You've heard the old adage that sharing means caring, and that's why the skill is taught from a very early age. Social skills development, including sharing, is a key component of most kindergarten curriculums because it helps the children learn that their actions have a direct impact on others. In addition to reminding kindergartners to share, there are numerous engaging ways to reinforce the concept.
Practice Makes Perfect
It isn't enough to simply tell kindergartners to share. They must practice the skill often to apply it to their lives. To that end, do role-playing in the classroom. Hold a toy and act out how you would refuse to share it with your friends. Discuss how that makes other children feel. Along the same lines, model appropriate sharing. Help your fellow teachers when they ask to borrow something or allow your students to share supplies such as your stapler or tape dispenser. Look for ways to help your students practice. For example, if a student is searching for a red crayon, ask another student if he would be willing to share his red crayon. Praise his efforts, which reinforces the sharing behavior.
Show and Share
Traditional show and share, often called show and tell, allows children to bring something special to school to show to their friends. This can also be an opportunity to encourage children to share. Such activities also give children confidence speaking in front of others, according to Jodene Lynn Smith and Jennifer Overend Prior, authors of "Activities for Oral Language Development, Volume 1." Once a child is done talking about her special object, she can pass it around so her peers can hold it and examine it up close.
Read "It's Mine," by Leo Leonni, which tells of three frogs who spend their days bickering and not sharing. However, when a storm comes, the frogs realize that sharing is a much better way to live. "Sharing: How Kindness Grows," by Fran Shaw and Miki Sakamoto, illustrates how one child sharing with another can encourage that child to go out and share with someone else until people around the world are sharing. For a humorous take on sharing, read "We Share Everything," by Robert Munsch. When a kindergarten teacher tells her students that they need to share everything, they take it literally and are soon sharing things such as each other's clothes.
Collect for Charity
Help kindergartners get a broader scope of how they can make the world a better place by sharing. Children can collect canned goods to donate to a local food pantry or school supplies to give to families experiencing financial hardships. Gathering gently used toys for children in hospitals is another act of sharing appropriate for kindergarten age children. These types of activities teach children to share in the short term, but giving to charity also teaches children to be lifelong sharers, according to the Scholastic website.
- Richmond School District 38 Area Counsellor Team: Kindergarten Social Responsibility
- Activities for Oral Language Development, Volume 1; Jodene Lynn Smith and Jennifer Overend Prior
- Education.com: Caring and Sharing
- It's Mine; Leo Leonni
- Sharing: How Kindness Grows; Fran Shaw and Miki Sakamoto
- We Share Everything; Robert Munsch
- Scholastic: Lessons in Giving
- Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images