Make a Game of Manners
by Jennifer Petsche
Parents and teachers use games as a fun and interactive way to teach children things like math, spelling and sportsmanship, but what about manners and etiquette? Can that be taught in a game, in a fun way that children will enjoy? Yes! It’s a novel concept, but it works.
Learning manners is just as important as learning math, spelling, etc. Understanding manners and etiquette will make children more pleasant to be around. They will know how to avoid conflicts, which reduces fighting both at home and at school. A nicer, well-mannered person will have more friends and better relationships, and they will be better people all around.
In school, children who are respectful and polite will behave better and retain more of what is being taught, increasing their academic success. Children who behave badly in the classroom will not hear what the teacher is trying to teach, and they will not develop skills they need to succeed academically and socially.
Etiquette expert Aimee Symington recognized the importance of character education for children after becoming a mother herself. Up until that point, she had been teaching etiquette in the business world, but then realized that children need those skills, too. She is passionate about helping children learn the polite gestures that can help them go far.
Symington also realized that children need to be able to learn these skills in a fun and interesting way. Generally, manners and etiquette are not thought of as fun subjects. Parents and teachers teach by example or by rewarding good behavior, but if you turn the subjects into a fun and silly game, children learn in a more engaging way. That’s why Symington invented the board game Blunders®. Yes, it’s a fun and silly game, but it’s also a lesson in manners. Kids need not be afraid of doing or saying the right thing—in this game, they are simply helping the Blunder family become well-mannered.
The Blunders game proves that children can be taught character development through a board game, in a fun and non-intimidating way. The best way to learn something is by having fun with it, so let children have a little fun with manners! Make up your own fun game at home or in the classroom, or try out Aimee Symington’s.
Jennifer Petsche is the writer/editor for Patch Products, Inc.