Taking Turns

By Activity Bank on May 31, 2013

This activity has been revised and was originally created by Charlotte Cushman and published in the Perkins Activity and Resource Guide (1st edition, 1992).  The second edition is available for purchase.

This is a simple activity to teach interactive skills, sharing with others, and learning to wait patiently to students who are blind or visually impaired. Lessons include Concept Development, English Language Arts, and Social Skills.


A simple sound-producing toy that each student enjoys and is able to operate with minimal assistance – best to choose a toy with a definite cycle that clearly marks the end of a turn, such as a music box, electronic toy, or jack-in-the-box


  • Begin by modeling the activity with another adult or a student who already knows how to take turns. Help the first person to activate the toy, if necessary, and discuss what is happening: “It’s Ted’s turn. Let’s listen to the song he is playing.” When the song is finished, ask him to pass the toy to someone else. Talk about whose turn it is now. Encourage students to be as independent as possible in choosing the next person.
  • This activity provides an excellent opportunity to expand verbalizations by encouraging students to make simple requests, such as “May I have a turn?” If possible, they can identify the person next to them and ask, “Do you want a turn?” or say “Here, Ruth, here’s the music box.”


  • Have the student and teacher, or two students, take turns performing the same activity (teacher bounces a ball, then student bounces a ball).
  • If you choose a toy that plays a variety of tunes, as many electronic toys do, students can also play “Name That Tune” and try to guess what song is being played.

Hint: Encourage students to take turns during leisure time activities.



Read more about: Concept Development