Monday, August 4, 2014

Family Mailboxes

Ah, the daily struggle of being respectful. We have been working very hard around here to maintain a respectful attitude. We discuss almost daily (children learn through repetition, right?) what being respectful looks like and sounds like. We practice and act out what it is to be respectful. Truth be told, it's a large blanket of a concept. Being respectful is using kind words, giving people their personal space, using the appropriate voice level, helping others, using good manners, and following the rules. And as parents, it's important for us to show respect as well. Our kids learn from us so it's easier to teach what we want them to learn if we are doing the same. Talking With Trees is a great website with books and learning resources that teach good character. It has a teachers tab with lesson plans and a parents tab with ideas for books, ebooks and activities all to help teach respect.

Now, to the point ;) I saw this idea for family mailboxes at Toddler Approved  and decided to use it in our home to help with recognizing respectful behavior.

What You Need:

  • 2 paper plates per mailbox
  • scissors
  • stapler
  • crayons, markers, stickers, paint
  • magnetic tape (or yarn and a hole punch to hang on a knob)
What To Do:
  1. Cut one paper plate in half 
  2. Decorate both plates
  3. Staple the half paper plate on to the whole paper plate to make a pocket.
  4. Put the magnetic tape strip on the back of the mailbox and hang on the fridge. Or if you are using the yarn, punch a hole at the top of the whole paper plate and string the yarn through and tying it. Then hang it on a cabinet knob. 
Now, this is how it works. Throughout the day, I make comments and give praise when I notice respectful behavior. And now, I also jot down a note and put it in their mailboxes! And they can do the same!! Then at the end of the day (usually at the dinner table) we check our mail. We read all of the notes about what everyone liked about our behavior throughout the day. They both love this time to reflect (especially Busy)!! I have found that this is a great way to reinforce all that we are learning and to reflect on the decisions we made during the day.

Look at that concentration face ;) 

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