Ten more activities for Grace and Courtesy


Blowing ones nose

Introducing oneself, friends and an adult

Opening a door for another

Knocking before entering

Offering help to a friend

Giving comfort to a friend

Offering a chair to a visitor

Ordering food in a restaurant

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Serving a guest at a Dining Table

Passing a platter of food and choosing one item

Giving and receiving a gift

Answering the telephone and using the telephone to leave a message

Blowing ones nose

Material Description:

A few paper tissues in a cardboard dispensing box on a chowki and a dustbin lines with a plastic bag

Presentation:

  • Put the thumb under both thicknesses of paper tissue on one side of the visible tissue, put the index on top
  • Pull gently till one tissue is carefully moved out of the box
  • Completely unfold the tissue on the chowki, as with unfolding napkins
  • Fold the tissue in half across the medial, and again into quarters
  • Hold the tissue top left corner with between the left index and thumb
  • Place it in front of the face, with the centre of the tissue over the nose
  • Bring the right index and middle finger pads lightly to the right nostril and press (the tissue between nostril and thumb
  • Release the left hand and place the left index and middle finger pads lightly on the left nostril
  • Inhale deeply through the mouth
  • Blow through the nose, with strength and for as long as possible
  • Squeeze the fingers together, pulling the tissue away from the face, as the tissue comes away from the face it folds together
  • Drop the tissue into the dustbin
  • Let the child repeat
  • Replace the tissues and the bin
  • Ask her to wash her hands

Points of Interest:

  • If you remove the tissue carefully the next one is ready for someone else to use.
  • Press the fingers to the nostril lightly enough to blow through the nostrils but firmly enough to hold the tissue in place.

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination of Movement
  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

Two and a half years

Footnote:

If this activity is given before folding the napkin along the medial the napkin may beed to be folded by the adult so that the paper napkin does not fall in-front of the child’s mouth making it difficult to practice inhaling and blowing

Introducing oneself, friends and an adult 

Material Description:

At least three people, of the right ages.  The children should know how to introduce themselves, speaking clearly with eye contact, before this presentation is given.

Presentation:

  • Introducing oneself
  • Go to the person to whom the introduction is being made, stand comfortably apart but within reaching distance
  • Look at the person you are introducing yourself to, have a smile and establish eye contact
  • Say, “Hello, my name is XXX”,while speaking in a clear voice raise your right hand
  • The person who is receiving the introduction replies “Hello, my name is XXX”
  • Raise your right hand slowly, maintaining eye contact (the recipient does the same)
  • Put the palms parallel and slowly together, gently wrap the fingers around the recipients palm and lower the thumb, firmly but without squeezing
  • Raise the hands ten centimetre, and lower them, firmly but gently,
  • Repeat this action three times
  • Pause for a moment, release the thumbs, the fingers and then move the pals apart, retract the arm and put it gently by your side
  • Introducing the child/adult
  • Say to the person receiving the introduction, smiling and with eye contact towards either
  • “This is my friend, his/her name is XXX”
  • “This is Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms  XXX”
  • When saying the name of the person you are introducing look at them in the eye and then back to the person you are introducing them too
  • Drop eye contact and move back slightly so that the person you are introducing and the person you are introducing them to can shake hands

Points of Interest:

  • Prolonged use of eye contact while shaking hands
  • Comfort with personal space so that she is neither too close nor too far away to shake hands
  • A grip and handshake which is neither too soft nor too strong
  • Ask the children to repeat

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination of Movement
  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

Two and a half years

Footnote:

The child needs to be aware of the different pronunciations of Mrs, Miss and Ms, say the adults name very clearly and check that the child can say the title confidently before asking her to repeat the presentation.  When the child is comfortable maintaining eye contact and distance between herself and the others she can also gesture with an open palm to the person she is introducing as she says their name.

Opening a Door for another

Material Description:

A closed inward opening door, ideally not a fire door as these are very heavy for children to keep open, and need to be held in place, a primed older child or adult to walk through the door.

Presentation:

  • Go with another person to the closed door
  • Pause within arms reach of it
  • Turn the head and using eye contact look at the other person
  • Say, with a smile, “May I open the door for you?” (this does not need a response)
  • Extend your hand to the handle, wrap your fingers and thumb around it
  • Pull it down
  • Bring the door towards yourself a small way
  • Step a small step back and open the door towards yourself again
  • Repeat until the door is fully opened
  • Let go of the handle
  • With the arm nearest to the other person make gesture in which the arm gently flows from your side to the open door
  • Say “Please go first”
  • Move your arm gently to your side
  • Wait until the other person has walked through the door to the other side and walk after her one step
  • Pause
  • Look back at the door handle
  • Extend your arm and grasp the handle as before
  • Pull the door towards you
  • Step away from the door and pull it close again
  • Repeat until the door is gently closed
  • Depress the handle, pul the door tight and release
  • Ask the children to repeat

Points of Interest:

  • The door should make no sound
  • The distances needed to walk so that the handle can be grasped without bending
  • Eye contact and clear speech

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination of Movement
  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

Two and a half years

Footnote:

For an outward opening door stand closer to the door before beginning.  Later have someone knock on the door from the other side and let the child open and hold open the door to let them in.  Remind children that they never open the front door of their house unless their carer is with them.

Knocking before entering

Material Description:

A closed outward opening door, ideally not a fire door as these are very heavy for children to open, a primed older child or adult behind the to respond.

Presentation:

  • Go to the door and stand a step away from it door
  • Curl your fingers tightly towards your palm and place your thumb on top of them, so that our knuckles are revealed
  • Raise your right hand, to shoulder level and extend the arm, a few centimetres from the door
  • Pause
  • Bring the fist forward in a quick, controlled gesture, making a knock
  • Pause
  • Repeat twice more
  • Retract the arm, place it by your side and release the fingers
  • Turn the head, so the ear is parallel to the door, while maintaining the distance of an arm from the door
  • Pause, waiting for a count of five (do not count out loud, mention this on subsequent presentations)
  • When the person on the other side of the door replies “Come in” open the handle as for ‘Opening a Door for another’ and slowly open the door
  • If no reply is heard after a count of five repeat once.

Points of Interest:

  • Distance between the fist and the door
  • An audible knock which is not more forceful than necessary
  • Waiting and listening for a reply, standing a little away from the door
  • Wait for a reply for a count of five
  • Ask the children to repeat

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination of Movement
  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

Two and a half years

Footnote:

For an inward opening door stand two steps away to the door before beginning and move back further.

Offering help to a friend

Material Description:

A primed older child, sitting on a mat, with a mat next to them

Presentation:

  • The primed child sits on a mat and looks down
  • Go to the child, sit on your haunches close to them, so they can hear but leaving a little distance so that their personal space is maintained
  • Look at them, even though they continue to look down and say in a quiet soothing voice, “May I help you?”
  • The primed child can either say, “Yes” or “No”
  • If they say “Yes” ask “What would you like me to do?”
  • If they say “No” go slowly back to your place
  • For a second demonstration if the child says “No” ask, “Would you like me to stay here with you?”
  • If they say “Yes” sit down comfortably on a mat next to them
  • If they say “No”, rise up and go back to your work
  • Remind the children that, “It is OK to ask people to do things and it is OK to say you don’t want to do things.  Both are OK, you choose”
  • Ask the children to repeat

Points of Interest:

  • Maintaining personal space
  • Looking without receiving eye contact
  • Speaking in a kind, quiet voice

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination of Movement
  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

From two and a half years, but the empathy to make useful suggestions about what might cheer up the child in need of help will probably develop later, so keep repeating this one.

Footnote:

This can be broken into two presentations, with the child offering help leaving if the child sitting replies with a “No” to their first offer of help.  The additional presentation is to sow that sometimes we can provide help by doing nothing, but kindly being with someone in need of help.

During circle time discuss things which make us sad and things which make us apply so that children are able to suggest things they can do in the Children’s House which others enjoy.

Giving comfort to a friend

Material Description:

A primed older child, sitting on a mat, with a mat next to them

Presentation:

  • The primed child sits on a mat and looks down
  • Go to the child, sit on your haunches close to them, so they can hear but leaving a little distance so that their personal space is maintained
  • Look at them, even though they continue to look down and say in a quiet soothing voice, “You look sad, are you?”
  • The primed child can either say, “Yes” or “No”
  • If they say “Yes” ask “Would you like to (suggest something you know the child enjoys e.g. have a snack with me, read a book together?”
  • If they say “No” go slowly back to your place
  • For a second demonstration if the child says, “Yes” say, “Would you like me to stay here with you?”
  • If they say “Yes” sit down comfortably on a mat next to them
  • If they say “No”, rise up and go back to your work
  • Remind the children that, “It is OK to ask people to do things and it is OK to say you don’t want to do things.  Both are OK, you choose”
  • Ask the children to repeat

Points of Interest:

  • Maintaining personal space
  • Looking without receiving eye contact
  • Speaking in a kind, quiet voice

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination of Movement
  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

From two and a half years, but the empathy to make useful suggestions about what might cheer up the child in need of comfort will probably develop later, so keep repeating this one.

Footnote:

This can be broken into two presentations, with the child offering help leaving if the child sitting replies with a “Yes” to their first offer of help.  The additional presentation is to sow that sometimes we can provide help by doing nothing, but kindly being with someone in need of help.

During circle time discuss things which make us sad and things which make us apply so that children are able to suggest things they can do in the Children’s House which others enjoy.

Offering a Chair to a Visitor

Material Description:

A comfortable chair, with luxurious cushions and a primed child or adult

Presentation:

  • Standing near to the visitor, make eye contact and introduce yourself
  • Say,”Come with me to a comfortable chair”
  • Walk slowly over to the chair and stand next to it
  • Point with an open hand to the chair and say, “Please sit down”
  • Wait for the visitor to sit
  • Ask the visitor “May I get you a drink of cold water or a cup of tea?”
  • Ask the children to repeat

Points of Interest:

  • Standing next to but not in front of the chair

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination of Movement
  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

Two and a half years

Footnote:

This presentation should be shown before “Offering a cup of tea” and after ‘Opening a Door to let someone in’.  Repeat this presentation before a special visitor comes to the Children’s House.  This presentation should follow introducing yourself and others.

Ordering food in a restaurant

Material Description:

A primed adult or child, who will be the waiter, standing nearby and yourself and one or two children receiving the demonstration sitting at a small dining table

Presentation:

  • Look at the waiter, using eye contact smile and with a clear speaking voice, not raised, say, “Excuse me, I would like to order”
  • The waiter of child comes to you and says, “What would you like to eat?”
  • Say,“I would like a cheese sandwich, thank you”
  • The waiter asks, “And what would you like to drink?
  • Say, “a glass of orange juice, thank you”
  • The waiter says, “OK” and moves to the next person at the table and repeats until everyone has ordered
  • Let the children repeat for as long as they like, changing roles when they know how it is done

Points of Interest:

  • Speaking clearly in a voice that can be heard at a little distance without shouting
  • Maintaining eye contact with the waiter while speaking

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination of Movement
  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

Two and a half years

Footnote:

Before doing this discuss what food and drinks you can eat in a restaurant and have the children think of somethings that they would like to order.  When the children are familiar with the exercise the waiter could pretend that their first choice is not available and think of another item.

Serving a Guest at a Dining Table

Material Description:

A primed adult or child, is the guest, yourself and one or two children receiving the demonstration sitting at a small dining table each with a small glass on a coaster and a jug of water or fruit juice and a drying cloth

Presentation:

  • Say with eye contact “I am going to pour a drink for our guest”
  • Carefully pull out your chair and stand
  • Go to one side of the guest and ask,”May I pour you a drink?”
  • The guest replies, with eye contact “Yes, Please”
  • Reach for the jugs handle and pick the jug, pour till the glass is three-quarters full, replace the jug on the table and wipe it
  • The guest says, with eye contact “Thank you”
  • Go to the next person and repeat
  • Pour your own drink last, sit down and enjoy it
  • Offer the guest more juice saying with eye contact “Would you like some more”
  • This time they say with eye contact “No thank you”
  • Ask the children to repeat

Points of Interest:

  • Language,”Yes, Please”, “Thank you” and “No, Thank you”
  • Serve the guest first and yourself last

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination of Movement
  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

Two and a half years

Footnote:

The children must know the elementary movements for pouring from a jug, use small glasses so that they can drink and repeat a few times. For extra complexity put ice-cubes in the jug.  Also practice this with food, using a ladle out soup or noodles into bowls.

Passing a platter of food and choosing one item

Material Description:

A primed adult or child, yourself and one or two children receiving the demonstration sitting at a small dining table each with a small plate on a mat and a bowl with pieces of dried fruit (apricot, banana, cherry, apple, raisins, sultanas, prunes without stones)

Presentation:

  • Ensure everyone has washed their hands
  • Say, “I am going to pass around these pieces of dried fruit for you to try if you who would like some”
  • Pick up the bowl with both hands and pass it to the primed adult or child
  • Say with eye contact, “Would you like a piece of dried fruit?”
  • The primed adult or child replies, with eye contact,“Yes, Please”
  • The primed adult or child takes one piece and places it on the plate
  • The primed adult or child says with eye contact “Thank you”
  • The primed adult or child takes the bowl gently from you with to hands and repeats the demonstration to the next child
  • Continue until the last child has offered you dried fruit and placed the bowl back at the centre of the table
  • Eat the dried fruit slowly and carefully together
  • Ask the children to repeat

Points of Interest:

  • Waiting to eat until everyone is served
  • Making a quick choice about which to eat and not returning food which you decide you don’t want onto the serving bowl
  • Language,”Yes, Please”, “Thank you” and “No, Thank you”
  • Serve yourself last

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination of Movement
  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

Two and a half years

Footnote:

At another time discuss all the people who help provide us with food, when the children understand the work of farmers, lorry drivers, shop assistants say, “Thank you to everyone who has helped grow this food and bring it to us” before eating.

Giving and receiving a gift

Material Description:

A small box, wrapped in bright paper with a bow, primed child or adult sitting on a mat, yourself and one or two other children sitting in a circle, on mats

Presentation:

  • Hold the gift in both hands, looks at the primed child or adult, smiles and say, with eye contact “This gift is for you”
  • The primed child or adult meets the eye contact, takes the gift with both hands, and smiling says, “Thank you”
  • Allow the children to repeat, gently passing the object saying, “Please” and “Thank You”

Points of Interest:

  • Passing the gift on and letting go as soon as the receiver is holding the box
  • Eye contact
  • Distance between people
  • Speaking clearly but not loudly

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination of Movement
  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

Two and a half years

Footnote:

Discuss going to parties and what gifts we like to receive

Answering the telephone and using the telephone to leave a message

Material Description:

A telephone that is easy for the children to grasp

Presentation:

  • To answer the phone-
  • Say, “The telephone is ringing”
  • Pick up the phone and say, “Hello, this is XXX, who am I speaking to?”
  • Pause
  • Allow the children to repeat
  • To leave a message-
  • Pick up the phone and pretend to dial a number
  • Pause
  • Say to the children, “No-one is answering the phone””
  • Say into the mouthpiece, “Hello, this is XXX, please could you call me back when you are ready?”
  • Hang up the phone
  • Allow the children to repeat

Points of Interest:

  • Speak clearly into the mouthpiece

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination of Movement
  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

Two and a half years,

Footnote:

  • At a different time discuss who we call on the telephone and different reasons to make phone calls.
  • When the children are able ask them to write down and use their home phone number to help them to remember it ask them to add information about why they are calling when they are able to imagine reasons.
  • Let children who have remembered their carers number practice making a phone call home
  • Continue to make similar presentations, giving the following rules for using phones
  • Don’t answer the phone if there are no adults in the house
  • Children should know their home phone number and address
  • In an emergency you dial 999, if someone is hurt or you are in danger
  • Never dial 999 unless someone is very badly hurt, the doctors are very busy looking after the people who really need them
  • Ask an adult before you use the phone
  • When children understand the importance of making emergency calls let them practice calling for an ambulance, police and fire-brigade, giving an address

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