9 Fun and Effective Sharing Tips for Toddlers

Sharing Tips for Toddlers

Sharing is a fundamental social skill that toddlers begin to learn from a young age. However, as any parent or caregiver knows, teaching toddlers to share can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. Toddlers are notorious for their possessiveness and struggle with understanding the concept of sharing. Nevertheless, fostering sharing habits early on sets the stage for positive social interactions and empathy development in the future. In this blog post, we’ll explore ten practical and enjoyable tips for helping toddlers learn the art of sharing.

Sharing Tips for Toddlers:

Start Early:

Encourage sharing habits from the get-go. Even before your toddler can talk, model sharing behaviors by sharing toys and snacks with them. I would say “Mama share with baby” so that they would be familiar with the word and action “share.” This lays the groundwork for them to understand that sharing is a normal part of social interactions.

Use Positive Reinforcement:

When your toddler does share, make sure to praise and encourage them. Positive reinforcement reinforces the behavior and encourages them to repeat it. Simple phrases like “Great sharing!” or “You’re being such a good friend” can go a long way in reinforcing positive behavior.

Lead by Example:

Toddlers learn by observing the actions of those around them, especially their parents and caregivers. Make sure to model sharing behaviors in your own interactions, whether it’s sharing a snack with your partner or taking turns during a family game night.

Teach Turn-Taking:

Turn-taking is an essential aspect of sharing. Use games and activities that naturally involve taking turns, such as rolling a ball back and forth or playing with a toy that requires passing it between players. Make sure you label it “taking turns” so they are familiar with the phrase. This helps toddlers understand that they will get a chance to play with the toy again after sharing it.

Set Clear Expectations:

Toddlers thrive on routine and structure. Set clear expectations about sharing before playdates or social gatherings. If you are hosting a playdate, consider laying out toys that will be shared and putting away special toys that you know may be upsetting to share. Discuss with your toddler ahead of time that friends will be coming over to share the toys that are out.

Encourage Empathy:

Helping toddlers develop empathy is key to fostering sharing habits. Talk to them about how sharing makes others feel happy and included. Encourage them to consider how they would feel if someone didn’t want to share with them. This helps toddlers develop a greater understanding of others’ feelings and perspectives.

Don’t Force Sharing:

While it’s important to encourage sharing, it’s also essential to respect your toddler’s boundaries. Avoid forcing them to share if they’re not comfortable doing so. Instead, focus on teaching them the value of sharing and gently encourage them to participate.

Use Positive Language:

When discussing sharing with toddlers, use positive and encouraging language. Instead of saying “Don’t be selfish,” try saying “Let’s share with our friends.” Positive language helps create a supportive and nurturing environment that encourages sharing.

Be Patient:

Above all, be patient. Learning to share is a gradual process that takes time and practice. Understand that there will be moments of resistance and frustration, but with patience and consistency, your toddler will gradually learn to embrace sharing as a natural part of their social interactions.


Teaching toddlers to share is an essential aspect of their social and emotional development. By starting early, using positive reinforcement, and leading by example, parents and caregivers can help toddlers develop healthy sharing habits that will serve them well throughout their lives. Remember to be patient, use positive language, and celebrate small victories along the way. With time and practice, your toddler will become a confident and generous sharer, enriching their social interactions and relationships.

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