Teach your kids how to graciously receive a gift with this fun game. I read about it last year in a Family Fun magazine. It quickly became a favorite at our house and the kids ask to play it all year around. To keep it from losing it's effectiveness, though, I only agree to play in December. (and sometimes near birthdays if a refresher is needed)
Each person playing needs an empty gift bag.
1. Assign each player the name of another person playing.
2. Each person then walks around the house looking for a great "gift" to give the person they've been assigned. It can be anything. Something that's already theirs. Something silly. Something ordinary. It just has to fit in the bag.
3. Everyone comes back together with their gift bags held shut.
4. Choose someone to go first. That person then gives their gift.
And this is where the teaching begins. Every receiver of a gift must say "Thank you" and then say one nice thing about the gift they've been given. For example, "Thank you! I love the color of this cucumber!" or "Thank you! I've always wanted a pair of size 4T Cars underwear." Sometimes it's really challenging to come up with something to say. Sometimes you'll fall over laughing at what your kids come up with. Once we get started, it's hard to stop. The kids just want to keep playing round after round. Usually we laugh so hard we're exhausted by the end.
Last year Daniel was 3 1/2 for Christmas. We played The Present Game several times during the month of December. I think for every single gift he opened over the entire holiday, he said, "Thank you. I like the color." - even when that didn't make any sense. It was great!
If you're looking for more ways to teach your kids manners, check out what Ginger did with her family. I liked her idea so much we're going to start in January.