Daddy, she won’t let me play with her doll. Teaching a child to share is difficult; with no clear guidelines. There are times we want our kids to share and times when not sharing is acceptable, like with a treasured toy.
Sharing is not a quick lesson to teach. It will take years before they master the concept. You can start when they are 2 years old, by 4-5 they may share some things, but not their prized possessions. It is not until about the age of 8 that children truly understand the notion of fairness and equality.
Although they will not grasp sharing until 8, the concept can and should be introduced to them before then.
Here are some books which help with teaching kids how to share:
Ages 2 & Up
Llama Llama Time to Share– Anna Dewdney (age 2-5)
Synopsis: A neighbor comes over to play with Llama Llama. The parents go off with the reminder to share. At first, Llama Llama is reluctant to join as his neighbor plays with his toys but soon learns that sharing is not bad. The new friendship grows, until Nelly Gnu takes his favorite doll, a fight ensues and the doll gets ripped. Llama Llama must decide if he can ever share again.
- What are some different ways Llama Llama shared?
- What did Llama Llama gain by sharing?
- How many times did Llama Llama share in the book?
Will Sheila Share– Elivia Saladier (age 2 – 6)
Synopsis: Baby Sheila will not share. There are a few things she will and over time she learns.
- Does Sheila share?
- How did Sheila feel about sharing her berry with Jess?
- Why was Jess sad?
Ages 3 & Up
The Bear Who Shared– Catherine Rayner (age 3 – 5)
Synopsis: Norris is a wise bear who sat under the tree waiting for the best fruit. Two other animals, Tulip and Violet also saw the fruit and wanted it for themselves. The fruit ripened and fell off the tree into Norris’ lap. Now wise Norris has the fruit and a decision to make.
- Is it good to wait sometimes?
- How was Norris wise?
- What did Norris get when he shared the fruit?
The Rainbow Fish– Marcus Pfister (age 3-10)
Synopsis: The Rainbow Fish thinks only about himself and his glimmering scales. One little fish asks to have one of the Rainbow Fish’s shiny scales but is told to get away. Soon all the other fish turn away from the Rainbow Fish when he swims by. The Rainbow Fish travels far to ask the wise octopus how he can be happy. Her advice to share his most prized possession with the other fish. The Rainbow Fish must decide what is more important having friends or being the most beautiful fish in the ocean.
- What did the Rainbow Fish have to do to make friends?
- How did the Rainbow Fish feel when he shared his scales?
- What is more important friendship or looking beautiful?
- What should someone do when they have a problem?
Too Many Carrots– Katy Hudson (age 3- 6)
Synopsis: Rabbits loves carrots so much he collects as many as he can, but his house won’t fit them all. Some of Rabbits friends invite him to stay at their houses. Bringing all his carrots, Rabbit destroys each of his friends home. Now no one has a place to live, it is raining and everyone is miserable. Rabbit realizes what he must do.
- Is Rabbit very nice?
- Are Rabbit’s friends nice?
- Which animals share?
- Why are Rabbit’s friends nice?
- What does Rabbit learn at the end of the book?
Ages 4 & Up
The Berenstain Bears Learn to Share– Stan and Jan Berenstain w/ Mike Berenstain (age 4-8)
Synopsis: Sister Bear likes to play by herself, this way she does not have to share her toys. Then she thinks she might have more fun if more people are involved. First, she plays with her brother, then a few friends. Soon lots of friends want to play and a fight occurs. Sister bear wonders what Jesus would have her do.
- Is it more fun to play alone or with friends?
- When you play with others what must you do?
- What does Jesus ask that we do?
The Boy Who Wouldn’t Share– Mike Reiss & David Catrow (age 4 – 8)
Synopsis: Edward won’t share a single toy with his sister, Claire. While hiding beneath of pile of his toys, Claire receives a plate of fudge. Suddenly, Edward realizes want he must do if he wants some fudge.
- Was the day better when Edward shared?
- Was Claire mean to Edward, even when he was mean to her?
The Mine-O-Saur– Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen & David Clark (age 4 – 8)
Synopsis: The Mine-o-saur is not one for sharing; he shouts “Mine, Mine, Mine.” Every time the other dinosaurs play with something the Mine-o-saur ruins it by taking it and claiming it as his. Now Mine-o-saur has everything, but no one to play with, till he finds the one thing that is his.
- Is it fun to always play alone?
- When you play with friends what might you have to do?
- Were the dinosaurs right to give Mine-o-saur another chance?
Ages 4 & Up
Share and Take Turns– Cheri J. Meiners, M.Ed. (age 4-8)
Synopsis: This book offers practical and different ways to share and take turns. It also reinforces that sharing is not always required.
- What are some ways to share?
- Can you ask friends?
- What do you do when someone will not share with you
Should I Share My Ice Cream– Mo Willems (age 4-8)
Synopsis: Elephant buys an ice cream cone and then must decide if he should share it with his friend Piggie. While he thinks over his reasons for sharing or not sharing, his ice cream melts. Then his friend Piggie shows up with a surprise
- What did Elephant learn about sharing?
- Who is better at sharing, Elephant or Piggie?
- Have you ever not wanted to share something?
Feel free to share your favorite books about sharing!