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…