Social Skills Series: Teaching Children How to Share

Social skills are an essential part of being a happy and healthy child. This article will explore how you can use Applied Behavior Analysis techniques to teach children the social skills they need to succeed in sharing, connecting with others, and cooperating with their peers.

Principles of Sharing

    Sharing is a complex process, and every person shares their personality and personality style. Some people do not share more often than others; most people do share most of the time. But there are different motivations for sharing, different methods of sharing, and different thoughts on how one should go about sharing. Children do not automatically know how to share. It is essential to teach them the principles of sharing and negotiating conflicts with their peers. The principles in include:

  1. Children should take turns with toys, meaning they shouldn’t play with something unless it’s their turn. 
  2. Children shouldn’t take someone else’s toy without asking first. 
  3. The third principle is that children can’t break another child’s toy.

Applied Behavior Analysis for Sharing

    Teaching children about sharing is an essential social skill. When children understand how to share, they are more likely to learn other important skills, including empathy, cooperation, and problem-solving. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) teaches children how to share. This type of therapy encourages adults to praise and reward the child when they share. It also gives them plenty of opportunities to practice and learn how to share in a safe environment.

Teaching Basic Sharing Concepts

    One way to teach kids how to share is by presenting them with a set of two items, one that they want and the other that someone else wants. This should be done in a way that makes it clear that both children can have what they want, but only if they both give up something. Parents need to remember that this lesson may not come easily or naturally, so it may take some time for children to grasp the concept.

    Children are taught how to share from a young age because it’s an essential life skill. The best way to teach sharing is to show children how other people use the material they’re trying to access. In this way, children can learn to share without feeling like they are giving up something of their own. For example, if a child is trying to get a toy out of another child’s hand, the parent can say something like, “Oh, that’s a cool toy. Does it make music?” If the child holding the toy then says, “Yes, it plays a song,” the first child can respond with, “Cool! I love that song! May I have a turn?” In this way, the parent can help teach children how to share without stepping in and taking the toy from the other child.

    Kids tend to watch their parents closely and model their behavior after their parents. In addition to teaching kids what sharing is, it’s also important for parents to model the behavior. There are many ways that parents can do this, from sharing the responsibility of cleaning up to offering toys to a crying baby.

Activity Ideas for Teaching How to Share

Here are four activities:

  1. Use shoeboxes to make a “sharing station” for children to put their toys in. When they come across an item that another child wants, they can ask the other child if they want it.
  2. Have one child find five treasures throughout the room and hide them in different places. Have the rest of the children search for them; once found, the treasure is shared with whoever finds it.
  3.  Draw a picture of what you shared today on a large piece of paper and hang it up in your classroom.
  4. Make a “sharing garden” out of cups and spoons using pipe cleaners and markers; when everyone is finished, take the garden home for your child to share with their family!


This blog discusses the importance of social skills training for children. We have to teach our children how to play well with one another and share. Social skills training also helps a child’s personal development, physical growth, and academic learning.

I hope you found this blog informative and the information helpful. If you are interested in learning more about Applied Behavior Analysis and the services Behavior Matters, LLC provides, please send an email to