It can be lots of

fun for both friends. But it can also be a challenge. When children get together, a favorite activity is, of course, playing with toys. If the get together takes place at your house, your child will have to share hers.

Sharing is difficult for most children at first. But you can help make things run more smoothly until it becomes more natural.

Don’t insist on sharing everything. Many children have a very special toy, one they’d feel lost without. Suggest that the toy “hide” during the friend’s visit if you think it would upset your child too much to see another child playing with it.

Let your child practice being a gracious host. A snack is a wonderful thing to share, because everyone can have the same thing. At your house, have your child pass out the napkins, plates, cups and snack. (Remember to check with other parents to see if their children have any food restrictions, such as allergies, before offering food.)

Set time limits. A key part of learning to share is when your child finally understands that the other child won’t be taking the toy home. She’ll only be playing with it for a short while. Encourage the children to take turns with toys, and keep the turns to about two minutes each. That way, neither has long to wait until the toy is hers again.

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