Sharing plays an important role in early childhood development. Articles, advice and stories about children and sharing from kindergarten teacher, Mrs.A

How to Steal a March #5: Kids Social Skills Give An Advantage Over Academics

Whenever we think of success at school, we assume that academics is most important, but did you know kids social skills give an advantage over academics? Research is showing us that kids who cope with the social challenges of school are the ones who experience success.

friendship skills for kids

When we think about social skills vs academics it’s maybe not so surprising. Kids need the confidence to ask questions and seek help, the skills to work with others and share talents, the resilience to bounce back after failures, and the perseverance to keep going. We can start the for all of these long before kids get to school.

Young children do not come with social skills in their brain backpacks. Helping them learn positive ways to interact with others is a huge challenge for parents, teachers, and caregivers. Three basic skills for kids are learning to share, to take turns, and to wait. These are easier for some than for others so we may need to try different ways to support them.taking turns social skill

When it comes to sharing, it’s so funny to see toddlers offer us a bite of something only to take it back. They have only figured out part of the process as they build on our example. Acknowledging a child’s effort is also important. “I see you are sharing,” is a simple comment that echoes deep. Books and stories are a valuable resource. The brain is hard-wired for stories and seems to absorb the message. We need to remember to give kids the words to use and this is one way. When kids play with others, there are many opportunities to share and to learn to ask others to share with them.

Taking turns is a critical part of building relationships. Many games and activities give kids practice at taking turns. We also need to provide the words and example for asking others to give us a turn. “Please wait, I’m not done my turn.” can help kids as they interact with skills for kindergarten

Learning to wait is more than being patient. It involves attention and focus, and being able to keep going while waiting for the payoff or reward. Having a few strategies is really helpful. When we are waiting in line at the bank, for example, we can sing songs together or tell stories. The game I Spy is great for filling minutes when waiting. You might want to choose a color and think of as many items of that color as possible. Decide on a shape and count the number of things of that shape.

To “steal a march on someone” is to have an advantage over them and kids social skills give an advantage over academics. Will your child’s day have some social fun and play?

#2. Friendship Skills: Helping Kids Learn Sharing Skills

January is resolution month, February is Friendship. Friends share, and helping kids learn sharing skills is an important part of making and having friends.

friendship skills for kids

We all recognize how sharing is a critical piece of relationships but it’s not easy to see how complicated it can be. When babies and young toddlers first start sharing, they get the first action of offering a toy or a bite of a cookie to us, but not the next. They hold on to the item and quickly take it back. Sharing is not only giving, it’s also letting go. Not only is their more than one aspect to the action, the letting go part is really hard to do.

Our example is one of the behaviors kids will imitate in learning to share. Children need a model to follow. We can talk about what we are thinking and say we are really enjoying a cookie and you know someone else might like a piece too. It helps kids to hear how we decide to share or not.

building with blocks

Not sharing needs different strategies. Kids need words, such as, “I’m still using this. You can use it when I’m done.” They also may want to ask someone to share with them. “I’d like to play. We can share. You have some and I’ll have some,” are good words to know. This can be as simple as 4 words, “Play too. Share please,” for young toddlers.

When kids are sharing, a positive comment or two reinforces their choice. You might say, “You are sharing with your friend. Your friend appreciates that.” This acknowledges the action.learning to share

Books and stories are another great resource. One Little Sister loves is Mo Willems story, Should I Share My Ice Cream? Elephant has an ice cream and debates whether or not to share with his friend Piggie. The problem has an unexpected solution. There are many other great books about sharing. You can also make up a story of your own. Maybe a fork and spoon have to share dessert. How might they work it out?

Early childhood is all about learning and play. Kids need opportunities to learn and develop the skills they need for interacting with others. These happen in play and real-life experiences. What do you do for helping kids learn sharing skills?


Before I Go to Kindergarten #7: Sharing and Taking Turns for Kids

Is your child going to kindergarten, playschool, daycare, or preschool? Sharing and taking turns for kids are two early and important social skills. We can support kids as they develop and practice these.

sharing and taking turns for kids

The early years, that is before the age of 5, are the most sensitive time for learning social skills. We might think taking turns is no big deal, but it is a huge part of relationships. Some other words for taking turns are give and take. During our interactions with babies, we signal to them to take a turn. We wait for them to gurgle and when they stop, we take a turn. This begins programming the brain on how to have a conversation and how to have a relationship. Our toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarten kids practice both giving other kids a turn and taking a turn for themselves.


We can help kids with taking turns by our example and gentle reminders, when needed. There are some great stories and books, like It’s My Turn, by David Bedford and Elaine Field. On the playground, the dog and cat are figuring out how to take turns on the slide and merry-go-round. They discover on the see-saw they can turns at the same time. The playground gives lots of opportunities to practice with other kids.

sharing and taking turns for kids

Sharing is more complicated than taking turns and it isn’t always easy. Babies and young toddlers figure out the first part about offering a piece of food or a toy to someone, but they hold on and take it back. It’s hard to let go. As with taking turns, kids will learn from our example. Stories and books are alternatives to reminders about the need to share, especially with brothers and sisters. Recognizing their efforts is very helpful too.

Sharing A Shell, by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks rhymes the adventures of three sea creatures that figure out how to turn a home for one, into a home for two and then three. The video below doesn’t have the sparkle of the glitter that the book has. Hope our library has this one. Libraries are wonderful places that share with many, many people. How do you support sharing and taking turns for kids?

P.S. Some other ideas of early skills are on the infographic checklist Before I Go to Kindergarten.

Social and Emotional Skills for Kids: Sharing

The next few posts will discuss some social and emotional skills for kids. Knowing research is finding these contribute to children’s success is exciting. As parents and caregivers, we don’t have to be rocket scientists to raise smart and capable kids. We can relax and play, plus play is how kids learn best. The easiest … Continue reading Social and Emotional Skills for Kids: Sharing

Soccer Can Help Kids Get Ready For Kindergarten

There are many ways that soccer can help kids get ready for school or daycare, and learning about winning and losing is one of them. The completion of the first round of soccer means the elimination portion has begun where only the teams that win will play any more games. Coping with wins and losses … Continue reading Soccer Can Help Kids Get Ready For Kindergarten

Kindergarten Readiness and Early Social Skills: Sharing

The closer we get to the holidays, the longer grow the to-do lists. Could you use an idea to support your child’s early learning and kindergarten readiness that fits in especially well at this time of year? This might sound like the exact opposite that you would expect to hear from a teacher, but it’s … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness and Early Social Skills: Sharing

Kindergarten Readiness, Saying Thank You and Sharing

The celebration of Thanksgiving is based on saying thank you and sharing, and both of these are important not just for kindergarten readiness but life-long, too. No matter what’s planned for your day today, there will be opportunities to help your child with these two early social skills. Sharing is not easy for young children … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness, Saying Thank You and Sharing

Readiness for Kindergarten – Camping is for Sharing

Social and emotional development is a key part of kindergarten readiness. There’s all kinds of social learnings that happen for little ones before starting school. Once there, there are more social demands. One of the very first social skills for kids is being able to share. Sharing isn’t easy for little ones and, both at home … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Camping is for Sharing