There’s nothing more enjoyable than watching my girls play together. And there are few things that drive me crazier than the sound of them arguing and bickering.
When they were very tiny, the most common cause of a kerfuffle was of course over toy sharing.
Luckily, with siblings and friends that are close in age, fighting over toys is avoidable as there are some toys that kids naturally want to share and enjoy together.
These types of toys have other benefits as well. If you have more than one young child, gifting them sharable gifts like pretend play props (more about them below) can also be a way to cut down on the toy mess and save some money on gifts.
What To Look For
The best toys for sibling always have a few of the same components:
- They invite teamwork – the play gets better if they work together.
- They have many parts – each sibling can have a role or a job.
- They’re open-ended – these toys don’t tell the siblings how to play, they just invite them into play.
When searching for good sharable toys, keep in mind that it’s important to find toys that are easy for kids of different ages and abilities, as well.
5 Types of Sharable Toys
Below are five categories of sharable toys on the market that will help keep your home peaceful. Under each, we’ve included links to our top choices, which have all been tested by our team of moms in group-play situations and have been a hit.
1. Pretend Play Props
The best games are cooperative ones, and nothing is more cooperative than pretend play.
Pretend play props like kitchens, supermarkets, doctor’s offices, castles, and forts, etc., encourage sharing because it’s not as much fun playing house by yourself as it is with a friend.
Best Pretend Play Prop Toys
Little Tikes Home Grown Kitchen
The Little Tikes Home Grown Kitchen is a realistic toy kitchen full of accessories for imaginative and creative play!
It’s compact but has a layout that allows for more than one child to interact with it at the same time without constantly getting in each other’s way.
Kids can pretend to cook following the included recipe cards, they can dust and wipe off the countertops, they can clean dishes in the sink with water sounds, play with the many accessories that are included, and more. There’s plenty to keep everyone busy with this little kitchen.
Little Tikes My First Pet Doctor Checkup
Little Tikes My First Pet Doctor Checkup is the perfect place for toddlers to explore and learn about caring for pets together. The unique working checkup station includes a folding checkup counter, x-ray station with 3 translucent “x-rays,” an overhead exam light and more!
Over 15 accessories are included with the set, including a puppy dog, kitty cat, turtle, bandage, booster shot syringe and more. Plenty to do for everyone.
Kids will love learning how to care for their pet while having fun at the same time. And of course kids will repurpose this one and play doctor with each other, using all those medical accessories.
You litterally can not go wrong with this toy.
Crazy Forts are a unique building and creative toy. Create a cave one day, an igloo the next, a pirate ship on Tuesday, or castle tomorrow.
All you have to do is put the pieces together in different configurations and cover it with bedsheets to make a fort.
Your little one’s imagination will do the rest as they create new worlds to play together in.
2. Board games
Another activity that’s not easy to do alone is playing a board game. Board games not only encourage kids to play together instead of fighting over who gets the item, but they also allow for some more quiet play.
Even better, board games can help children learn how to take turns as well as develop social skills such as empathy by understanding what it feels likes when someone else takes your piece on boardgame you’re playing (gross).
Some games that even toddlers can play together (with some adult help) include Monkey Around, Candyland, and Animal Bingo.
Some of our absolute favorite games for preschoolers include: Guess Who?, Mouse Trap, and Monopoly Junior Edition.
3. Walkie Talkies
Walkie Talkies are a great toy for siblings and friends to share and also leave the game open-ended for many different games and pretend play.
I recommending getting a good set with at least three handsets. This will prevent fighting if there’s another friend over, or if there’s just two littles playing, you can jump in to the chat to announce snack time or bedtime!
4. Building Toys
It’s no wonder why construction toys like legos or wooden blocks can be found in every daycare and kindergarten class, they the perfect toy for sharing!
Building toys are a great choice for kids of all ages, even younger toddlers, and they encourage creativity, imagination while also building motor skills.
5. Sports Equipment
Going outside and playing sports is also a great way for siblings and friends to interact.
If you have a backyard, it’s worth investing in some sports equipment like soccer balls or basketballs so that the kids can play together outside (and get plenty of fresh air).
The best sharable toy is one that can be enjoyed by a variety of kids in the family or group without any arguments over who gets it next!
By sticking to these categories of toys, playtime will be more peaceful and since these toys are classic, open-play toys, they will last longer and bring your little ones fun for several years of happy, group play.