toddler property laws and playing with wooden blocks

Have a toddler in your home? Then you should be very familiar with the "Toddler Property Laws". Don't know who put these words into print but this code is definitely etched into every the  brain of every 1 or 2 year old.Back To Blocks owner Miriam has had this saying hanging on the wall since her own little ones were this age. Now it applies to the grandchildren. 

You will have a lot more patience with your little "terrible two" if you know and understand the "Toddler Property Laws". So study them carefully! They will  help you guide your little one through this important developmental phase and into the world of friends and sharing. Playing with toys like wooden building blocks can help a toddler practice social and sharing skills. Here's some dos and don'ts of living by the "Toddler  Property Laws". 

toddlers playing with wooden building blocks

Copyright: inarik / 123RF Stock Photo

You have just dumped out the wooden block set on the floor and your toddler and the neighbors kids are all playing quietly. The ideal just like the photo above right? Happy, contented kids quietly playing with fun, educational toys.

OK now let's get real. How many minutes before the scene changes to this?

She can't have that block. "It's Mine!" 

They're my blocks!

Copyright: studiograndouest / 123RF Stock Photo

 

That would probably be your toddler using Rule #5- If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way. 

To learn to share kids have to understand several concepts. They have to process two things at once, that something can be theirs, and that someone else has it right now.They also have to have some understanding of time. Telling them they can have the toy back in a minute is not always an easy thing for a little one to comprehend.

A toddler is in a phase of development focused on themselves. They are just starting to recognize their individuality and what it means to possess something. And boy do they like to possess things! That's why one of their favorite words is " Mine"!

So how do you help a group children this age play with something like a bunch of blocks,  toys car or dolls? Here's some dos and don'ts that may help.

D0-Be a good example

Kids like to follow what mom and dad do.. Let they see you sharing. They will start to model that behavior. When you do share . Point it out to them.  Say" I want to share my ice cream with you. I know  you like it and I see it makes you happy."Get down on the floor with them. Be involved, if you see a conflict developing, make suggestions like "Can Johnny stack the blue blocks over here first while you stack the red ones over there?"

DON'T-Force them 

Give them choice instead. "Do you want to share the red blocks or the blue blocks?" This may not always work. Toddlers can be really stubborn. But remember they are just living by their "Toddler Property Laws" and some of them will never break those laws. Be patient, maybe use a time-out. Don't give them lots of attention for a major melt-down.

DO-Plan for activities for multiple children

Having some friends to play? Make sure you plan for toys with plenty of parts, a bucket full of wooden building blocks, a pile of army guys, plenty of crayons of each color. If you have multiples of things you will tend to have fewer conflicts. However remember that the toddler still has a the right to invoke Rule #6-If I'm doing or building something, all the pieces are Mine!"

DO-Know what things your child is comfortable sharing

Know what items should be put up when friends visit. It's ok for a special item to be off limits for sharing. It may be pretty difficult to get little Susie to share her favorite stuffed animal she sleeps with every night. Billy may not be quite ready to have friends play with his new truck he just got for this birthday.

 Most of all just enjoy this magical time. The terrible twos don't last forever so enjoy the journey. Soon they'll find that it's fun to have friends who want to share everything from your ice cream cone to that big bucket of wooden blocks. 

If you are looking for some "shareable" toys try a set of wooden building blocks.

Find Back To Blocks Large Wooden Block Sets here.