At its core, sharing is about ensuring everyone is included and that no one is left out. Whether it’s taking turns to tell stories, splitting a piece of cake, or trading ideas at school, sharing should foster positive two-way relationships by creating a sense of shared accomplishment and mutual respect. In a way, it’s one of the cornerstones of civilisation.
But it’s important to remember that sharing is more than just passing items around or swapping snacks – it’s about learning to give and take with kindness. So, it’s important to give kids a better introduction to this basic human virtue than just forcing them to hand over their possessions to somebody else whenever parents tell them to.
When people share, they recognise that common needs must be addressed together; they learn to see the world as one big community instead of separate entities rooted in individual gain. Children who learn to share at a young age are more likely to develop positive relationships with their peers and succeed in social interactions.
So, how can we introduce the concept of sharing the right way to our preschool kids? Here are a few steps preschools/kindergartens and nursery schools in Singapore can take to help children understand its true meaning.
Stories have the power to teach and inspire, especially when teaching children about sharing. Children love stories that feature characters who share, as they can easily understand how it helps encourage kindness, compassion, and understanding.
Stories can engage young minds in ways that simply talking, or lecturing cannot do. Through a well-crafted narrative, teachers can get children to understand why sharing is important and give them real-life examples of how valuable it can be.
Should I Share my Ice Cream, by bestselling author Mo Williams, is one of our favourites. It’s subtle, funny, and, most importantly, extremely relatable. We mean, who doesn’t like ice cream!?
We’re especially fond of using puppets and role-play to bring these stories to life. These interactive methods can help preschoolers learn better, as they are more likely to pay attention and remember what they’re learning.
Role-playing is a fun and interactive way for children to practise and learn social skills, including the concept of sharing. When children role-play, they take on the roles of different characters and act out scenarios that might occur in real life. This can help them learn to see things from another person’s perspective and understand different viewpoints.
For example, if children are role-playing a scenario where they are siblings sharing a toy, they can take turns playing with the toy and learn to be patient and considerate of each other’s needs. Role-playing can also help children practise communication skills, such as asking for a turn or negotiating a solution when there is a conflict.
There’s probably no activity that involves sharing more than colouring with friends. By sitting together and colouring on the same page, children discover how even something as simple as a couple of crayons can be shared effectively.
Plus, it also gives children a tangible achievement of a beautifully coloured picture, which they can look back on and understand how much better it is to share than to compete.
Play dates are another great opportunity to introduce children to the concept of sharing. Being in an unfamiliar environment with peers can sometimes be stressful for preschoolers, so teachers and parents must demonstrate how sharing resources can help make things easier.
Encouraging children to share their toys or snacks during playtime can help create a sense of cooperation and understanding between them. This can also help preschoolers learn how to interact with each other respectfully and resolve conflicts in a productive way.
One of the most effective ways to teach the importance of sharing is by doing chores with preschoolers. Even something as simple as helping out with the dishes can give preschoolers a sense of responsibility.
Not only will they learn that their actions impact those around them, but they will also see how working together can make household tasks easier and more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Parents are their children’s role models. When preschoolers are born, they pick up on their parent’s actions and behaviours. So we as parents need to practise what we preach regarding sharing.
Children will notice how their parents interact with others and share resources, so they need to see an example of respectful behaviour and cooperation. The same is true for other adults that children interact with, such as teachers, our carers at Little Oxford Schoolhouse Preschool Sengkang take great care in modelling responsible behaviours.
We should also be mindful of how we interact with our kids and be patient when demonstrating how to share. This means not talking over them and giving them a chance to speak their minds.
Raising Kids That Know How to Share
Ultimately, preschoolers need to be taught the social skills they’ll need for life, and sharing is a critical part of that. With careful guidance from teachers and parents, preschoolers can learn how to practise healthy sharing habits that will serve them well into adulthood.
However, do remember that sharing has its limits and that children need to be taught when it is and isn’t appropriate to share. By finding fun, interactive ways to teach preschoolers the importance of sharing, preschools in Sengkang, such as Little Oxford Schoolhouse, have been helping children learn about this essential life skill for years. With the right teaching methods and environment, preschoolers can learn how to share with peers in preschool and apply these skills to their adult lives.