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Taking Turns for 10 – getting toddlers to share

An idea to help toddlers to share

As you can imagine with 2 toddlers in the house sharing is not something that comes easy to either (well it shouldn’t it’s normal toddler behaviour) but my mum strikes again….. Taking Turns for 10 is apparently something that she used with me and my brother as toddlers/pre-schoolers and it’s been a success ever since.

The idea is so simple I just thought everybody did it – but after been begged to write it up by a couple of friends I am guessing it’s not something that everyone does. So here is how it works.

  • Toddler 1 wants something that Toddler 2 is playing with
  • You say – Toddler 1 takes turn for 10
  • Toddler 2 and you count to 10 whilst Toddler 1 plays with the object
  • After you have said 10 Toddler 2 gets the object
  • Count to 10 with Toddler 1
  • repeat

The nice thing about this is we have progressed from 10 and now can count to 20 or 30 depending on how long a J or T needs to play with the object properly. I also never realised how great this is for counting practice as well. T who can’t count doesn’t speak her numbers has quickly learned that when we say 10, 20 or 30 it’s her turn to swap and she will do it (she’s 14 months) and part of the fun for J is that he gets to count with me as well.


  1. I teach Kindergarten and we do this on the swings. At the beginning of the year it’s 20 but as their counting skills grow so does the number. By the end of the year it’s 100. It works like a charm

  2. Gosh I need to start this with the twins. What age did you begin?

    1. Hi, we started with J and T just before T’s first birthday so at 2 and a half with J – but J’s friend who is 6 months younger started with it at the same time as she was normally around as well.

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