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Keeping Healthy and Safe: Play Time

Young children are learning that sometimes, sharing toys and supplies is not helpful. Adults can support them with simple explanations, visual supports, and practice.

  • Provide a Simple Explanation
    Use simple phrases, such as “It is so nice to want to share toys with friends, but our germs can get on these things. We can be kind by keeping our items to ourselves.”
  • Use Visual Supports
    Post pictures of children playing, each with his or her own toys or supplies.
  • Set Them Up for Success
    When possible, provide supplies for each child in a bin labeled with his or her name.
  • Provide Practice and Encouragement
    Role play substitute behavior. Say “I like your doll. I’m going to get my doll and play near you!” instead of saying, “I like your doll. Can I play with it?”
  • The opinions, resources, and referrals provided on the IEL Web site are intended for informational purposes only and are not intended to take the place of medical or legal advice, or of other appropriate services. We encourage you to seek direct local assistance from a qualified professional if necessary before taking action.

Reviewed: 2020