(Guest post from Coach Matthew at Soccer Shots Los Angeles)
Character Word of the Day: Sharing
The class with “SHARING” as the character building word is one of my most rewarding as well as one of the most challenging. Many 3-5 year old children are at the stage where everything is “Mine”. To reinforce the concept of SHARING, I instituted two exercises back to back. I began with explaining the definitions of SHARING. In one instance, a child (who we will call “Danny”) who typically grabs for the white soccer ball and never gives it up, explains to my surprise that SHARING IS CARING. I initially wondered if this would actually translate into practice for this little boy.
That day, I started out with a Halloween game where I throw all the cones onto the field and tell them that all these colorful cones are treats and their job is to dribble to each cone, control the ball, and pick it up. The object is to pick up the most cones. When all the treats are collected we sit in a circle and count how many cones each child has. “Danny” happened to pick up the least amount of cones and was visibly upset. So I said to the group, “who wants to share”? Three children gave him cones! Then I had each child share a treat with another child. Of course after someone shared, the recipient had to say “thank you” and give a high five. We kept doing this until everyone was laughing and high fiving one another.
The next game was going to be the big test. This was the exercise called “Switch” where the children dribble, and when I whistle, everyone runs to another soccer ball because we all SHARE. “Danny” was a little hesitant in giving up his ball until we reminded him about our friends that shared their cones. After that reminder “Danny” enjoyed sharing with his friends because SHARING IS CARING! His Mom even reported that “Danny” shares better at home with his siblings.