Our 10 Days of Teaching Toddler Manners is covering my Hands are for Helping system today. I wanted to come up with a character training system that I could use as an incentive system as well. And stickers just don’t work very well for Mr. T. He loves to play with them but are not much of a motivator. I wanted a way to teach my toddler about good manners, caring, helping, listening, and more and I wanted to incorporate memory verses so those seeds would be planted as he is growing. Here is the system.
Our Hands holder is a little wall card box Mr. T made at a Home Depot workshop. It was the perfect size so I hung it on the wall of our school room where he can reach it to put hands in, but Mr. F cannot reach it to pull hands out. Not yet, anyway, that boy is growing like a weed!
Here is a close up of our “Helping” hand. I got these great foam hands in a dollar bin, but you could just as easily trace and cut out or print out hands and laminate(affiliate) them. I wrote the attributes I wanted to encourage on the front and a corresponding Bible verse on the back. I used our Child Training Bible to find appropriate verses.
The Hands and verses we have are:
Helping 1 Peter 4:11
Sharing Luke 6:30-31
Gentle Proverbs 12:20
Praying 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Kind Galatians 5:22-23
Cleaning Colossians 3:23
Learning Job 28:18
Listening Proverbs 12:15
I will continue adding hands and verses as needed. The next one will be for Bible memory work, I think. *On a related note, my sweet little boy with Apraxia said his first memory verse at our homeschool co-op today! Job 33:4, and I couldn’t be more proud! I nearly cried. God is soooo good!*
So the system works like this. Hands get added when your child does something they are supposed to. Helping mom empty the dishwasher, cleaning up their toys when they are asked, sharing with their younger sibling, etc. When they get all the hands in the holder, they get a treat. Extra playtime, a filed trip, 20 extra minutes up, whatever it is that makes your little one extra motivated to help/clean/share again. I think it’s easier for really little guys to do this on a weekly basis, but by the time they are 4 to 5 you might be able to do it on a daily or every few days basis. The general idea is to reward positive behavior, learn Scripture and have fun training your little one to be a caring and mannerly Child of God.
Linked up with Mom’s Mustard Seeds Resources for Mom.