By Kim Stealey
First, we talk about taking turns. This is because the children grasp the idea better than "sharing." When they take turns, they know they will get another turn with whatever it is that they want. Sometimes, with sharing, you don't get it back. (For example, "share the doll" means that you have to give it to someone else. Instead, we say "when your turn is over, please give it to ....") After they get this concept, we introduce sharing.
Second, we make full-body photo "puppets" of each child in the classroom at the beginning of the year. These are photos attached to a popsicle stick and mounted in clay (so they stand up). We use them to act out situations with the puppet stage or in the block area. At first, I give situations to the children and have them act them out with their puppets. For example, I might say "Dawn wants to use the blocks, but Joe won't share. Let's act it out to see if we can figure out a way to make this work." As the children get used to acting out situations, we often use the puppets as a "peace table" type way of solving their own problems. When there is an issue, they will get their puppets, go to the puppet stage or another area of the room, and work it out. It's a great way to work on language and problem solving skills.
By Alexandra Ziemann
In preschool we absolutely love the Signing Times CD vol. 1-4 we use a song called "Magic Words." It is a very cute song, easy and short so the 3-year-olds can remember it. And there are very simple signs that go with it. This way they know how to communicate with their friends even if they are feeling a little shy and don't want to talk. These are the lyrics:
I have got some magic words, I keep them by my side.
And when I use my magic words, my friends know that I'm nice.
I say please, please, please if I want it
I share, share, share, while we're playing
Your turn is your turn, my turn is mine
And we use our thank yous all of the time!