a child taking another child's toy

Today, let’s delve into a topic that’s practically a cornerstone of our parenting adventures. Ever had another child take your child’s toys? Yep, happens a lot.

Grabbing those toys back like a superhero isn’t the best idea. So, what do we do?

Talking to our own kiddo? Not too hard. But when it comes to figuring out other kids, it’s like exploring new playtime turf.

Well, I’m here to share some mom-to-mom tips on gracefully tackling those toy tussles.

Do not label the other child

When another kiddo grabs your little one’s toys, it’s natural to feel upset. But we don’t label them “bad kids.” 

Why? Well, because all kids are still learning the ropes. They’re like little explorers figuring out this big world. 

So, let’s be kind and remember, they’re on a learning adventure, just like our own little ones.

Stay calm and composed

Alright, here’s the real deal. When you see your kiddo upset because of the toy tango, it’s totally normal to feel a twinge of anger.

But guess what? Staying calm is the crucial thing here. 

Why? It stops a little upset situation from turning into a big drama. Keeping cool helps your kiddo feel safe and not extra sad. So, take a deep breath.

kids sitting together

Understand the situation

It’s important to take a closer look before launching into action.

Maybe, just maybe, the other kiddo didn’t mean to upset yours.

It’s like solving a mystery – sometimes things aren’t what they seem. Take a moment, observe, and see if it’s a big misunderstanding.

Being a toy detective instead of a judge can save the day!

Teach your child to gently communicate

Encourage your child to express their feelings assertively but calmly. They can say things like, “I was playing with that. Can I have it back, please?”

Being gentle but firm is the secret sauce.

We’re not letting others walk all over us, but we’re doing it with kindness.

Oh, and here’s the extra magic: teaching them about personal stuff. Let them know their toys have a VIP pass, and it’s totally okay to set boundaries for your belongings.

Intervene when important

Here’s a gem of wisdom: sometimes, let the little ones work their magic.

When toy troubles brew, give your kiddo a chance to handle it first. It’s like letting them flex their problem-solving muscles. 

Kids are like these tiny problem-solving ninjas, you know? 

They’re learning the ropes and these small challenges? Yep, they’re like small trainings for real life. 

So, unless it’s super important, let them navigate and watch the little learning sparks fly!

Gently talk to the other child and offer an alternative

When you’re stepping into the peacekeeping zone, think of it as a gentle dance. Ensure to be very kind and not scare the other child. 

Approach the little friend with kindness, like you’re sharing a secret giggle.

Kneel down to their level, and with the softness of a lullaby, say something like, “Hey there, buddy! Looks like we’ve got a little toy puzzle. How about we take turns playing with it? It’s like sharing the joy, you know?”

Throw in an alternative toy like a playful surprise, showing them it’s not about being a rule-maker but a fun facilitator.

Let’s keep the playtime atmosphere light and friendly!

Encourage kids to take turns

Now, onto the turn-taking masterclass! Encourage those little explorers to share the spotlight. It’s like a mini dance floor where everyone gets their moment to shine.

Say to your kiddo, “Hey, sweetie, let’s show our friends how awesome taking turns can be!

You play for a bit, and then it’s their turn. It’s like passing the playtime crown, and everyone gets to be the royal player.”

Turns are like the golden tickets to a fair play extravaganza – everyone’s a winner!

Teach your child to share when necessary

Time for a chat about sharing, the superstar of playtime. So, tell your kiddo, “Sharing means everyone gets a piece of the playtime pie. It’s about making the game more awesome together. 

But, if someone takes too much, and it feels not so fun, we can talk about it. We want everyone to have a blast, right?”

Involve adults when necessary

Okay, here’s the deal on involving the big folks. 

If the toy tango keeps grooving and things get a bit too wild, it might be time to bring in the adult backup. But, only when it’s really, really needed.

Whisper to your kiddo, “Hey, my little superhero, if things get a bit too tricky, we can ask another grown-up for help. It’s like calling in the wise wizards. But remember, let’s save this move for when we absolutely need it. We want playtime to be a happy dance, right?”

Involving adults is like adding a safety net, but let’s keep the playtime stage drama-free as much as possible!

Supervise play

Supervising play is like taking on the role of a diligent observer, ensuring that the playtime narrative unfolds smoothly and without unnecessary disruptions.

Here are my examples:

I have had two such experiences:

Situation 1:

Once my friend came over with her 3 year old very active son. My daughter was 5 then. 

That boy was dragging her huge teddy bear with his ears. 

My girl is usually very good with sharing but teddy bears? I knew her heart was sinking. 

She was about to cry when I intervened. I did not ask him to give it back, instead, I said “I have a very beautiful balloon for you. Do you wanna see it? Come”. He happily followed me. 

It solved the situation without hurting anyone. The boy was happy, My girl was relieved. So, a win-win for everyone. 

Situation 2:

When a little girl, one year younger than my daughter came over. 

She grabbed her character pillow which was already not in a very good condition. 

My daughter thinks that toys have feelings. She was upset and said to me that the pillow was already in pain and she was hurting her.

I said that you don’t directly ask young children to give toys back. Instead, give her an alternative. 

She quickly picked it and offered the other girl another shiny pillow and engaged her. 

I was amazed how a 5-year-old was able to manage the situation very nicely.


In the delightful world of parenting, turning potential playtime conflicts into joyous adventures is all about creativity and kindness. By offering alternatives, redirecting with joy, and fostering positive communication, we transform moments of tension into heartwarming memories.

Read more: Here’s Why Your Toddler Wants To Take Toys Everywhere (Stop Toy Toting)

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