It’s MY Turn! The Importance of Learning How to Take Turns

Posted by Michael MOE, 28 November, 2020

How to promote taking turns & sharing in your preschool, nursery or home

Turn taking in children can at times be a challenge, sharing and taking turns is a basic communication skill that children at times need to be supported with. Children of a young age tend to play alongside others but often need support to play cooperatively with their peers, this is something they need to learn as they develop.

Group games are a very important part in teaching the children to play cooperatively with others and take turns and imparts a vital life skill, these should be introduced regularly during play so that the children can learn from these experiences.

During play situations children will familiarise themselves with their peers and make new friends which in turn provides the skills needs to play cooperatively with others. Providing resources such as climbing equipment where the children may need to take turns to climb up the foot holdings for example allows the children the opportunity to being asked to wait for their turn until the other child has finished, in turn introducing them to turn taking and sharing. Children need to learn to communicate in other ways rather than using screaming or their hands and playground apparatus teaches this and encourages group play.

Sand & water play is a great way to introduce turn taking and sharing and communicating with each other, they may be waiting their turn to use a certain piece of equipment so need to be aware that often there may be a delay in using this resource and accepting that delay. We need to explain to the children the importance of sharing with others and waiting our turn, how would it make them feel if someone would not share with them? by explaining this to them will enable them to understand. If sharing with others is proving to be difficult maybe introduce a sand timer or stopwatch so they know when it will be their turn, they will watch or listen and know when it will be their turn.

Remember: Turn-Taking Is a LIFE SKILL

Just look at all the skills needed to take turns! Celebrate each and every one as children learn to take turns.

  • Self-regulation
  • Control the desire to interrupt
  • Patience
  • Listening
  • Waiting
  • Cooperation
  • Politeness

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