11 Days of Skills for Kids: Taking Turns

11 Days of Skills for Kids: Taking Turns

As you navigate through this 11-day journey of “non-academic/learning to learn” skills all children need, discussing the skill of taking turns, I just want to remind you that these shouldn’t be complicated. Don’t get overwhelmed, just do what you can. And – if you have questions, make sure to reach out! I’m ready and available to support you during this unexpected break from school!

Download this article as a PDF to read later. Find it HERE.

Skill #2: Taking turns

The skill of taking turns is such an important skill and one of the easier skills to work on consistently – even in a home setting. We often think of taking turns as it relates to playing games but this is a skill that is critical in many parts of school life. Students need to take turns all day long and the more practice they get, the better!

Remember, defining the behavior (exactly the way you want them to do it) is so important. It may seem obvious to you, but don’t assume your child knows what your expectations are.

An example of defining what taking turns looks like is: 

  1. Take your turn
  2. Wait quietly while someone else takes their turn
  3. Pay attention so you know when it is your turn again
  4. Take your next turn

Of course, this is just an example, so define it any way you want!

Hint for Teachers: If there is a way that you want parents to practice taking turns, let them know!

How to Practice Taking Turns

  1. Play games
  2. Take turns with who gets to choose what show to watch
  3. Partner drawing
  4. Telling a story
  5. Block building
  6. Computer games
  7. Playing sports/outside games
  8. Cooking 
  9. Reading stories together
  10. Playdough 
  11. Imaginative play

Reinforce the Skill of Taking Turns

Setting up a simple reinforcement around this particular skill can be very simple.

Step 1: Define the behavior clearly. Make sure your child knows exactly what you want Taking Turns looks like.

Step 2: Decide when and how much you want to work on the skill. There is no right amount. Ultimately, your goal should be to make this time doable for you and your child. (You can do it one time a day or more. Whatever works for your family!)

Step 3: Decide what kind of reinforcement you want to use and how often they receive it.

For example: Star/Happy Face Chart

  • Draw 5 circles on a whiteboard or piece of paper
  • Provide a star or happy face in one of the circles each time your child takes turns the “right way”
  • When your child earns all 5, they can earn a treat or preferred activity. 

Step 4: Discuss what the plan is with your child and then stick to it. Consistency is key when it comes to reinforcing behavior! 

Do what you can, with what you have where you are…Theodore Roosevelt

Find More Resources

No matter what your goals are for this time, make sure to check out the other resources I offer for parents and teachers. Then, come back tomorrow and let’s talk about the next skill all children need to know!

Missed Skill #1? Find it HERE.

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