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Lessons on Manners

Debbie Trafton O'Neal


A quick primer to develop little Miss and Mr. Manners of your kids
ages 2 and 3


Before class begins, cut one red construction paper heart for each child. Print each child's name inside a different heart.

When children arrive, greet each one with a warm smile and say: I'm glad you're here today!

Tape each love badge on the appropriate child. Say: This heart reminds us that God loves us!


Have the children sit on the floor. Read aloud Luke 19:5-6.

Say: Zacchaeus had good manners. Who knows what manners are?

After children answer, say: Manners are how we treat each other. When we help people or when we're kind, we have good manners. When we're happy for people to come to our home, we have good manners. Or when we share our Play-Doh with others, we have good manners. Zacchaeus had good manners because he was happy for Jesus to come to his home.

Say: Sometimes we call being nice to each other "using our manners." When we share God's love with other people we are kind and helpful.


Give each child a sheet of construction paper. Print the words, "My hands can help" at the top of each sheet. Help children paint their hands with acrylic paints and then press their hands on their papers to make a place mat. Or have the children lay their hands on the paper and trace around them. Write each child's name on his or her place mat. After place mats dry, cover each one with clear Con-Tact paper.


Have children wash and dry their hands, then sit around the table. Set out several plates of cheese cubes, crackers, fruit pieces or other finger foods. Say: We're going to share a snack and use our best manners. Using manners means saying "please" and "thank you" and it means passing snacks to other children. Let's use our manners.

After eating, have children play together with toys. Encourage children to share good manners by helping each other during playtime. Be an example by helping a child build a block tower or dress a doll.


Let all the children help with clean-up, reminding them that this is one way to use manners. Have children hold hands in a circle. Pray: Dear God, thank you for letting us use our manners to help others! Amen.

Give the children their place mats. Then say: Use your manners this week to show others that you love them.

Debbie Trafton O'Neal is a teacher in Washington. She has worked with children for 15 years.

Excerpted from Children's Ministry Magazine. Subscribe today!

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