Before finding my niche in child care, I was a server in a restaurant for many years. I also worked in customer service for a call center. From my years of experience I could write volumes of books with stories and anecdotes that will convince you how important manners truly are. They are the cornerstone of many positive character traits. At AppleTree & Gilden Woods, we believe that teaching children manners will help establish a foundation for them to create healthy and positive relationships and interactions throughout their lives.
Encouraging the use of please and thank you can be done in a variety of creative ways. Repetition is of course important, but bringing manners to life is also important when you are trying to teach your children exactly what manners are and how they will benefit their every day life.
Below is an activity that we do here at AppleTree & Gilden Woods as part of our CORE Values Character Education Program. It can easily be adapted for you to do at home with your children.
Small paper bags (i.e. brown lunch bags)
Markers or crayons
Glue or glue sticks
Using a small paper bag, make a sample puppet whose face expresses one of the basic emotions. Be sure to give the puppet hands. Set an assortment of materials on the table and invite children to make their own puppet. When the puppets are done, you can use them to act out using good manners (e.g. covering our mouth when we sneeze or cough, saying “please,” saying “thank you”, waiting patiently)
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