Holly Beth Moncher created Time for Mannersä and has been teaching it to children for the past 15 years. As a mother of three boys, Holly Beth knows that children learn best by watching and then doing. A long-time dance and fitness instructor, Holly Beth also developed a unique method of teaching children good manners at an early age. Not a stuffy “etiquette” course, Time for Manners involved play, music, songs … in short, letting kids have fun while they learned polite behavior and respect for others.
A few years ago, Holly Beth decided to produce video versions of her popular educational program for young children in order to spread her unique ideas and vision. She knew she wanted the videos to be liberally sprinkled with music, games, and humor – and to be in brief segments to accommodate the short attention span of today’s “Sesame Street” kids.
So she naturally turned to Sesame Street itself for a successful model. Puppets were a natural choice. Kids were used to learning from them, and easily identified with such likable characters. The designers and puppeteers had considerable experience working with Jim Henson’s Muppets, plus Nickelodeon, Universal Studios, and Walt Disney Productions – and this transferred to Time for Manners.
The main characters are Tara and Tyler, a girl and boy who are twins, and their friend, Wesley. Other characters make regular appearances such as their dog, Rudy, friend, Maya, their teacher and the school bus driver. But the signature character of the series is Merlin Manners, a fanciful guy who’s part clock, and shows up frequently to introduce segments, sing songs, and emphasize important points.
“More than ever, parents want their children to know how to behave in social situations. There are plenty of negative examples all around us, on TV, at the movies, and in everyday life. I think it’s important that our children practice some positive examples.”
- Holly Beth Moncher
As Merlin – and Holly Beth – are fond of repeating: “It’s always time for manners!”
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