Take turns making some noise!


We’ve all been there. Babysitting or maybe with your own kids. After watching them play with that Barbie or GI Joe for hours on hours, you decide to join in. You go to grab the doll, just as it gets ripped from your hands and the little one yells “MINE!”. You realize it’s time to teach the golden rule of life: Sharing is caring.

Some children are born with the ability to understand sharing… or so I’ve heard because I have yet to meet them. Every child around the age of 2-5 experiences the “it’s mine” phase. Attachment to items or people is common and understandable but through explanation and communication, children can learn to take turns and share.

Working on this goal through music therapy is extremely beneficial especially because music is a motivator and can replace the favored item! When working with my kiddos on sharing and turn taking, I often use the large Remo floor drum which gives off a resounding, booming sound, providing feedback that continues while the transition of handing over the mallet is happening.

For my verbal clients, I model by saying “Your turn” and having them repeat when handing the mallet to me. As they progress I add in using names like “Ms. Karly, your turn”. For my clients with AAC devices, I use either “your turn” or “you play/go”. As they progress, we work to have them form a full sentence. For my non verbal clients, I have them either sign “your turn” (the letter Y pushing out from chest with the thumb facing into your chest) or tap me on my knee to indicate turn taking. Over time, I generalize from the drum to other favored items including an iPad or a toy.

This is just my personal go-to intervention for turn taking and sharing goals. I want to hear some of your ideas!

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Comment below with some turn taking or sharing interventions that you use!