Preschool is an ideal time to teach good manners, since children younger than five are eager to learn new things and love to please adults. Children enjoy making art projects, so use crafts to teach preschoolers about what good manners are and how to use them. Display these crafts in the classroom as reminders to children about using good manners.
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Cards for Community Members
Talk with children about the people who help us, like mail carriers, janitors and bus drivers. Give children construction paper, markers and crayons. Each child must make a thank-you card for at least one person. Show children greeting cards to help them come up with different ways to express thanks. Talk about respectful ways to address adults, like saying "Ma'am" or "Sir," then ask children to hand their cards to the recipients in person.
Break children into groups of two to four people. Pass out magazines. Ask children to look for pictures that show good manners. Show some examples like pictures that show children playing nicely together or a person eating her food neatly. Once they cut the pictures out, they must glue them onto a collage. Working in groups encourages children to share and be good listeners to their partners. Ask each group share their collage with the class and explain why they chose each picture.
Manners Place Mats
Give each child a piece of light-coloured construction paper to be the background to the place mat. Draw the shapes of plates, cups and silverware onto a differently coloured paper. Each child must cut out one place setting and glue it onto his mat. Pass out small drawings of good manners, like a child who is sitting calmly at the table and using silverware. Once children glue these images onto the plate or mat, laminate the mats. Children will have a visual reminder of manners at each meal.
Give each child a piece of paper and markers. Set a timer for one minute. Each child starts drawing a picture of his choosing. When the timer goes off, each child must pass his paper to the child on his right. Remind children to thank their classmates each time they receive a new paper. Set the timer again, giving each child one minute to add to his new picture. At the end you'll have a picture for each child, created by teamwork and good manners.
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