The Square that Liked To Be Messy*

CONCEPT: General Nutrition



Read a story about a square who is very messy when eating. Soon, its friends don't want to sit around it anymore and the square becomes sad. It decides to start to be clean and this makes everyone happy. Practice appropriate behaviors together.



After completing this activity, children will be able to:

  • state that it is important to wash their hands before cooking and eating
  • practice good table manners (ie: saying please and thank you, sitting nicely at the table, etc.)



  1. Read the story The Square That Liked to Be Messy.
  2. Lead a discussion about the story with the children, with questions such as:
    • Did the square have good table manners?
    • What kinds of things did the square do?
    • Why didn't the circle and the triangle want to sit by the square?
    • How did the square make his friends happy again?
    • Why is it important to wash your hands before you cook or eat?
    • How do you practice good table manners?
  3. Practice Hand Washing: Have everyone go to the bathroom (or the nearest sink) and watch you wash your hands. Let everyone else have a turn as well.
  4. Practice Table Manners: Have an appropriate snack for the children and practice good table manners while eating together at a table.
  5. If there is extra time the children can color a coloring page.





Positive reinforcement is one of the best ways to teach a child new concepts. Compliment your child when he or she takes the time to say please or thank you. Make hand washing fun by doing it together or by using a special soap dispenser. Above all, be a good role model!

*This activity is adapted from NET Nutrition Education, Choose Well, Be Well: A Curriculum Guide for the Primary Grades, California State Department of Education, 1982.

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