Observe the child when a minimal number of materials are available. For example, ask two children to draw one picture together with one set of colors or markers.
Tell children there are not enough supplies for everyone, so sharing is necessary. Tell the children to decide together what to draw and work on coming up with their picture together.
Children will first decide what to draw, and then who will draw which pieces. This will be negotiated as the drawing develops. Watch for joint planning, sharing, negotiating, and compromising.
Unlike at earlier ages where having duplicates prevented conflict, children now need to learn how to negotiate. Even though it may cause stress, early childhood educators and parents should encourage and make opportunities for joint projects at school and home. Make sure children set goals together and make a plan. Remind them about negotiation and compromise and offer choices when necessary.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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