CBT knows that clever moms are the mothers of invention, and Staci Ericson proves our point again with her playful Table Manners Cards! Staci set out to improve her own child’s table manners in a non-critical and supportive way and this card game is the result. Like all moms and dads know, kids love to play. Make it fun, and they get excited about anything—even learning manners!
The concept is simple; kids get thumbs up or thumbs down cards based on how they are acting at the table. We give a big thumbs up to this creative and effective tool that inspires kids to use good manners at the dinner table. It addresses the situation in the moment, which is especially important with very young kids, and with humor, too.
When you first play the game, you’ll want to have an adult be the card keeper—that’s the person who initially passes out the cards when they spot good or poor table manners. Part of the fun is for parents to not only demonstrate good behavior but to give their littles a chance to call them out on a bit of bad behavior too. Parents are encouraged to look a little disappointed when “caught.”
Once you get the ball rolling, you pass the role of card keeper to one of your kids. This fosters self-awareness and also empowers your youngster. The diner who ends up with the most thumbs up cards and the least thumbs down at the end of dinner is awarded a “Ready to Dine Out” card.
Good behavior for which a child is rewarded includes chewing with his or her mouth closed, and actions such as slouching get a thumbs down card. The deck also includes four blank thumbs up/down cards that you can customize to your family, addressing things like today’s big trend—texting.
Table Manners Cards are geared to kids ages four and up, with varying levels of expectations, which we really like. Game instructions, thumbs up and down cards, and blank cards all come in a convenient drawstring canvas bag.
We can see why Table Manners Cards won several awards including two Dr. Toy Awards and The Next Big Zing. It’s also been endorsed by the International Nanny Association. They provide an imaginative yet easy way to teach kids manners. Plus, it’s the only card game in town where everybody wins! Check out their video for a fun demo with Staci and her family. And guess what? Staci has a Manners CD with original songs like “Don’t Pick Your Nose” in the works. Can’t wait!