Don’t you love when your little one gives you a hug or when they want to share a toy or food with you? Those sweet gestures can fill your heart with joy and make your day complete. Expressing emotions and understanding feelings are critical social skills for kids to develop.
It is important to encourage sharing and caring on daily basis; here are a few ways to help your child to develop these social skills:
Model generosity: Act as a role model for your children. Hold the door for others, even if they are far away. If someone drops something on the ground at the grocery store, pick it up for them. Performing good deeds can encourage children to care for others by performing similar acts of kindness.
Praise them: When children share something with another child or show some type of sweetness to you or another person, praise them for their good intention.
Sharing and caring are skills that can also be learned through play. A fun fact about Step2 is that we rarely created toys that are meant for solo play because we aim to enhance children’s social interactions and inspire their young minds. Let’s check out some toys that can help children understand what caring and sharing are all about!
Pretend Play Toys: Kids can learn what care is by nurturing a baby doll with the Deluxe Nursery Center. Children can also begin to grasp the concept of sharing responsibilities (also known as teamwork). While one child is feeding the baby doll at the feeding station, another child can pretend to do the laundry or take care of another baby doll at the changing table. Kids can also use one of our tool workshops to build a bird house together or another creation out of the pretend wood. Kids can even give their creation as a gift to their brother, sister, mom or dad.
Play Kitchens: All of our play kitchens feature tons of appliances and accessories to keep multiple children entertained for hours. Our play kitchens are great for children to learn to use together. Children can trade off playing with the accessories or they can team up to cook a pretend meal. We have been told by some of our customers that their kids have even exhibited caring by serving up a pretend pot of coffee to mom and dad with their play kitchen!
Art Desks & Easels: Children can also get crafty as a way to show they care. When children draw you pictures to put on the fridge or in a frame it is a selfless act of love and also shows that they want to share their hard work with you! Encourage your child to not only draw pictures for you with their art desk or easel, but ask them to draw pictures for their siblings, teachers and neighbors as well. Maybe your kids can even work together to make a piece of artwork to give to their grandparents.
What tips and toys do you use to teach your kids about sharing and caring?
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We are measuring all the nooks and crannies in our playhouses, kitchens, and art desks. Be on the lookout soon for picture graphs with all the information you need when making a decision on what product is right for your child!
When children play in pairs it can help develop their social skills. They learn to share, take turns, and solve problems together. Also, as children begin to play in pairs, it helps to prepare them when they partake in group play. There are numerous benefits for children playing in pairs. However, it is not just about children sharing toys or playing tag outside together, there are plenty of fun activities that children can do in order to develop other skills that involve active and pretend play. Parenting.com has great examples of fun activities for children to play in pairs:
Classic games: Play games like Simon Says, Hot Potato, or charades to get the laughs going and the creativity ignited.
Dress up: Pull out all old clothes, Halloween costumes, and accessories for the kids to try on. They can even act like a silly character based on what they are wearing. Have the children guess what one another is such as a hippie, if they have a lot of beads and big sunglasses on.
Cooking: Cooking can be a lot of fun, giving each child a duty to complete such as mixing or adding ingredients to the bowl. It can also be a messy activity. If you want the activity to be less messy, have the children interact in a play kitchen and ask them to work together to create a pretend meal.
Let’s act: Ask the children to put on a show and give them household items such as a ladle, towels, shower caps, hats, ect. Give them time to prepare and capture the memories with camera or camcorder once they are ready for show time.
Agree to Disagree: If the dynamic duo cannot agree on an activity or toy to share, have the children say activities they would like to do. Write the options down on little pieces of paper and draw an activity from a hat. Each child can grab one piece of paper from the hat and do the activities in order.
What tips do you have for having children play in pairs?
Here at Step2, we understand and promote the importance of families spending time together. A great way for families to spend valuable time together is by partaking in hobbies everyone can enjoy. Sharenanny.com gave us some great ideas for kid friendly hobbies that may spark the interest of you and your little ones:
Rock collecting: As we transition into spring, we may find many interesting objects on the ground that were once covered by snow or leaves. Try collecting interesting looking rocks with your kids when you decide to clean up the yard or go on a nature walk. Try putting similar color rocks into the same jar and see how many different jars of rocks your family ends up collecting!
Photography: Many parents enjoy taking pictures of the children so they can reflect on the memories of their kids as they grow up. Teach children how to take pictures whether it is with your phone or digital camera (parent supervision is strongly recommended). Have your children take pictures of things they find intriguing whether it is pictures of their toys or trying to take pictures of you, it can be a fun experience you can both enjoy. A fun project you and your children can do together is taking a picture of each other each day for a certain amount of time and the make a flip book out the pictures and see how much both of you have changed. Check out this example of this an awesome flip book!
Scrapbooking: While you are taking pictures, this is a perfect opportunity to take those pictures and decorate them and put the photos into albums. You can spark the artistic and creative side of your children by having them choose the placement of the pictures, coordinate the colors, and use different decorative embellishments.
Playing Instruments: ParentalGuide.org expresses the benefits of children that play instruments. It helps improves children’s cognitive and motor skills. Teaching children basic notes on the piano or having them bang their hands on a drum may be a noisy experience but you will have a blast making noise together.
Cooking/Baking: This is an activity that children can do right along with their parents with their very own play kitchen. Teaching children different ways to prepare food will help aspiring little chefs to learn how to cook and bake from a young age.
Exercising: Keeping children active is very important. By spending time together doing basic exercise moves, it can promote a healthy lifestyle and a entertaining way for both of your to work up a healthy sweat. Whether you are having a dance party or playing outside, both of you will have tons of fun staying in shape.