Teaching “Please” and “Thank You”

preschool games Q: I read with interest your tip about making your child feel needed. I love that whole concept. I really liked the part about using the words “please” and “thank you.” I think these words are very important, but I don’t feel like my daughter uses them enough. She is only three, but I think that is the exact right time to start. Do you have any ideas for teaching this?

~ Sara Q

A: Hi Sara,

I know of two wonderful games that you can play with your daughter to get started. One is called “The Please Game,” and the other, as you might expect, is called “The Thank You Game.” I will briefly describe both. Then I will refer you to where you can get more details about each of them.

The Please Game

Take turns thinking up sentences to say to each other using the word “please.” Here are some examples:

* Please pass the book.

Enjoy getting the book and say thank you.

* Please hold my hand.

Love holding that hand and say thank you.

* Please read me a story.

Have fun hearing the story and say thank you.

The Thank You Game

This game is all about surprise. Take turns with your child surprising each other by doing something special and nice for the other person. After something is done, the other person says, Thank you. Here are some examples:

* Bring your child his or her favorite book.

* Your child may give you a big hug.

* Bring your child a piece of paper and a set of crayons for coloring.

* Your child may bring you a magazine that you like to read.

Both of these games are really fun, and they really do help a young child to get used to using those words.

To find out more about both of these and other games related to them, see this book

Make Your Own Preschool Games: A Personalized Play And Learn Program

Ideal for busy parents, Make Your Own Preschool Games describes quick and inexpensive-to-make activities that can be assembled from materials found at home–paper cups, bottle caps, clothespins, magazines, shoeboxes, and grocery bags. Designed to be used as part of dynamic play, these games will help expand a child’s math, science, art, music, language, reading, and writing knowledge while providing the necessary and fun one-on-one bonding time that every child craves with his or her parents.


  1. Making things for your infant/toddler is a great way to be engaged with them. Many parents “do not have time.” However, the quality time that you spend with your toddler matters. The things that you do together will become those lasting memories. Making items also helps your child to be creative, open minded and helping to save the planet. Giving young children the skills that they need is the important thing. Giving your young child social, emotional and cognitive skills are important during the first 2000 days. Making games and using house hold items is a great way to give those skills.

  2. Hi Daseta,
    This is very special to me that you like the idea of making your own toys. I just got back from visiting a friend of mine whose son just got married. She reminded me that I had taught her how to make toys for her child, grown now with her own baby, and how much she enjoyed that experience. I started the idea of making toys because at the time you couldn’t buy what I wanted. I didn’t realize until my baby played with and liked what I had made that the “making” part added so much joy to the experience. Thank you very much for sharing your opinion.

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