How many times have you heard, "That's mine!" out of the mouth of a child? Most little ones are faced with a challenge when learning about the concept of sharing.
As I often like to do when I need help teaching my kids something new, I turn to picture books. This book list is all about helping kids to learn about that big, ever-important life skill of sharing.
1. Turning to familiar characters to teach something new makes a situation a bit more relatable. If your child has enjoyed other Llama Llama books, reading Llama Llama Time to Share by Anna Dewdney makes a smart book choice. Nelly Gnu is visiting Llama Llama for a playdate and both struggle with sharing the toys so much that an argument causes one of the toys to break. Each of them learns a big lesson in the process.
2. Another favorite and well-loved set of characters are Gerald and Piggie. They both teach our little ones so much through humor. To teach about sharing, Mo Willems brings us Should I Share My Ice Cream? (An Elephant and Piggie Book). Gerald has an ice cream cone and thinks it might be nice to share with his best friend Piggie. But, Piggie isn't there and the cone looks so good and it's starting to drip. What should Gerald do?
3. One of the places that kids get lots of practice learning to share is the playground. Michael Rosen shares This is Our House to illustrate the dynamics of several kids wanting to play with the same item. George claims a cardboard box as his house and no one else is allowed inside the dwelling. As each child attempts to come into the house, George announces a reason why the person is not allowed. In the end, the kids teach George a lesson.
4. Sometimes taking a silly look at a problem or issue helps drive home the point you are trying to make. Kids will discover that sharing is the way to go in One Big Pair of Underwear by Laura Gehl. Different animals are left out when there aren't enough items for everyone to have their own. Then some pigs at the playground show how to make the best of a scarcity situation by sharing.
5. Fables are good for teaching lessons and that is what you will get in It's Mine! by Leo Lionni. The story follows three bickering frogs as they argue over just about everything in their environment. Then, along comes a toad who helps to teach them a lesson in sharing.
6. Another way that kids learn new things is through song. Eric Litwin shares a story and song in Groovy Joe: Ice Cream & Dinosaurs. Groovy Joe has just procured a nice tub of ice cream and a spoon for himself when suddenly a dinosaur and then another and another appear wanting to dig into the cold treat too. Groovy Joe obliges and chants, "It's awesome to share."
7. That's (Not) Mine by Anna Kang is the tale of two bears who both want to sit in the same chair. They debate back and forth with constant, "It's mine!" banter. Finally, they both realize that they aren't going to agree so they decide to do something else together instead.
Your child will learn that sometimes if you can't share something, it might be better to pick something else to do together. Grab a few books to share with your child!