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decluttered and organized living space in the kitchen and dining room

New Year…Decluttered Year!

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January 2019 – Prestige Preschool Academy

Happy New Year! Let’s be honest, we all have that one junk drawer in our home that absolutely drives us crazy! Or that one closet that has become the catch-all for wrapping paper and clothes that need to be donated to charity. I can say I have both of those areas that catch my attention every day, but I seem overwhelmed by how to begin to declutter that I ignore the messy elephant in the room. So, with the New Year upon us it is finally time to have a Decluttered Year!

Let’s get rid of the clutter and have a less frazzled atmosphere to enjoy the calm. In my quest to have an organized and clutter-free home, I looked to the internet for tips and tricks. Seems as though there are a lot of others out there who are in the same boat as I am who are looking for help with this situation because there are a ton of articles and videos about ways to declutter. I picked out the top 5 tips that spoke to my messiness and bad habits, and thought I’d share with you here.

  • Drop-Off Spot

-Find a spot in each room that has the traffic pattern where items are dropped off when entering the room. By having a basket or tray readily available to catch those pesky little items, they will be less likely to be tossed in other places in that room. Spend 5 minutes at the end of your day to put those items in their proper place.

  • Clear Countertops

-Only allow items that are necessary to be displayed on the counter. All kitchen appliances don’t need to be on the counter. Put those in a cupboard or pantry and bring them out as needed.

-Place a paper tray on the counter at the area where you tend to pile papers. By doing so, you will have a tray full of papers that you can then take to your place of filing.

  • Donate to Charity

-Keep a basket labeled with DONATE in your laundry room. When you come across items that your kiddo has outgrown or no longer needs, place it in the basket. If the laundry room is close to your garage, then you’re more than halfway there to placing the basket in your car.

  • Clothes & Closet

-Dedicate a day to pull out everything from your clothes drawer and closet. This is the perfect opportunity to look through items you no longer use or want. Place those items in the charity basket located in your laundry room. Once you have looked through your items, now it’s time to put them back, but this time fold and place them in a way that you can visually see what it is.

-Pre-purchase bins or baskets to help with small or loose items that can contain possible re-clutter (that is a word, isn’t it?).

  • Children’s Room and Toys

-Oh boy, this is a big one! Start with decluttering their room and / or playroom first. Be sure to have that charity basket nearby because I can guarantee that it will get filled with toys that they’ve out-grown or they no longer play with. Dare I say, let’s rid our house of all those toys that come in kids’ meals?!?

-Once you’ve decluttered and used that handy-dandy charity basket, now put back items that are necessary. Have a clear purpose and perspective of what you want and need the room to look like. Keep every day items out on a shelf or in a basket, all other items should be in a closet or drawer.

-Teach your kiddo how to keep their area clean and decluttered. Use a chore chart if needed.

So, this doesn’t seem too hard to do. Right? Well, I am on my way to using these top 5 tips to help with my decluttering for the New Year. How about you?

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Prestige Preschool academy teacher with 2 students slicing zucchini

6 Ways Cooking With Kids Can Boost Literacy Skills

By Apple Valley School News, Arcola School News, Arvada School News, Aurora School News, Brooklyn Park School News, Carlsbad School News, Chino Hills School News, Claremont School News, Cooking & Nutrition, Eastvale School News, Eden Prairie News, Elk Grove School News, Fontana School News, Irvine Oak Creek School News, Lake Ridge School News, Maple Grove School News, Meridian School News, Minnetonka School News, Natomas School News, News & Blog, Northfield School News, Reunion School News, Roseville School News, Woodbridge Caton Hill School News

My children love to help in the kitchen. And while it’s not something I have the time (or patience!) for every day, I recognize the learning value of cooking together. From toddlers to teenagers, cooking offers a practical, hands-on way for kids to:

  • Practice an important life skill.
  • Develop mathematical understanding (measuring ingredients, setting oven temperature, etc.).
  • Further their scientific knowledge (observing change).
  • Apply their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.

Encouraging literacy skill development as you cook together is easy when you allow it to flow naturally from what you’re doing. So, rustle up your favorite kid-friendly recipes (our Kids Cooking activity book has 30 great suggestions!) and give these simple ideas a try.

1. Make a shopping list together

Before you begin, name the items you’ll need with your child. Independent writers can jot down a list for you and you can entice pre-readers with a paper and a pen, just like the ones you are using. Sit beside your little one as you write your shopping list, saying aloud what you are writing as you add each item to the list. Your child will be sure to imitate you and will learn an important purpose of writing in the process. Younger kids also enjoy ticking off the items from the list once you’re at the store.

2. Read the recipe together

Recipes provide a wonderful introduction to instructional texts. Older children can read the ingredient list, gather the necessary ingredients, and read the recipe instructions aloud, step-by-step, as you go. Keep it simple for little ones. For example, “A recipe tells us what we need to make our cupcakes, and how to make them. It says we need flour, here’s the flour…” 

3. Taste ingredients

Sometimes when cooking together, I’ll ask my daughters if they’re brave enough for a blind taste test. To play, simply ask your child to cover her eyes and open her mouth. Then, offer a small taste of one of the ingredients you’re cooking with and invite her to guess which it is. It’s a great way to get your kids talking about different categories of foods (spices, fruit, dairy product, etc.), as well as textures (smooth, lumpy, crunchy, etc.) and flavors (sweet, spicy, sour, salty, etc.) and it provides a physical connection between the senses and the descriptive words used. 

4. Grow vocabulary

There are so many interesting words to learn when cooking! Names of ingredients — cinnamon or saffron — as well as processes, such as whisking and dicing, measurements and temperatures. Hearing and seeing these words used within a real-life application, equips your child to better understand and remember the words and their meanings.

5. Encourage younger children to notice environmental print

Environmental print is all around us. It’s the name given to print that appears on signs, labels and logos. Encouraging preschoolers and beginning readers to notice environmental print helps them to learn that reading involves not just letters and sounds but pictures and context too. Asking your three-year-old to find the cornflakes from among the cereal boxes in your pantry, or your six-year-old to find the all-purpose flour that sits next to the self-raising flour on the shelf, is inviting them to take notice of environmental print.

6. Read a story

While the jelly sets or your cake bakes, why not sit together and enjoy a story related to food or the dish you are cooking? 

MORE: Bake Giant Pretzel ‘Bones’ Inspired by Clifford the Big Red Dog

Inviting your child to spend time cooking with you is a delicious way to encourage literacy learning through all of the sounds, sights, and tastes in the kitchen. Hopefully, the end-product of your cooking time will be delicious too!

Please visit our website to learn more about our Culinary Artist Academy

Article by Christie Burnett found on Scholastic Parents

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habits of healthy kids

5 Habits of Healthy Kids

By Apple Valley School News, Aurora School News, Brooklyn Park School News, Carlsbad School News, Child Development, Chino Hills School News, Claremont School News, Cooking & Nutrition, Eastvale School News, Elk Grove School News, Family Fun, Health & Wellness, Irvine Oak Creek School News, Natomas School News, News & Blog, Parenting Tips, Roseville School News, Search by Age
February 17, 2016 – Prestige Preschool Academy – 5 Habits of Healthy Kids

5 Habits of Healthy Kids

Here are 5 habits of healthy kids that you will want to put into place in your family to avoid illness this year.  They are simple and make sense, but children need to practice them to make them a habit!  You may find that your child is the healthiest one in the neighborhood.

Keep hands clean

The healthy way to wash hands is to scrub for 15-20 seconds.  Teach your child to sing “Happy Birthday” to themselves—twice—before rinsing.  Remind them to “scrub” up after preschool or play dates and before they eat.

Be active every day

Studies have shown that regular exercise can reduce the number of cold and flu episodes during a year.  “Exercise is better than any advertised cure or miracle,” according to Harley A. Rothbart, M.D., Parents magazine advisor and author of Germ Proof Your Kids: the Complete Guide to Protecting (Without Overprotecting) Your Family from Infections (ASM Press, 2007).

Get plenty of ZZZs

The healthy habit of getting enough sleep is very important for children.  Dr. Rothbart says that sleep deprivation nearly doubles the risk of getting a cold or flu.  Most preschoolers need 11-13 hours of sleep per day and babies need about 14 hours per day.

Avoid touching your face

The reality is that viruses enter the body through the nose, eyes, and mouth.  Help your child keep their hands away from their face.  Also, teach them not to share a straw, cup or toothbrush!

Consume a balanced and healthy diet

Healthy eating means healthy kids.  Make sure the meal has plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables that will help boost your child’s immune system.  Some of those immune building foods are broccoli, strawberries and oranges along with tuna, milk and cereals.  Yogurt with probiotics helps to build defenses.  YUM.

Make Foods More Nutritious for Kids

 

From an article by Michelle Crouch, Parents Magazine

 

 

 

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new preschool centers

Little Things Mean a Lot to Kids

By Apple Valley School News, Aurora School News, Brooklyn Park School News, Carlsbad School News, Child Development, Chino Hills School News, Claremont School News, Cooking & Nutrition, Eastvale School News, Elk Grove School News, Family Fun, Health & Wellness, Irvine Oak Creek School News, Natomas School News, News & Blog, Parenting Tips, Roseville School News, Search by Age
February 12, 2016 – Prestige Preschool Academy – Little Things Mean a Lot to Kids

 

Little things really do mean a lot to kids and will have a huge impact on their lives.  These little things may seem silly or trivial to adults, but they will make your child smile!  Here is a list to get you started:

  1. Cook heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast.
  2. Wear that macaroni necklace to work. Well, at least until you’re at work.
  3. Tape your family slogan (Unstoppable! We can, we will! We’ve got this!) to your refrigerator door and invoke it whenever your child feels discouraged.
  4. Go for a walk with just one child.
  5. Slip a note (and an occasional small treat) into her lunch box.
  6. Say “yes” to something usually off-limits, like sitting on the counter.
  7. Go ahead: Let your 4-year-old stomp in every puddle along the way. Even without rain boots.
  8. Get out the glitter glue and make a birthday card for your child.
  9. Take in a pet that needs a home—and a child’s love.
  10. Cultivate your own traditions: Taco Tuesdays, Sunday-afternoon bike ride, apple picking every fall.
  11. Ask your child to teach you how to do something for a change. And once you get the hang of it, be sure to tell him what a good teacher he is.
  12. Let your child wear her dress-up clothes to the supermarket. All month if she wants to.
  13. Let your child overhear you saying something wonderful about her.
  14. Make a secret family handshake.
  15. Hang a whiteboard in her room to leave messages for each other.
  16. Start a pillow fight.
  17. Share your old diaries, photos, and letters from when you were her age.
  18. Thank your child when he does a chore on his own—even if it’s just hanging up a wet towel without prompting or refilling the empty water pitcher.

 

from an article by Margery D. Rosen – Parents Magazine 30 Little Things That Mean a Lot to Kids

image – DeltaDental.com

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Best Creative Art Activities for Preschoolers

By Apple Valley School News, Aurora School News, Brooklyn Park School News, Carlsbad School News, Child Development, Chino Hills School News, Claremont School News, Cooking & Nutrition, Eastvale School News, Elk Grove School News, Health & Wellness, Irvine Oak Creek School News, Natomas School News, News & Blog, Parenting Tips, Roseville School News, Search by Age
February 10, 2016 – Prestige Preschool Academy – The Best Creative Art Activities for Preschoolers

Best Creative Art Activities for Preschools

Preschoolers and process-focused art experiences are a match made in creativity heaven!  The best creative art activities for preschoolers are those that are process-focused.  What are process-focused art experiences?  Here are the characteristics of preschool process-focused art experiences as explained by Dr. Laurel Bongiorno, Champlain College.

Characteristics of Preschool Process-focused Art Experiences

  • There are no step-by-step instructions
  • There is no sample for children to follow
  • There is no right or wrong way to explore and create
  • The art is focused on the experience and on exploration
  • The art is unique and original
  • The experience is relaxing or calming

In her article in Teaching Young Children, Dr. Bongiorno continues with a list of easy art activities and tips that offer open-ended, creative art experiences for preschoolers.  Open-ended art experiences will offer hours of fun for you and your preschool child.  As she says, “Remember that it’s the children’s art, not yours.”

Open-ended, creative preschool art experiences

  • Easel painting with a variety of paints and paintbrushes (with no directions)
  • Watercolor painting
  • Exploring and creating with clay or homemade dough
  • Finger painting
  • Printing, painting and stamping (stamps purchased or made with sponges)
  • Collages using tissue paper, glue sticks, scissors, and recycled materials

What do preschoolers learn through process-focused art?

  • Preschoolers relax, focus, feel successful, and can express their feelings
  • Preschoolers compare, predict, plan, and problem solve
  • Preschoolers use small motor skills to paint, write, glue, use clay, and make collages

Art does teach preschoolers more than just the names of colors.  Your preschool child’s social, cognitive, and physical skills will grow along with their creativity!  These are life skills that will support a happy, healthy, creative child.

 

From Teaching Young Children, a NAEYC Publication    By LAUREL BONGIORNO

Process-focused Art Experiences

 

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teach baby sign language

Why Teach Baby Sign Language?

By Apple Valley School News, Aurora School News, Brooklyn Park School News, Carlsbad School News, Child Development, Chino Hills School News, Claremont School News, Cooking & Nutrition, Eastvale School News, Elk Grove School News, Health & Wellness, Irvine Oak Creek School News, Natomas School News, News & Blog, Parenting Tips, Roseville School News, Safety, Schools
February 5, 2016 – Prestige Preschool Academy – Baby Signing Time

Why Teach your Baby Sign Language?

When children’s hands are moving, their minds are learning.

Why teach baby sign language? Children are able to understand language as early as 6 months, but the ability to speak requires complex fine motor skills that don’t develop until much later. The result is a frustration and tantrums.

On the other hands, the motor skills required to use sign language develop much sooner than spoken language.  Children who learn baby sign language can start using signs as early as 6 to 9 months! The result is a baby who can express her wants and needs.

For babies, sign language is a visual language. Many basic signs resemble what they mean. For example, to sign ball, you show the shape of a ball with your hands. See some examples on our Baby Sign Language Dictionary. This makes sign language fun and easy for kids.

Teaching your baby sign language can unlock the world around them and give their minds a head start.

  • Open a window to your child’s heart & mind
  • Reduce tantrums & increase bonding
  • Build vocabulary & instill confidence
  • Cognitive benefits of being bilingual

Prestige Preschool Academy parents love Baby Signing Time !  For more information about this program see the Baby Signing Time website here.

Baby Signing Time   Here is a video!  Baby Signing Video

 

Image – sheknows.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Good Foods for Healthy Teeth

By Apple Valley School News, Aurora School News, Brooklyn Park School News, Carlsbad School News, Child Development, Chino Hills School News, Claremont School News, Cooking & Nutrition, Eastvale School News, Elk Grove School News, Health & Wellness, Irvine Oak Creek School News, Natomas School News, News & Blog, Parenting Tips, Roseville School News, Safety, Schools
February 3, 2016 – Prestige Preschool Academy

Good Foods for Kids’ Teeth

Candy for kids is not on the “good” list, but here are some foods that are actually good for your child’s teeth!  Since February is Children’s Dental Health month, here is a list of some dental hygiene heroes.  Your child will benefit and the dentist will be impressed.

Oranges, kiwis, strawberries, limes, and peppers

Fruits high in Vitamin C in fruits such as oranges, limes, kiwis, cantaloupe, papaya, and strawberries help kill bacteria in the mouth and promotes a healthy supply of collagen in the gums that encourage healthy teeth. Other good vegetable sources: red, yellow, and orange peppers; tomatoes; and sweet potatoes.  After eating, wait for about 30 minutes before brushing.

Milk, yogurt, and cheese

Sugar feeds other types of bacteria in your child’s mouth that produce cavity-causing acid. When your child drinks milk or eats yogurt or cheese — which are rich in calcium, vitamin D, and phosphate — it raises the pH level in his mouth, lowers acid levels, and reduces the risk of tooth decay, says Ray J. Jurado, DDS, director of pediatric dentistry at Children’s Memorial Hospital, in Chicago.

Raw carrots, celery, cauliflower, green beans, and snap peas

Crisp veggies are “chewing foods” that mechanically clean your child’s teeth and gums. “These foods naturally scrape away plaque that builds up between meals or that kids miss when brushing,” says family dentist Jimmy Wu, DDS, of San Diego. Encourage your child to eat slowly and to completely chew each crunchy mouthful.

Sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds, and nuts

Nuts and seeds contain natural fats that coat teeth and help shield against bacteria, says Dr. Wu. The oils in the seeds help strengthen enamel, making teeth more resistant to cavities, and most seeds also contain calcium. Kids older than 4 can eat trail mix as a healthy snack.

The Dentist “No No” List

If your kid eats these, be sure he brushes well afterward.

  • Gummy candy (even vitamins)
  • Caramel
  • Taffy
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Fruit drinks with high-fructose corn syrup
  • Bubble gum (with sugar)
  • Raisins
  • Potato chips
  • Hard candy
  • Honey

Original article by Gina Roberts -Grey, Parents Magazine, found hereSmile Savers

 

 

 

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6 Helpful Tips If Your Child Has the Flu

By Apple Valley School News, Aurora School News, Brooklyn Park School News, Carlsbad School News, Child Development, Chino Hills School News, Claremont School News, Cooking & Nutrition, Eastvale School News, Elk Grove School News, Health & Wellness, Irvine Oak Creek School News, Natomas School News, News & Blog, Parenting Tips, Roseville School News, Safety, Schools
January 29, 2016

Helpful Tips If Your Child Has the Flu

Here are 6 helpful tips if your child has the flu.  Children younger than 5 years old are among those who are at a high risk for serious complications when the flu hits.  If symptoms are reported within the first 2 days of the illness, your doctor might prescribe an antiviral medicine, but that only shortens the course of infection by about 2 days.  What can you do to help ease the symptoms?

  1. Offer plenty of fluids (fever, which is common with the flu, can lead to dehydration). If your child is tired of drinking plain water, try ice pops, icy drinks mixed in a blender, and soft fruits (like melons or grapes).
  2. Encourage your child to rest in bed or on the couch with a supply of magazines, books, quiet music, and perhaps a favorite movie.
  3. Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for aches and pains as directed by your doctor (but do not give aspirin unless your doctor directs you to do so, as it has been linked to a rare but serious illness called Reye syndrome).
  4. Dress your child in layers so you can add and remove layers during bouts of chills or fever.
  5. Ask a close relative or faraway friend to call and help lift your child’s spirits.
  6. Take care of yourself and the other people in your family!  Check with your physician about a flu vaccine. Also, wash your hands well and often, especially after picking up used tissues.

 

Read more at KidsHealth.org  Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD

 

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family history

Family History is Good for Kids

By Apple Valley School News, Aurora School News, Brooklyn Park School News, Carlsbad School News, Child Development, Chino Hills School News, Claremont School News, Eastvale School News, Elk Grove School News, Family Fun, Health & Wellness, Irvine Oak Creek School News, Natomas School News, News & Blog, Parenting Tips, Roseville School News, Schools
Written by Prestige Preschool Academy on October 5, 2015

Family History is Good for Kids

 

October is Family History Month!  This is the perfect time to help your child understand his family history.  Research out of Emory University has found that kids who know more about their family history can turn out to be more emotionally resilient than children who don’t. Feeling like they are part of something larger than themselves—a family—gives them a greater sense of their “intergenerational self.” And that’s a good thing.

But how do you get kids to put down the phone or tablet long enough to introduce them to their past? We’re glad you asked. We’re celebrating Family History Month with a heap of great ideas for getting the next generation into their ancestors.

  • Family History Bingo
    • Create a family bingo card with five columns and five rows and simply add family photos and play!
  • Where in the World?
    • Get a wall map and show children where their ancestors lived and migration paths.  This is a great way to learn about the world.
  • Family History Road Trip!
    • Take the family on road trips to places that are significant to your family.  Creating new family memories is part of the itinerary.
  • Family History Journalist
    • Have a budding journalist?  Have them capture family interviews by video, audio or photos.
  • Family Cookbook
    • During family gatherings collect recipes and involve your family in creating a fun family cookbook.
  • Create a Family Tree
    • It’s important for children to understand family relationships.  Help them complete their own family tree.

Be sure to share your memories of family members and tell stories about your childhood too.  Let your children know about the struggles your family had as you were growing up.  They will be better equipped to cope in better and difficult times.

 

Learn more here: Family History Activities

For help searching for your family history, check out these helpful sites:   Family Search  Write a Family History

 

Photo DA Blodgett from Grand Rapids History.org

 

 

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story time

Story Time Boosts Your Child’s Brain Power

By Apple Valley School News, Aurora School News, Books & Literacy, Brooklyn Park School News, Carlsbad School News, Child Development, Chino Hills School News, Claremont School News, Classroom Learning, Eastvale School News, Elk Grove School News, Family Fun, Irvine Oak Creek School News, Natomas School News, News & Blog, Parenting Tips, Roseville School News, Schools
Written by Prestige Preschool Academy on October 5, 2015

Boost your child’s brain power.

 

Grab The Very Hungry Caterpillar and cozy up with your kid—new research suggests story time might boost your child’s brain power.

A recent study  found that reading to children positively effects the areas of the brain that support reading skills. The results showed that children who are read to more often had increased activity in the areas of the brain which lay the foundation for learning, imagination and reading.

Behavioral evidence has shown that children who are read to, especially before school entry, experience stronger parent-child relationships and learn valuable language and literacy skills.

“We hope that this work will guide further research on shared reading and the developing brain to help improve interventions and identify children at risk for difficulties as early as possible, increasing the chances that they will be successful in the wonderful world of books,” Hutton said.

Story time is more than just quiet time before bed.  Story time helps develop your child’s brain and prepares him for school.  Read to your child each day.  It’s a win-win situation for you and your child!

Need some story time  inspiration to get started?  Check out this list of 40 classic children’s books even adults love.

 

See more at: Story Time and Brain Development

Read the full article here: Science Backed Reason for Reading to Your Child – by Grace Elkus

Image credit: Enquire

 

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girl wearing pink shirt and pigtails smiling with flowers behind her

Manners Every Child Should Know

By Apple Valley School News, Aurora School News, Brooklyn Park School News, Carlsbad School News, Child Development, Chino Hills School News, Claremont School News, Eastvale School News, Elk Grove School News, Family Fun, Health & Wellness, Irvine Oak Creek School News, Manners, Natomas School News, News & Blog, Parenting Tips, Roseville School News, Schools
Written by Prestige Preschool Academy on October 1, 2015

Manners: 12 Basic Manners Every Child Should Know

Do you want to raise a polite, kind, well-like child?   Here are 12 manners every child should know. Focus on these basics of etiquette and you will be amazed about how often your child will be noticed—for the right reasons!

These simple manners may seem like common sense to you, but children need to learn how to be polite.  Take the time to reinforce these basics while your child is young.  You will thank us later.

    1. Please  – When asking for anything, always say “please.”
    2. Thank You  – When receiving something always say, “thank you.”
    3. Do Not Interrupt  – Do not interrupt grown-ups when they are speaking with each other unless there is an emergency.
    4. Excuse Me  – If you need to get somebody’s attention right away, the phrase “excuse me” is the most polite way for you to enter the conversation.
    5. Ask Permission  – When you have doubt about doing something, ask permission first.  It can save you many hours of grief later.
    6. Compliment Don’t Criticize  – Do not comment on other people’s physical characteristics unless, of course, it’s to compliment them, which is always welcome.
    7. Excuse Me…again!  – If you bump into somebody, immediately say “Excuse me.
    8. No Mean Names  – Don’t call people mean names and do not make fun of anyone for any reason.
    9. Cover Your Mouth  – Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don’t pick your nose in public!
    10. Use a Napkin  – Keep a napkin on your lap; use it to wipe your mouth when necessary.
    11. Don’t Reach  – Don’t reach for items at the table; ask to have them passed to you.
    12. Introduce Yourself  – When you make a phone call, introduce yourself and ask if you can speak with the person you are calling.

“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.

Manners for 3, 4, and 5 Year Olds©, developed by The American School of Protocol®, is now a part of the curriculum at Prestige Preschool Academy.

Read more about Manners:

Manners Matter – Parents magazine     Manners Every Kid Should Know – Parents magazine

 

 

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