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Your thoughts on children sharing toys.


diesel10
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We do try to have a number of each resource but children always want what someone else has got! I ask children to say 'can I have ........ after you' and then wait. It works well and children do get a turn. I do encourage the child to find something else to play with while they are waiting. I have explained this to staff and expect them to carry out the same message.

 

Yet again today, I heard the garden staff say 2 minutes to change over on the bikes. I just don't think this is real life and doesn't allow the children to negotiate with peers. If I was using something I would like to be told my time was up in 2 minutes.

 

Children don't end up with extended periods with anything as they need to have snack / circle time. Making other toys available or games seem exciting soon frees up the must have resource.

 

What are your thoughts on 'sharing' am I wrong?

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I think children learn more from an adult helping them to agree a fair arrangement between them.

 

You can use questions about what is fair, what is kind, what happened when he had something you wanted yesterday, etc, to help the child think through the situation and equip them for negotiating when an adult isn't available to intervene.

 

It does take interested and engaged adults to do this consistently and effectively, treating each child as an individual and each situation on its own merits.

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I think that for some children it is really hard for them to understand the needs of others and realise that someone else wants a turn and will carry on forever with the activity they are engaged in therefore the child who has been told to find something else whilst they are waiting for their turn could end up waiting forever too!

 

We use High Scope six steps to conflict resolution to help children to think about the needs of others and to negotiate on their own terms. Some children are able to cope with this whilst for others it takes a lot longer. For those conflicts that revolve around sharing we usually hang back for a while to see if they do in fact share. If not we may step in to gently remind the child with the toy what they said they would do. For some, this may well mean a reminder e.g. in 5 minutes it will be xxxx turn.

 

I am a great believer in not having too many of the same resource out as, although it inevitably it may lead to conflict, it also enables children to learn by negotiation so teaching a life skill!

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As a Montessori setting we only have one of each activity available. The thinking behind this is that, it creates a real-life experience because there is then a need to wait your turn and to negotiate. We do a lot of modelling the language of negotiation eg. Please can I play/help?. We also do not insist that children must share. So if the child would like to do the activity on their own & another child asks to join in it is ok for them to say 'no thank you' or 'I want to do it myself'. This leads to quite a lot of talking about the need to listen to what others are saying and to respect our friends' wishes. All important social skills that are lost if the rule is: you must share everything. Obviously if the child is happy to share then they can choose to do so, but they can also choose not to as long as they express their wishes appropriately. If a child chooses not to share an activity then we encourage them to let their friend know when they have finished with it so that they can have it next. It generally works well - although some obviously need adult support to negotiate! Sometimes a child is 'on a mission' to complete something or to reach a goal that they have set themselves and they may not want other children getting involved right at that moment. I think that we all teach children how to say please & thank you, but giving them the words to say 'no thank you' if they don't want something can sometimes be overlooked. Sorry for the ramble -hope it helps!

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It's the 3 and 4 year old children I was referring to. I keep explaining to the staff to support the children to negotiate but they keep reverting back to ''2 minutes and it's ......... turn'. And it drives me mad. Just starting to think it's me that's got it wrong.

 

 

It's the ' I want.......' That I am trying to get away from. 'Please my I have the ......... after you' needs a consistent approach from all staff to support the children. I not talking about children involved in a tug of war or snatching because they generally ask the nearby adult.

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It's the 3 and 4 year old children I was referring to. I keep explaining to the staff to support the children to negotiate but they keep reverting back to ''2 minutes and it's ......... turn'. And it drives me mad. Just starting to think it's me that's got it wrong.

 

 

It's the ' I want.......' That I am trying to get away from. 'Please my I have the ......... after you' needs a consistent approach from all staff to support the children. I not talking about children involved in a tug of war or snatching because they generally ask the nearby adult.

don't know if it helps but we use sand timers for high value items (like bikes/cars) ...we can't always go for the verbal request as lots of our children can't do this. but the timer works well they can sort out their own turn taking and work out their place in the queue etc , for us this is about giving them the tools to do the job....but not verbal in our case.

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We too use sand timers the children then sort it themselves quite well, however there's always one that walks around with it on its side!!! Then wonders why their turn is taking ages!

We too move in and support where needed by offering then the language to gain what they want as you say 'can I have a turn next please' and so on. A lot more recently I've been standing back and observing instead of going straight in which is gut instinct to help and support them but observing the deeper goings on and eye contact between the two children wanting to get/keep the toy is very intense and it's surprised me more than I thought what happens as children I didn't think would share after a few deathly Stares from their opponents offer them a toy or go and find them an other option (yeah not one they wanted but nevertheless a toy)

So I'm Kind of in middle camp here and like/use both ways x

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Hi all - sharing is something that we model and encourage using sand timers etc, but we also model, negotiating and waiting until a child has finished. The older children now ask for the sand timer as they realise that even though this means that they will have limited time with the resource, at least they can be sure of some time with it! Sharing is very indvidual thing in that some children can and some children can't whatever their age as so much impacts upon it - being an only child, the youngest, oldest etc! In short there is no one way and using a mixture of visuals (sand timers) Montessori theory mentioned earlier and taking opportunities throughout the routines of the day to model turn taking, sharing (using the soap, the loo - spring to mind) we find helps to embed the process during play! A united front amongst staff though is a must so perhaps it is just a matter of visiting the topic during a staff meeting and ensuring that all staff are aware of you're Setting's ethos!

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Some items just do need a bit of adult input for turn taking and sharing..

 

Bikes is the one that we always found needed something - if we left it to the child using it to finish playing with it before passing it on they would remain on the bile all the time, and never hand it over as to them they had not finished playing with it. There were others, we had a mini trampoline and some bouncy horses that had the same effect.

 

Is there any real reason not to allow a fixed time on some items . Life does contain some things that that are timed and where there is no negotiation.

 

We tried sand timers and other things but always came back to a kitchen timer with the staff member and when the bell went the children in the queue had a turn.. so learning a different skill of waiting in a queue.. or we had a name board where they added their names and went in that order.. without this some would never get a turn or a chance as the dominant ones always managed to take over the activity.

 

It may be that you need to address this in a meeting where you can all give views and work out a way that works for all the children and staff.. explaining why may help, and join the garden staff to model how you see it should be..

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I like the idea of a chalkboard list so the children can see their name down for a turn.

 

I spend a lot of time outside because I love being out there. I think the problem came up as others sneeked out when they saw a moment of sunshine and then I heard ' one minute and everyone off'

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we sometimes have to force ours to go outside and they stand there with their arms folded moaning about being cold!

My staff will go outside because they have to do. We can't offer free flow. However my problem is getting them to engage with the children while they're outside. They too stand there with arms folded chatting!

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