It’s so important for kids to make friends and learn how to be a guest. Here are 10 rules for visiting friends’ homes.
Recently a neighbor child stopped by to play. My kids were excited to have a guest, and it was fun for them to play.
Within a few minutes of arriving, the boy told me he was hungry. Dinnertime was approaching and I wasn’t going to feed my kids that close to dinner so that’s what I said. (*Please note: I know this child is well fed at home. If he wasn’t, I would’ve reacted differently)
He started wandering through the house and opening closets and such. I politely asked him to not open things without asking- that’s what I expect my kids to do at their friends’ houses. He stomped off to another area and did the same thing.
About this point, I told him I wasn’t trying to be mean, but at our house, I expect guests to follow our rules. I let him know he’s welcome to visit, and shared with him what I expect.
I honestly wasn’t sure how he would react but he looked surprised and said, “you’re the meanest mom in the neighborhood.”
It probably didn’t help that I started laughing.
So, maybe I’m mean but my kids are expected to use their manners at their friends’ homes.
Rules for visiting friends’ homes
Remember to say please and thank you.
Take off your shoes. Not every family does this, but it’s better show respect.
Looking in rooms without permission. If you aren’t invited, don’t go there.
Looking in the fridge, cupboards, closets, or drawers.
Don’t ask for or help yourself to food. Have a snack before heading to a friends’ house. If they offer a snack, it’s fine to accept. It’s not fine to walk in the door and start nagging everyone for food. (This doesn’t mean I never give kids food…)
Putting feet on or jumping on furniture. It isn’t allowed at home, so it seems like it would go without saying, but make sure they know it’s not okay at other homes either.
Bringing along a pet without prior permission.
No rough-housing inside.
Remember certain toys may be off limits. Some are special or really expensive so plan to leave those alone.
Be kind to friends’ siblings. They like to play too! Include them and treat them as well as you’d like to be treated.
What do you teach your kids for visiting friends? Please share!
School picture day can be a great way to create memories. Use these tips to help the day go smoothly. We all want fabulous pictures!
Picture Day Clothes
Pick a color that looks great on your child.
Stay away from busy patterns or logos.
Avoid words/phrases. They can look cluttered and some of the words or letters could be cut off and look awkward. Even if you’re doing a full length photo, keep in mind the mini pictures on the class photo will be cropped.
Be sure clothes are clean and iron if needed. Even small wrinkles are accentuated in photos.
For small kids, consider sending an extra shirt in their backpack- just in case.
Dress weather appropriate. You might love their new sweater but if it’s 90 degrees out, you could end up with a red face and an overheated look in the picture. Not to mention wet, sticky hair. Check the weather forecast to be prepared.
Choose clothes that your child will be comfortable in. If they’re itchy, self-conscious, or distracted by their clothes, it will probably show in their portrait.
More things to consider
Jewelry is fun but be careful not to go too big- you want the focus to be on your child’s face. Same goes for watches, scarves, and other accessories.
Choose a flattering hairdo that’s on the sturdy side. If there’s a little wind or pictures are after recess, what will still survive?
Hopefully pictures will be taken early in the day, but you never know. Avoid packing lunches with foods that could be really messy or stick in their teeth. No grape juice, broccoli, oranges, celery, chocolate, pudding, or foods that are easily spilled.
Styles come and go but avoid extremes you might regret by the time their pictures arrive.
Good sleep the night before and breakfast in the morning will help avoid cranky and grumpy pictures.
Relax! Don’t put too much pressure by giving your kids 20 things to remember. If your kids have fun during their picture, it will show through and give a better boost to the end result. You might remind them of a happy time to think of during their session. Yes, I said 12 then added an extra tip!
What has helped you on school picture day? Please share!
I’m really excited to be teaming up with Science Tots to share our experience with their February Activity: Anato-Me Wall Art. Science Tots is a nonprofit organization with a mission to connect families and educators with the instruction, tools, and resources to power early S.T.E.A.M. learning.
This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you click through and actually purchase something, I’d receive a small commission to help keep the lights on at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!
When I first read about this activity, I was excited because I knew my kids would love it! This is such a great project for a variety of ages. I think toddlers on up could find things to enjoy.
I didn’t have a paper roll on hand, so I used some poster board. My kids are taller than the poster board I had so we taped them together (the poster board, not the kids). My son was pretty excited that his person ended up being able to sit up.
This project was a little tricky for one of my kids to get started on for a reason I didn’t even think about: someone at our house is amazingly ticklish! It was pretty funny and I realized (after cutting, of course) that I should’ve evened a few places out a bit. Oh well, my kids didn’t care!
We started with my daughter’s “twin sister,” as she’s been calling her. I explained the project to her, spread out tons of supplies, and she started thinking about where she wanted to start. She decided on the brain, because it’s super important. She wanted to be sure her brain was squishy and pink so she chose some pink tulle and bunched it up. We got that glued on and talked about what the brain does for us and she decided to add some music notes, “because I love listening to music in my brain.”
From there we moved on to bones. My son is the oldest and helped come up with the idea of straws for bones- hollow so the marrow can be inside. They tracked those down and realized they needed something for knees. They decided pretzels have close to the right outline, so that worked out great.
Next we added a heart. My kids discussed what they could use and what might be appropriate. They decided they need something really strong and my daughter shouted, “fingernail polish!” Okay… I thought it was a little random, but she further explained how it’s really strong for our nails and the nails support our fingers, etc. She actually put a bit of thought into it so we went with a fingernail polish heart.
My son pointed out to his little sister that muscles all over our body are strong too so they added muscles to her arms with the polish while they were at it.
We stopped and talked about all the different organs inside our bodies and thought about where to go next. My daughter didn’t want most things on her twin, but she definitely wanted to add a stomach. Priorities, you know! So, we got a sandwich bag, added tape across the top of one side, and stuck it on the belly. This led to an awesome discussion!
My kids wanted to add food to her stomach, because Twin was hungry. My daughter said she wanted cookies and I asked what else she might eat. She was really stuck on the idea of cookies, but we talked about what happens to that food after it gets eaten. What helps the muscles be strong, and where does the brain get its energy, and what keeps the bones healthy? Do cookies do that?
We proceeded to talk about all the heathy things we can eat that help our bodies grow and be strong. We ended up giving Twin some Cheerios and fruit snacks. (we didn’t get into how unhealthy fruit snacks are- we just focused on the “fruit” part)
Healthy eating is something we’ve talked about a lot, but somehow having the discussion about Twin was different- my daughter wants to keep Twin healthy! It was awesome to bring in a different point of view and see concepts being learned and, somewhat, applied.
Later I found Twin on the couch, under a blanket. I asked what was going on and was told that Twin has a tummy ache because she ate too many cookies. Ha! Maybe something sunk in…
Super Science Guy
My son still had his person to decorate, and he told me he wanted to do it all by himself- with me out of the room. Mysterious, but I said okay.
He called when he was ready to show me, and I was surprised. I was expecting to see all kinds of organs and bones, and instead I met the Super Science Guy. My first thought was Uh oh! That wasn’t the project, but pretty soon, I thought it was perfect!
My son started telling me about why he wanted to make a scientist. Without science, we wouldn’t know about what’s in our bodies and how to take care of them. Scientists are the superheros for bodies because they’re always learning more, then teaching people how to take care of themselves. Scientists research medicines, bacteria and viruses to help us when we’re sick.
We ended up in a great discussion about all the different career options in science. My daughter came up with a few, along with my son. Some of the things were way out there, but who knows? Maybe they’ll be possibilities by the time my kids grow up!
Hang it up!
We decided to hang our paper people with paperclips. I made a small cut on the head, then slipped on the paperclip to hang. I added a blob of hot glue to hopefully keep it from pulling through.
My kids LOVED this project and while they were working, I thought this would be a great project for a birthday party! If you didn’t want to use full size cutouts with a larger group of kids around, you could get 16″ paper people cutouts to make things easier! See cutouts with various skin colors HERE or if your kids like to color in the skin color themselves, find white ones HERE.
Science Tots is a nonprofit organization with a mission to connect families and educators with the instruction, tools, and resources to power early S.T.E.A.M. learning.