I was sent the Manners Kit, which included everything below and has caused much giggling and conversation in our household.
When the package arrived on Friday, my seven year old couldn't wait to tear into it. As a business owner who almost lives at the post office, I was impressed with the packaging and how secure everything remained in the shipping process.
As it was getting close to bedtime, we laid everything out in anticipation of the fun we were going to have the next morning.
On Saturday morning, I was awoken by my bed shaking with a giddy 7 year old ready to play. We started our adventure by first doing the Activity Book and meeting Caleb, an adorable elephant who needs some help being reminded of his manners when he visits his monkey friend, Ella.
I loved the Helpful Hints at the start of the book on how to engage my child to use the product effectively.
My daughter passed on drawing inside the book with the crayons provided because she was too excited about getting to the other stuff in the box. However, we did read the story and do all the fill in the blacks. She was surprised to see that later on she can cut out parts of the book to use. She's never had permission to cut inside a real book before and one of the activities includes cutting out utensils, napkin and a class of juice and gluing them next to a dinner plate.
From the activity book, we moved on to the Create Thank You Cards goodie bag. Again, I was very impressed with the Nurturing Good Manners section at the front written for the grownups. This showcased ways we can communicate with our child on showing courtesy by being aware of our own actions.
We followed the instructions on how to make our stamp with the materials provide: a block of wood and foam shaped stickers.
Then I asked my daughter who she has been thankful for in her life as of late and she named her teacher, her Girl Scout leader and me. After she created her list, she picked a card and wrote a few words inside.
After the insides of the cards were dry, we flipped them over and stamped under and above the Thank You that came already written on the front. Actually she tried a few test runs first on an extra piece of white paper so she can see how hard she needed to push down. We both loved that the ink came in this multi-color green pack. This lead to a great conversation about patterns and how often we see them in our lives.
Here is her completed thank you card. It's already in the backpack on the way to school today.
Our next order of business was to dig into the Create Courtesy Bracelets goodie bag. I will have to warn you that when we first opened the bag, the beads went everywhere. Luckily my daughter has a sharp eye and found the ones that fell on the floor, but I reached for a small piece of felt to hold the rest.
The book again starts off with an adult page on how to use the bracelets as reminders of courteous behavior through everyday activities. Yet, as I was explaining this to my child, she immediately started looking for the letters to write her own name. I had to remind her that this bracelet can either be given as a gift, or can be used by her as a reminder to say the one word she might need help repeating during the day. She thought carefully about my words and came up with this
However, since she is a Princess in the truest form of the word, she wanted me to include a close up of her original design. She was worried people couldn't see that she had created another pattern by using every bead color provided.
By now, it was lunch and we took our last goodie bag, with the Manners Game inside, to share with the rest of the family after we ate.
If you look close at the kit in the first photo, you'll notice that it only includes 3 peg people, yet there are five people in our family. We fixed this little problem by adding our own peg people. We also used foam stickers provided to help distinguish the plain looking peg people.
Don't let the size of the miniature canvas board fool you. Even after half an hour of play, we still had not gotten to the half way point! Here was one fun highlight:
What is your favorite season? (from Table Talk)
7 year old: Fall!
12 year old: Salt!
We eventually brought the conversation back to manners when the next question lead to a discussion on appropriate questions to ask a new friend. We never did finish the game because the older girls had to rush off to robotics, but I'm sure we'll play it again.
The rest of the afternoon was spent with my seven year old, making another bracelet to gift and the thank you cards to hand out.
I would highly recommend this kit and encourage you to check out the Happy Heart Kit Kickstarter campaign. We really need to support more of these mom & mom ventures that encourage our children to be better contributors to humanity.