toys for multiples

toys, twins, and taking turns

Do you buy one of everything, or two?
Some parents, especially when faced with space or money constraints, prefer to buy one of each toy, and teach sharing techniques from an early age. (See below for some hints.) But many find that it's easier, at least in the beginning, to have duplicates of most smaller toys.

It was so easy to say, "No, she has it now. Go get the other one!" whenever a squabble started. It never worked as well to say "she has the red one, you get the blue one," since the red toy was obviously better if only one could have it....

I've been buying two of everything, but now I'm wondering when I should get them each something of their own.
Many people notice their twins showing a preference for a specific toy around 18 months. You can definitely buy them their own toys earlier, but once you notice them marking out special toys as "mine" and "yours", you might want to let them each have some toys of their own. Just as it's important for them to learn to share, it's also important for each child to have something all his own....

My toddlers are always fighting over a favorite ball. How can I help them take turns?
Start with games, as soon as they're able to follow simple instructions. For example, one child holds a ball. When you clap, ring a bell, or say "Joey's turn", s/he hands the ball to the other. Repeat. Use the words "sharing" and "taking turns," so they have an idea for what the words mean.

During an argument over a toy, try a timer. Set the timer for a fairly short period at first (1-2 min), so the one who's waiting will realize that it's not too long. The novelty of the timer may actually encourage them to take turns. As they get used to the process, you'll be able to stretch out the time period. They'll understand that the one who's waiting will get a turn!

If this is not working (even if it worked before), and you feel like you always have one child or the other in time out for fighting over toys, maybe it's time to put the toy in time out. Let them know that if they can't find a way to take turns on their own, no one can play with it. (This will probably work better with older children.)


Toys R Us


See also: Equipment FAQ

Internet Resources: Online businesses

Toddler Activity FAQ

If you have any comments or questions, please contact Amanda.

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