Sharing for Littles

Tomorrow I’m holding a private story time for three children who are visiting the library for their first story time ever. These kids have each been diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum. This isn’t my normal audience, but I’m excited to have them come visit. The teacher’s ultimate goal is to integrate the kids into my regular story time sessions for socialization.

To plan my theme for the week, I just thought of topics that I know are important to any child around age 3: colors, numbers, shapes, feelings…and I settled on a fun book called Blocks by Irene Dickson. Blocks is about two children who are playing nicely beside each other, each with their respective color of blocks, until one child takes a block from the other. There is a bit of a struggle as the kids figure out how to handle this, but it’s a straight forward book with simple illustrations that I think any child can learn from.

With sharing as my basic theme, I started looking for other books with simple lessons about sharing. Books for toddlers and preschoolers shouldn’t be too long or complicated, it’s better to move through multiple stories with breaks in between than to try to read too long of a story. I found some cute stuff in our collection (of course), like The Bear Who Shared by Catherine Rayner and No Fair, Won’t Share! by Lindsey Gardiner.

The Bear Who Shared is a sweet story about a very patient bear who is waiting to eat the last plorringe fruit on the tree. There are two smaller animals who are also very interested in the plorringe, and patience isn’t a virtue for them. This story made me think of older siblings who are much better at waiting than little brother and sister. The Bear is so sweet and shares at the end, even though he was bigger and didn’t have to.

Not Fair, Won’t Share! is another book that reminds me of siblings. Pinky and Blue are opposites for sure, but they love each other. Blue puts up with a lot from Pinky but draws the line at sharing Squishy Rabbit. When the inevitable theft and ensuing meltdown happen, Pinky and Blue need time to cool off, exactly like kids do, and then they can make up, exactly like kids do.

Maybe books about sharing make me think of siblings automatically because I have two sisters and a twin brother. Sharing was part of growing up, and having someone with you all the time means learning it early. I’m not saying only children don’t know how to share, just that they learn it somewhere other than day-to-day home situations. School, playdates, even story time at the library is a great chance to work on this social skill. I’m hoping the kids who are visiting tomorrow have a wonderful time and want to come back to visit me often.

Enjoy the stories and don’t forget to share them!

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