September is Kids Good Manners Month! It is never too early to start teaching manners to children. Teaching manners at a young age can help children develop into respectful, empathetic individuals. Manners don’t come naturally to children. They must be taught to children, explained, and reinforced.
“While it’s normal for preschoolers to still be self-centered, teaching manners reminds them that other people in the world matter and deserve respect,” says Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Temple University, in Philadelphia.
Here is a collection of books (old and new) that can help toddlers and preschool children learn manners.
How to Teach Manners in the Classroom
(excerpt from How to Teach Manners in Preschool – Pre-K Pages)
When it comes to teaching manners in the classroom, start by role playing different please and thank you scenarios.
Sit in a circle with the children and practice passing an item around the circle as each child says the following phrases: “Please pass the ____” and “Thank you”
Play this game several times the first few weeks of school but you also need to reinforce the skill throughout the day and the year.
I might say “Remember your manners during center time, how do we ask for something?”
Whenever you notice your students need a little reminder about how to use manners, stop and play a quick game to reinforce the skill.
If you want your students to wait for a turn, make a game out of it and play that game with them frequently until they learn how to do it. Then be sure you reinforce it frequently as well.
There are many games that support the development of self-regulation, or waiting for turn such as Red Light, Green Light, Freeze, and Duck, Duck, Goose.
If you make learning the skill fun and turn it into a game your year will go more smoothly.