Kindergarten Etiquette for Life

The following is a poignant yet fun poem to read over and over again.  In fact, I have it pinned up on the wall in front of my desk.  It’s a great reminder of the simple courtesies we should all do at home, at work, at school, with friends, co-workers, family and everyone with whom we come into contact, anywhere in the world.

If you would like a full color, formatted copy of this poem, suitable for framing as you see here, please logging onto  We’ll send you a link to print this out at no charge.  Additionally, if you don’t have a color printer and still want it, you may also request a print of it sent to you by regular mail (on us) by emailing your full name and mailing address, with the subject of “Fulghum poem, please.”


By Robert Fulghum

Most of what I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be, I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school.

These are the things I learned:

•   Share everything.

•  Play Fair.

•  Don’t hit people.
•  Put things back where you found them.

•  Clean up your own mess.

•  Don’t take things that aren’t yours.

•  Say you’re sorry when you hurt someone.

•  Wash your hands before you eat.

•  Flush.

•  Warm cookies and milk are good for you.

•  Live a balanced life.

•  Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

•  Take a nap every afternoon.

•  When you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands and stick together.

•  Be aware of wonder.

•  Remember the little seed in the plastic cup?  The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we all like that.  Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup; they all die, so do we.

•  And then remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you learned, the biggest word of all: LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere: The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation; ecology and politics and sane living.

if we all-the whole world-had cookies and milk about 3 o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or, if we had a basic policy in our nation and all nations to always put things back where we found them, to clean up our own messes, and did all other items listed above.  And, it is still true no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.”

To me, the above says it all.

Copyright 1988 Robert Fulghum.

Reprinted with permission by Syndi Seid’s Advanced Etiquette.

FORWARD THIS NEWSLETTER. Pass this article to anyone you know who has a pet.  In fact, make a copy of this article and keep it in your wallet or purse to hand someone who is not being a responsible parent/pet owner. Invite them to contact me with continued dialogue on this topic.  I’d enjoy hearing from them.

QUESTION: What other items do you have to add to this list?  Do let us hear from you by locating this article at  You may also reach us at  If you enjoyed this article and want more, subscribe to our “Etiquette Tip of the Month” newsletter—at no charge—filled with great monthly tips on all sorts of topics from international business and social etiquette and protocol to everyday life subjects.  It will be great to have you as a member of our happy family of subscribers at

Happy Practicing!

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