Fun Ways of Teaching Teens Etiquette

Two Girl (16-17) holding gift, smiling, close-up
A 'recieving gifts game' teaches appreciation. (Image: Tuned_In/iStock/Getty Images)

Teenagers are on the verge of blossoming into young adulthood and learning proper etiquette in matters such as table or phone manners will be beneficial as they grow. Simple and fun activities will show teens how to be polite, courteous and properly conduct themselves in real-life settings.

Etiquette Role Play

You can write several etiquette scenarios on strips of paper that explore matters such as how to ask someone to pass an item or how to properly introduce yourself to a new person. Ensure that the correct way to address the issues are a part of the scenario. Place the scenarios in a hat and shake them up. Divide teens into pairs. Have each pair pick a scenario out of the hat and then give the pairs a few minutes to discuss their scenario. Let each pair have a turn to act out their scenario for the other teens.

Receiving Gifts Game

Familiarize the teens with the proper way to show appreciation for a gift they've received. Have teenagers purchase and wrap inexpensive gifts such as socks or coffee mugs and put their name on it. Place all the gifts in a large pile. Have each teen pick a different gift from the pile and open the gift. Regardless of whether they like the gift, teens must still show appreciation. Tell the teens to go over to the teens who brought their gifts and say, "Thank you. I really appreciate your gift." The teen who brought the gift will then say, "You're welcome. I'm glad you do."

Proper Silverware Party

Encourage teens to dress in formal attire. According to a proper table setting chart, correctly set up plates and utensils on a large table. Have teens take a seat. Explain to teens what each utensil is and how it is properly used. For example, the utensils above the plate are used for dessert and the fork directly next to the plate on the left is the dinner fork. Serve a meal. Let teens test out the silverware skills they learned by eating their meal and using the proper utensils.

Telephone Manners Game

Teach teens how to properly ask for someone over the phone. Explain to teens they must first say hello, identify themselves and ask for the person they would like to speak to. For example, the teen would say, "Hello, this is Joshua. How are you? May I please speak to Malcolm?" Have teens divide into threes. The first teen will be the caller, the second teen will be the parent and the last teen will be the caller's friend. Have the caller use a cell phone to call the parent's home and properly ask for his friend.

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