Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sharing is Caring and...

Should be Fun! If you have a toddler around the ages of 14 months + you probably see your little one getting a tad possessive when there is another child of similar age around. I recently took Bear to visit a co-worker and her daughter, who is close in age to Bear, they at first were hesitant and played separately. Then got a little grouchy and took a few toys from eachother. I notice Bear doing this occasionally when it's just me and him playing. It's not that he actually wants the toy, he just doesn't want anyone else to have it.

I noticed that when Olivia and Bear were playing with bigger toys, designed for one toddler, they didn't want to share but when playing with smaller toys, like blocks or books, shared just fine!

Playdate basics:

If they playdate is at your house, set out toys they can both play with. This will be a great learning experience, especially if you little one doesn't play with other kids on a one-on-one basis daily. Great toys for this age group are fridge magnets (large ones), blocks, multiple trucks, books, instruments, tubberware, or an activity both will enjoy like playing in the yard or sprinklers, etc. Avoid having a rocking horse, ride on toys, or large toys designed for one little mind.

You play too! When we sat down with the kids and showed them how to play, say thank you, and share, they got the hang of it and actually ENJOYED giving eachother toys, no this was not a dream, it was really happening!

Snacks. It's always nice to bring a snack if you are meating at a mutual place, like a playground, just make sure you bring enough for both and keep in mind that some kids have allergies. Some great sharing foods are ricecakes (cheese or plain, not the sugary caramel ones), goldfish, juiceboxes and cherios. Notive none of those foods are messy, like oranges and yogurt, nothing worse than having a mommy bring a messy snack and then sticking you with a dirty kid.

When your toddler hands you something say thank you and encourage them to do the same when playing. Make sure you keep an eye on your kid, and no hitting or grabbing is involved. If you've implemented a discipline plan already then stick with it during play time too. If your kid isn't playing nice, don't leave it up to the other parent to pull him off theirs - that's not very nice huh? A great thing to do is involve the other parent in your plan for good ol' mannered fun and everyone can have a good time :)

This may see mdull and boring but everyone actually had a good time, I was proud to see Bear smile and hand Olivia a block and have her say thank you and hand him one too. It was cute, and, magical!


Playdough recipe coming soon!

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