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    11 Ways to Encourage Turn Taking and Sharing in Young Children
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    Parenting Socio-Emotional Development
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    How to encourage turn taking in children
    28 March 2016

    11 Ways to Encourage Turn Taking and Sharing in Young Children

    7 mins read
    Socio-Emotional Development
    for Moms, Pre-schoolers, Pre-teen
    12.0K engaged
    The turn-taking stages for a 3-year-old are marked by many different behavioral changes. Kids at this age can find it difficult to take turns on their own and must be encouraged by an adult to do so. Activities and games can help them understand its importance.

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    In this article


    How to Encourage Turn-taking in Children without Much Fuss
    Sharing Activities for Children
    Children Take Turns for Mutual Gain

    Taking turns is not a skill that develops naturally in a child. It’s something that needs to be taught. It’s a critical social skill that every individual needs to cultivate as it helps one build relationships, strengthen bonds, and communicate effectively. If you have a child, you need to take it upon yourself to teach him to take turns.

    How to Encourage Turn-taking in Children without Much Fuss

    Before moving ahead with teaching kids, it’s important to understand why turn-taking is vital for kids. It helps them develop discipline and also sharpens their social skills. They come to realise that there are other people they need to consider, and not just themselves.
    • Enacting Drama:

      Practical knowledge always helps. Divide children into two groups and ask them to take turns while enacting different roles. Encourage them to have patience and wait for their turn. Let each child take the ‘stage’ for just a minute or two to prevent the rest from becoming bored.
    • Using Words:

      Teach kids to use words like ‘My turn’, ‘Your turn’ and ‘ Let’s wait for our turn’. Try to use similar expressions in your day-to-day life too. Organise activities where kids can recite poems and rhymes. You can number each child and make them stand or sit according to their numbers. Call out each number and have them step up to perform. This will help them understand that they need to wait for their turn to complete the activity.

      Mother talking to child
    • Story-telling:

      Story-telling is a wonderful way to let kids talk. It improves their communication skills and also helps them to build confidence. Let them take turns to tell stories. Give them a few minutes each. This activity can be incorporated into daily life too when kids are waiting for their meals at the dining table.
    • Board Games:

      Board games are a lot of fun games, and for kids, they’re something to look forward to. Help children play by encouraging them to take turns. Many kids are impatient and require effort and a cool head to handle. However, playing board games where turn-taking is a must can teach them patience.
    • Multiplayer Video Games:

      Video games are a favourite of most kids. They can grasp gameplay quickly, and the absorbing nature of video games can keep them occupied for hours. However, multiplayer games can promote turn-taking as players have to wait for their turn to play.



    WATCH: Helping Kids Take Turns - As Explained by a Preschool Teacher



    Key Takeaway:
    • Prompt kids to politely ask for a turn instead of resorting to aggressive behaviour.
    • Take the help of a visual aid and fun games that incorporate turn taking and sharing.
    • Lead by example. Kids who have a positive role model to look up to turn out well-mannered.

    Sharing Activities for Children



    Children learn better when taught in a fun manner, incorporating games and treats into the learning. Here are some games that you can play with your kids to ensure that he learns to share and to take turns. You can also come up with your own game similarly, depending upon your child’s tastes.
    1. Painting Together

      Painting can be a great bonding activity, help to develop your child’s interest in colours and finer motor skills, you can also teach him sharing and turn taking. All you need is a big chart paper and some art supplies. Divide the art supplies in such a way that there are equal numbers for you and your child. Ask him what he wants to paint and let him start. Join him, add to his drawing or painting and borrow some of his art supplies. You can also lend him some of yours. Make sure to politely ask your child before borrowing so that he can mirror you and employ the strategy while borrowing some of yours. Also, ensure that you are sharing the canvas and are contributing to the same picture.
    2. Time up

      Kids love screen time. However, limiting screen time screen time and making sure that they aren’t glued to screen for a long time is important. You can kill two birds with one stone here, by sharing screen time. Put on their favourite cartoon or television program on YouTube or television. Switch the channel or put on one of your programs after a certain time. After a stipulated time interval, switch back to his cartoon. Remind him that he has to switch after some time and carry on like this. Make sure you keep the time allowed for one person fixed and about 10-15 minutes. This will help to keep your child’s screen time in check and also teach him to be mindful of other’s turns.
    3. Share the Treat with Everyone

      Hand your child his favourite treat. Be it a piece of cake, a cookie, some fruit or a bar of chocolate. Ask your child to go around the house, find all the family members,(you can also do this on the playground or at play dates when the child has plenty of people to share with)and give each one a piece and hug them. This builds a better bonding experience, and the child is delighted looking for everyone in the house(or at the playground) and hugging them.
    4. Take a Turn

      This is a fun game that can be played with a group of children. It makes a fantastic party game and also gets kids talking. Assign a ‘talk’ object to the group, such as a ball or a slate and duster and ask the kids a question about things they like. Ask them questions such as their favourite cartoon, their favourite colour, favourite foods or their best friend’s name. Instruct them to keep their answers ready in their mind but not speak it out loud. Next, play some music and ask the kids to keep passing the ball or the slate and duster. Stop the music and ask the kid who has the slate to write it on the slate and hold it up, or yell it out loudly. Do this until every kid gets a turn and continue the game.

      Children sitting in a circle
    5. Take my Toy

      Ask your kids to pick one family member or a friend every week and let them share their favourite toy with the person. Initially, let the child pick the toy and also the person that he wants to share with. Gradually, ask him to share his favourite toy with someone new every week, for a few times. This is one of the best games to teach your child the value of sharing and taking turns
    6. Decorate the Plate

      This is a group game. Assemble kids and let them sit around a table or in a circle. Distribute different art supplies to the kids and hand them one paper plate. Start with the first child who will get one minute to draw/decorate the plate. After one minute ask the child to pass it on the child sitting next to him. Let the game continue until the last one in the circle finishes his turn and hold up the finished artwork to display.


    Children Take Turns for Mutual Gain


    According to a study under the Association for Psychological Science.Even with a conflict of interests, children take turns, to be more cooperative and nice to their counterparts. This need and sense develop when the child turns five years old when finer cognitive abilities start to develop. Surprisingly, kids forego immediate benefits to accommodate desires of other individuals


    Turn-taking may not seem like such a big deal, and it’s easy to assume that kids will learn it on their own. However, adult intervention is necessary. This is the time when kids are inquisitive about the happenings around them and have an urgency to learn or do things.If they don’t know how to wait for their turn, they’ll never learn how to share and consider others. How do you encourage turn-taking in your child? Do you have any special techniques to share? Keep us in the loop!
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