How can you encourage your little one to share his or her toys? Here are 3 effective ways from educational and developmental psychologist Pamela See (Th!nk Psychological)
- Lead by example – Although toddlers are ego-centric, they often take cues from their parents. Show your child how to share by sharing your food with them, and asking if you can try their food. Make sure you use the word “share” to describe what you are doing.
- Remind your child – By pre-school, a child will have some basic understanding of sharing, although they will still need to be reminded very often. Talk to your child about sharing before they go for a play-date, and get your child to prepare toys and snacks that they would like to share with friends. Through small successful experiences with sharing, your child will begin to generalise this with more friends and with objects of greater significance.
- Play cooperative games – Playtime is the perfect time to practise sharing. Toys that require cooperative play and turn-taking can reinforce sharing, with children working together towards a common goal.
Try out some of these toys – great for sharing and kids will love playing with them:
Plan Toys Terrace Dollhouse
Children can play make-believe and work together to create their own characters. This toy house features a movable terrace, windows, doors and a staircase so that children can re-imagine everyday life vividly. Best for ages three and up. Available at The Better Toy Store.
Sluban Three Kings Castle
Encourages cooperative problem solving, role-playing and sharing as these Lego-compatible building blocks allow children to build a fortress inspired by Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Best for ages eight and up. Available online at Tree of Joy, www.treeofjoy.com.sg
The 7 Habits of Happy Kids Game
Encourages positivity through working together. This family-friendly board game has players reading cards and moving round the board till everyone has collected tokens for each of the seven positive habits. Best for ages six and up. Available at My Little Shoppers.
AquaPlay Mega Set
Teaches kids the properties of water and encourages little ones to negotiate space and interact creatively during group play. Best for ages three and up. Available at The Better Toy Store.
A guessing game best played with like-minded friends, and nurtures empathy and team spirit. The Doodler flips a doodle card and players have 30 seconds to guess what it is. Players score a point for each matching answer they share with other team players, and the Doodler scores a point for each non-matching answer. Best for ages three and up. Available at My Toy Shop.
KidKraft Master Cook’s Kitchen
Little foodies will love to play pretend Top Chef with realistic details such as doors, storage shelves, knobs, a sink and a cordless phone, and enough space for several junior chefs to “cook” at the same time – perfect for teamwork and bonding. Best for ages three and up. Available at Motherswork.
Kids’ Gallery DaBox
Send your little adventurers on a photography expedition with this comprehensive activity box features an underwater camera, paper frame and scrapbook to indulge their inner shutterbug and collaborate on a photography project. Best for ages three and up. Available at Kids’ Gallery Singapore.
Janod Magnetic World Puzzle
Appeal to aspiring travellers, this game encourages inquisitive children to take turns to quiz each other on geography and world culture, and cooperate to complete the puzzle. Best for ages seven and up. Available at Motherswork.
By Annie Tan, Singapore Women’s Weekly, April 2014