Before the approaching holiday season goes from busy to even busier, it’s helpful for kids to practice some basic social skills. Even dinosaurs need to learn manners. Integrating Dinovember and the holiday season is easy to do with the book Suppose You Meet A Dinosaur, A First Book of Manners by Judy Sierra and Tim Bowers.
A local library may have this book for you to read to your child, but there are ways for dinosaurs to use these important words without the book. When your child is playing with dinosaurs, you can be the voices of two of them and interact. One dinosaur could ask something like, “Please pass me that little car. I would like to go for a ride.” The second dinosaur can mention, “I like how you said please. That’s a good way to ask.” The dinosaurs can have other interactions and model the behavior.
Stories and characters are effective tools for helping kids learn. You could also use a dinosaur puppet. In a fascinating and article, 10 Tips For Raising a Compassionate Infant-Toddler, published for families, Judy Luckenbill writes, ” Doll or puppet play can help your child explore feelings and perspectives.” Recent research is showing how capable even very young children are of compassion toward others. (How they express it may be unique and meaningful to them, but the intention is there.)
It’s far too easy to dismiss the impact of social skills. Feeling anxious can interfere with learning and feeling comfortable and confident is critical for interacting with others. The most sensitive time for young brains to learn social skills is during the preschool years. With lots of festivities happening soon, there will many opportunities for kids to practice interacting and social skills as learning to share, to take turns, to wait and to use polite words. .
As parents and caregivers, it’s helpful to have something as exciting as a dinosaur to encourage kids to use words like please, thank you, you’re welcome, excuse me, and I’m sorry. Saying thank you and being grateful is so important that we have a holiday to remind us!
Perhaps, if dinosaurs had known some early social skills, they would still be around instead of being extinct?