Table Manners

Imagine peaceful mealtimes. With a child? With everything you have to teach young children – like potty training, vocabulary, numbers, letters, and shapes – table manners can go by the wayside. Knowing proper table manners in an age appropriate way is important for making family meals enjoyable and making trips to the restaurant fun. From sitting at the table and being polite to using utensils and napkins, there is a lot to learn. Luckily, parents have help. The books on this list will help you teach good table manners to your children in a way they can understand and enjoy. Bon appetite!

Top 3 Picture Books for Teaching Table Manners

how do dinosaurs eat their food How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food: In this fun story, Jane Yolen uses kid-favorite dinosaurs to teach proper mealtime etiquette. Kids will love the first part of the book when the dinosaurs burp, spit, fidget, squirm, and of course, throw their food. When the author asks if this is the way dinosaurs should act, you’ll get a resounding no. The remainder of the story shows the dinosaurs being polite, sitting nicely, chewing well, saying please and thank you, and trying the different types of food on their plates. Your children will laugh their way to better manners in no time.
dinner with olivia Dinner with Olivia: Olivia is so excited to be invited to her friend Francine’s home for dinner – but it’s not what she expected! She delights in the more sophisticated manners of her hosts’ home, though she doesn’t always understand what’s expected of her. When the tables are turned and she invites Francine to her home for dinner, she worries what her friend will think of her family, who have much more casual table manners. This is a book that’s gloriously illustrated, heart-warmingly told, and hilariously scripted. Kids of all ages can learn about the importance of manners – and some parents will learn a thing or two as well!
mind your manners Mind Your Manners: “Gnaw not bones at the table.” Diane Goode uses nineteenth century rules of good manners in this hilarious “what not to do” children’s book. The elegant Abbotts have a dinner party and proceed to break every rule in the book. While the text covers rules like “come not to the table without having your hands and face washed, and your head combed,” the wonderfully funny illustrations show the Abbotts doing the exact opposite. Children will love seeing manners turned upside down. A great book for early elementary students who need a little reminder to mind their manners.

Other Great Books About Table Manners

you’ve got manners You’ve Got Manners: Louise Elerding provides a thorough guide of table manners for kids. For each letter of the alphabet, Elerding supplies three useful tips. Guided by Polly Politely and Milton Manners, children learn how to choose utensils, pass food, and other essentials. If you have ever wondered how to dispose of an olive pit, you’ll find your answer here, along with many other tips. In addition to specific rules, such as not eating directly from the serving dish, Elerding asks children to always consider others at the table.
good table manners for little monkeys Good Table Manners for Little Monkeys: There’s always a bit of monkey business when children are at the table, but this entertaining children’s book will have your little monkeys saying grace, eating politely, and clearing their own dishes in no time. Five adorable monkeys teach kids how to be good diners by showing them the correct – and sometimes, the incorrect – way to wash their hands, use their napkins, or chew with their mouths closed. Having both right and wrong manners illustrated helps children remember and use them at mealtimes. Your child will love the fun story, and you’ll love the improved manners.
manners at the table Manners at the Table: Good table manners make mealtimes nice for everyone. The Way to Be Manners series teaches children how to act courteously in a variety of situations, such as on the playground, at school, and of course, at the table. Each page shows an example of good manners, such as “Lucy washes her hands with soap before she comes to the table. She is using good manners.” The illustrations reinforce the lessons, helping children remember them at the next mealtime. Carrie Finn and illustrator Chris Lensch present tips in a clear, straightforward way that is easy for children to understand.
a smart girl’s guide to manners A Smart Girl’s Guide to Manners: This fun manual gives us the scoop on table manners for kids today. While basic rules still apply, today’s kids need to know proper etiquette regarding cell phones at the table, how to be good hosts, how to treat guests, and how to write – not text! – a thank you note. The witty, clear text and fun anime-style pictures make this guide relevant for today’s tweens. Quizzes are sprinkled throughout the chapters so readers can check their knowledge as they progress. Good manners reflect respect for yourself; older children will benefit from this updated guide.

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