Attention Getter: I set out a glass, tumbler, cup, mug, and a goblet. I asked my kids, “What do all of these have in common?” The kids knew they were all used for drinking beverages. They picked each one up and practiced holding it securely. I also wrote the different names for drinkware on index cards. Then I had the kids match the name with the correct object. I just wanted them to know that there are lots of different “glasses” from which to drink. It was time to talk about drinkware do’s and don’ts.
(There is way more information out there about different types of goblets and glasses and when to use which one, but that is beyond the scope of this children’s manners blog. If you want more info on drinkware click here.)
Manner: 1. The glass will be found to the upper right of the plate-above the knife and spoon. (Remember g-l-a-s-s has 5 letters and so does r-i-g-h-t). If you know where your glass is located, you are less likely to drink out of someone else’s cup.
2. Put your glass back in the same place after you drink from it. (If my son could only get this 1 manner down, I’d be happy.) Not only is this courteous to your waiter, but it also eliminates the chance of spills at the dinner table and the chance of mixing up cups with your neighbor.
3. Hold the glass securely to minimize spills- kids may use two hands on the glass if necessary.
4. Don’t touch the rim of the glass with your fingers when setting, passing, holding or drinking from a glass. (The germ thing here is obvious isn’t it?)
5. Make sure your mouth is empty or mostly empty before drinking. It is good to wipe your mouth with your napkin before taking a drink. You want to avoid backwash and keep your glass as clean as possible.
6. Do not have your elbows on the table while holding a glass.
7. No one should hear you drinking- no slurping, gulping or gargling.
Practice: I put a post-it note under the glass to mark its position. Then the kids knew where to return the glass in between bites. We set the post-it note to the upper right of the plate the rest of the week to help remind us. I hope I created a habit.
Follow-Up: A fun follow-up would be to teach the kids about using coasters away from the table. And then do a craft where you made your own coasters using either the children’s artwork, photos, or scrapbook paper. I found a great DIY tutorial on making coasters from your children’s artwork if you are interested.
When If I find time to do this, I will post about it.