Being able to use a knife and fork may seem simple, but for little ones everything is a new experience and takes time and practise to master. At Kiddi Caru Day Nurseries Group, we encourage even the babies to feed themselves and the children over 3 years old to serve themselves and use real cutlery as well. By handling cutlery from and early age the children can develop the fine motor skills, hand to eye (or mouth) coordination and muscles in their hands.
With the children eating together and serving themselves, it allows them to enjoy a wonderful social activity, as well as naturally encouraging turn taking, understanding portion control, growing their confidence, independence and self-esteem by being given a responsible task.
Children always want to be involved in adult routines and they thrive off the responsibility when given a task that is considered ‘grown up’. For example, at Kiddi Caru we have the children in preschool take turns to help prepare for their meals throughout the day, such as counting the number of cups, cutlery and plates needed for everyone.
Ask your child to help you prepare your table for dinner, counting the cutlery and cups needed for everyone who will be eating together. Likewise, you can ask them to help after dinner too, by scraping their plate and bringing their used plate, cutlery and cup to the sink.
Make sure to explain the task clearly and in stages if necessary beforehand and give them lots of praise when completing the tasks you asked them to do. This routine will not only help to build their confidence and self-esteem, but also create good habits for the future when at home and at school.
Perfect to enjoy in the garden during the sunny weather! This activity will help develop your child’s independence skills that they will need during lunchtimes at school.