage your children as soon as they can talk to tell others ‘Thank you for sharing’ whenever something is given to them. If you go to someone’s house and they feed you, be sure to thank them for sharing their food. If children shared their toys, be sure to have your children thank them. If someone spent their time with you, thank them for sharing their day with you.
The more a child can connect words and actions together, the activities of your day will open up the understanding to them quicker.
Donate Toys and Clothing Often
Nothing will teach sharing as easily as donating toys and clothes to families in need. This can become a family tradition a few weeks before Christmas to clean out unneeded toys and clothes. Sharing what you have with others that don’t have anything will be a life lesson that will last a life time.
Perhaps doing this around a child’s birthday is another time of the year that sharing can be demonstrated.
Nothing says sharing like borrowing from others. A great way to illustrate this is with a library card, and showing your children the importance of taking good care of someone else’s things and taking them back in a good time. We have a special place just for library books, so we don’t lose them in our house (like we have in the past) and we take them back on time.
Another sharing activity is to borrow from friends.
Does a friend have a movie, toy or puzzle that your children really love to do when they go to their house? If so, talk with your friend about doing a borrowing swap for a week or two, at the most. The children borrow from each other, taking good care of their friends things and returning it when it was first decided.
Do you ever meet friends at a park, and pack a picnic lunch? A great way for kids to learn sharing during a time like this is to alternate snacks, and have the children pass out the snacks, as a way to share with each other.
Slides, swings and monkey bars are a great way to learn how to share by taking turns. Children love to be first, and have a hard time identifying how long they have had turns. A good way to help them learn this is to use a timer for swings, and other things at the park that take more time than others, and when the timer is up, it is the next child’s turn.
Playing Sharing Games
Sharing toys may be hard for a child, especially if they are new toys or favorite ones. In my parenting, we have found that creating a game around toys help children to really share even their favorite things with happiness.
Ball – Roll or kick the ball back and forth to each other.
Car or Truck – Roll it to each other, or build a road, and share the driving of the vehicle. One child is responsible for one area of the road, and the other child is responsible for the other portion.
Doll or Barbie – One child can care of the baby, while the other one gets a meal for the baby read and then take turns caring for the baby.
Other toys – divide the pieces, or parts.
Coloring – put a pile of crayons in the middle and have them pick their color. If they want the same one, put a time limit on that color so everyone can use it.
These are great sharing activities for siblings or friends to do together often, and will make a big difference in how they interact together.
Read Books About Sharing
A great activity to help cultivate a love of sharing with your children is to spend time reading them books that will help them learn to identify what sharing looks like, and what selfishness looks like. Books are powerful to children, because it helps them see how things looks in their own world.
Be sure to take time to discuss their thoughts about the book, to help them process the meanings and actions associated with sharing.
One thing that children need to learn NOT to share is germs. Have you taught your children how to keep their germs to themselves? If not these tips will help…
Bedtime routines can be hard to implement, especially if you don’t know how they work in the first place. Thankfully, we learned how important routines are for young children and began to implement key things for our children early on when our first born was fighting bedtime as early 6 months old.
Our daughter has proven to be a trial blazer in our parenting, not just because she was the first born but because she had a strong will from the beginning. I couldn’t believe the things that she taught me as a parent, even though I had already had years of experience with a baby sister 12 years younger than me, and countless hours of baby sitting under my belt prior to becoming a mom.
Bedtime headaches were just one of those battles we fought from the beginning of our parenting, but thankfully, we didn’t fight long.
Bedtime Routines That Really Work
I don’t miss those evenings of chaos, endless items of things that are needed, the many trips to the bathroom and feeling like I was going to lose my mind from the never ending demands that happened just because it was time for bed.
When you have two people, you have two ideas of how to fix a problem. Often times, when the two people don’t sit down and talk though how to do something together, it can cause some issues in the relationship and dynamics of the house.
I remember when my husband and I first partnered up to work on the bedtime routines all those years ago, we both had our times of strength and weaknesses. We were able to help each other through the hard times, as we reminded each other about what we were trying to accomplish.
We were literally tag teaming it every night!
Cheering would go on when sleep was finally accomplished. Mind you, it was a quiet celebration because we didn’t want to undo what we worked so hard to accomplish.
The key is to have both of you on the same page, and agree on the plan of attack to training your child, or children to what you expect from them at bed time.
Do The Same Things Every Night
Doing the same thing every night, in the same way, is where the routine comes in and it is the key to making things work.
Do you want to read a book to your children every night for the rest of their preteen ages? Or do you want to play the same game each night?
For us, we like to have things that are different except for a few things: brushing teeth, changing clothes, going to the bathroom and praying as a family.
These are the things that we do routinely every night!
It works so well that even our puppies knew what ‘pray’ means when they were only 3 months old, as they would run upstairs and jump up on our boy’s bed for our family prayer.
You can decide what things that will become part of your routine each and every night. These are the things that you will keep the same thing, in the same order without fail.
Overcome the Obstacles
What challenges do you face each night with your child(ren)?
Fears have always been something that our children have had problems with growing up, but they only seem to magnify at night time. One of my favorite tips that I wish I had when my older children were younger was Monster Spray!
The fear of the dark was something that everyone of our children struggled with, so we have purchased our fair share of night lights. I love these lights because they are cheap, and easy to take with us when we travel.
Noise was also an obstacle they we dealt with, because our kids expected silence in the house or something, when they would go to sleep. We allowed 30 minutes of music, or audios to be listened to when it was bedtime, and that was one of the best things we ever did in creating a routine for our children.
Although, all of our family loves falling asleep to the sound of a fan.
Sometimes, my kids are restless or overtired and have a really hard time falling asleep (they get this from their mother). I love using Counting Sheep to help them relax and fall asleep faster.
In addition to creating our nightly routines, we also had to set predetermined consequences for disobedience that was outside of realistic needs.
Our children were made aware of what these consequences would be, and to help secure them in their minds, we would remind them of our expectations, as we tucked them in and kissed them goodnight.
Part of the consequences should always be praise the next morning if a child followed the routines well. The more praises a child gets for doing what is expected, the easier the routines will be solidified in their life.
Your children will be consistent if you are consistent in your part of the routines.
Often times, it is the parents that undo all the hard work that has been laid already. Giving in to request that aren’t realistic, like several drinks or having to use the bathroom more than normal.
Children know exactly how to manipulate their parents into doing what they desire them to do. This is where the tag team is so important. One parent can always see through this, but unless both parents are working with each other and yielding to each other, this circle of nighttime chaos will continue.
You will see that in just a week of being consistent, your bedtime routines will become joyful and a time that your kids look forward to each day.
Other Bedtime Routine Resources
I love the Charlotte Mason quote that states, “The more we do for a child, the less he will do for himself.” To me, this makes complete sense. As a Charlotte Mason educator, I love to use the natural stages of a child to introduce things that will be easy for the child to be successful. Chores are no different in a child's education and the stage of ‘mocking' or ‘repeating' has proven to be the perfect stage to introduce chores for toddlers and preschoolers.
Why to Delegate Chores for Toddlers and Preschoolers
In my almost 19 years of parenting, I have experienced different personalities in my children but one thing is always the same. They want to be just like me or their daddy for a period of their life. During this stage of their life, they mimic everything that we do or say. This is a big learning stage for these children, but one benefit that this stage offers, if allowed to blossom, is building a strong self-confidence in the child. This aspect of a child, seeing that they can do or say almost everything that Mommy, Daddy and older sister or brothers do, does in fact build a confidence of accomplishment. In doing so, this makes them feel a part of the family and bonds grow stronger toward each other.
Here are 7 Household Chores for Toddlers and Preschoolers
These are the chores that each of my children learned in their toddler ages and as they grew, the responsibilities did, as well.
- Make Their Bed – My children's beds are not the best looking made beds, but they do it on their own. I love to praise them when it looks better than it ever has in the past.
- Take Care of Dirty Clothes – It doesn't only take once or twice for a toddler or preschooler to learn how to take care of their dirty clothes. In fact, my three year old has taken care of his clean clothes without being asked. He didn't put them in their right place, but I wasn't going to tell him and break his heart. He was so proud of himself!
- Feed the Pet – Taking care of the dog is my three year olds pride. He cries if someone lets the dog out and he loves to give him treats. He gives him food on his own and occasionally fills the dog's water dish, even though that chore is for his older brother.
- Help Take Care of Groceries – This chore is exciting for some reason, maybe because there is food in the house again. My three year old loves to take care of the toilet paper, canned foods and things that he can reach in the cupboard. We love his help!
- Wash Windows – My oldest was the first one to do this chore and that was when she was just a little over one! She loved to wipe the windows cleaned and learn how to spray the windows. Today, my three year old cries if he doesn't have a spray bottle and paper towels to help clean the many windows in our home.
- Wash Cupboards – The bottom cupboards are the perfect job for the little people in your home. I will invest in cleaning supplies that make this job easier and enjoyable for the toddlers and preschoolers in my home.
- Wipe Baseboards – I don't know about your home, but our baseboards can get dirty fast. Maybe because we have a dog? Giving the little people wipes to keep the visible baseboards ‘clean' is a great chore as well.
I hope these ideas for chores are great ways to build your toddler and preschooler, while helping you keep up with the house. Be sure to follow us our Toddler & Preschool Pinterest Board, for ideas like these!
What other chores do your have your toddlers and preschoolers do?
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