Once upon a time there were two little girls who dreamed of being Barbie princesses. While they may have had the beautiful gowns, tiaras, and play jewelry, and happily waltzed around their castle playhouse, they didn’t always have the manners expected from a princess, however! A modern-day princess must be well-mannered, poised, and kind.
Last week, my daughters and I hosted a Barbie Princess Charm School party for 8 of their closest friends. Learning about etiquette and practicing good manners in a fun, relatable way was the purpose of this royal gathering! Touching up on these skills was particularly valuable and timely as our kids all started school this week. I know that the way my daughters present themselves will affect the friends they make and their self-confidence.
What did we do at the party? MANNERS ACTIVITIES!
- Each guest was crowned with a tiara as they arrived. The princesses-in-training started by practicing greeting the guest that was sitting to the left of them, introducing themselves and shaking hands. Almost everyone already knew each other, so I tried to make it silly by asking each person to make up a funny name. I was shocked by how shy every little princess was!
- Then we learned about table manners… practiced saying please, thank you, excuse me and may I.
- We set the table using the charm school place mat, and everyone served themselves some snacks so they could practice using silverware. I made apple tea and brownies, and there was fruit and crackers out for nibbling on.
- Learning how to write a Thank You note was probably my favorite part of the afternoon! I asked everyone to think of someone that did something nice for them recently, and write them a note to say ‘thank you.’ Most thanked their moms, a few their best friends. We talked about how thank you notes don’t have to only be written after receiving a gift. You can write a thank you note to show appreciation any time! Seeing them proudly hand over the notes to their moms (or friends) at the end of the party was priceless!
- Role playing with Barbie was what everyone was looking forward to. The shy girls at the start of the party quickly opened up when they had Barbies in their hands. “Blair, meet Ken. Hi, how are you, Ken? Good. That’s a pretty dress you’re wearing, Blair.” The conversations were so innocent and cute!
- Throughout the party, I had Lacey’s (one of my blog contributors) 10-year-old daughter helping me out by checking off items on everyone’s Barbie Princess Charm School Manners Checklist, rewarding all the princesses-in-training with stickers. A perfectly poised, well-mannered princess herself, I couldn’t think of anyone better to help me out! I gave her a Barbie to take home, as a token of appreciation.
- Goodies! The princesses took home their glittery tiaras, place mat, manners checklist, and a charm school completion certificate. My two princesses got to keep their new Barbies! The Blair Barbie is really neat in that it has a little switch in the back that you wind up, allowing you to make her dress from a ball gown into a short party dress. Love it!
I’m happy to say that the 9 princesses and one prince all had a wonderful time! The place mats were a HUGE hit. Everyone promised they’d go home and set the table for dinner that night, and hopefully every night since. I know my girls have! We had so much fun that we decided to recreate the party 3 days later, for a couple of Maya’s friends that couldn’t attend the first one. This time it was Maya leading the way, setting the royal example! 😉
I am convinced that there’s a princess in EVERY girl! Teaching your Barbie princess good manners can be a struggle at first, but it’ll all be worth it in the end! Make it fun and you’ll see how quickly she catches on! Some advice:
5 Tips to Teach Manners to Your Barbie Princess
MAKE MANNERS FUN
- Go online. There are TONS of fun activities and great manners tips on the Barbie Princess Charm School website.
- Write stories with your little princess. Fairytales that incorporate the importance of good manners into the storyline.
- Play games. Download the Barbie Princess Charm School manners checklist pictured above and reward your daughter’s good manners each time you see her practice her behaviors.
- Watch DVDs. Barbie Princess Charm School is released on DVD next week! On September 13th. In the film, Barbie stars as Blair Willows, a kind-hearted girl whose life changes when she’s chosen to attend the prestigious Princess Charm School and become a true princess.
- Practice greeting guests when they come for a visit by saying hello, inviting them inside, offering them a chair and a beverage.
- If your daughter is a little shy, use Barbies to role play. You’d be surprise how easily they open up when they’re talking to their Barbies or making them talk to each other.
EAT DINNER AS A ROYAL FAMILY
- Host frequent “royal dinners” at home. This is a perfect time to practice table etiquette, learn how to use silverware, and have polite conversations in the comfort of your own home. It’s good practice for everyone in the family! (Daddy, I’m talking to you!)
INCORPORATE ROYAL BEHAVIOR INTO DAILY LIFE
It takes a while for a habit to form, so ask your princess to:
- Set the table every day.
- Always say please and thank you.
- Practice shaking hands with family and friends.
- Write thank you notes after receiving gifts.
- Demonstrate her good manners when eating out at restaurants.
SEEK EXPERT ADVICE
Sometimes outside influences are more successful at reinforcing manners. Examples include:
- An aunt, uncle, grandparent, or teacher.
- Classes or camps, such as Barbie Princess Charm School online.
- Manners websites and online tools available on Barbie.com and MrsMcVeighsManners.com.
YOUR TURN: How do you teach your kids good manners?
Disclosure: This fun party was sponsored by One2One Network, but all opinions are my own.