Learning to use children's cutlery is a life skill that supports their independence, confidence, and resilience. Being physically able to cut up and pick up the food on the plate in front of them will help ensure more of that goodness gets into their little tummies!
Our youngest is starting Reception in September and last week we went along to the New Parent’s Introduction evening at her school. The Headteacher and Reception team presented a helpful guide on things we can do over the summer to help get our little ones ready for starting school; slide 8 – “… be able to feed themselves… Practice using a knife and fork…”.
I was teaching Reception children in the year that the Government first introduced free school meals for all Infant children. Watching a room of 4/5yr olds struggling with their thin, straight handled knife and fork was where my idea for our Stage 3 Children’s Cutlery was born. As teachers, we were giving these children thick, shaped pencils to learn to write, supportive scissors to learn to cut, so why were we giving them this basic, thin, straight "children's" cutlery and expecting them to just know how to hold it and use it independently and effectively?!? Fast forward a few years and our children’s cutlery is now used in many nurseries and schools to not only help children at mealtimes, but also to support their fine motor school development.
Considering whether to opt for the school lunch provided? As a teacher, I’ve seen that it’s great for children to eat hot food together at lunchtimes. Many schools work hard to provide a varied menu with choices and, from my own experiences, children will try something new with their friends that they would never touch at home! Eating together is a great chance to work on their social skills as well. Not to mention it saves you the job of making a packed lunch in those rushed mornings when hunting for the shoes!
I have been out the classroom for a few years now, but speaking to teachers, independent eating is still very much an issue for many children when they start school. The subject had it’s own slide on the presentation, which says it all! School is where children learn, and learning to use children's cutlery is a life skill that will be supported there, but that extra practice at home is invaluable. We have been contacted by schools and parents whose children have come home saying they want our ‘school cutlery’ at home which makes our day! The best (and most honest) feedback we can ever hear is from children themselves – it makes our day! We all know kids don’t lie to save your feelings!
Using our knife and fork at dinner time – for just around 20 minutes a day – gives your child an extra 2.5 hours fine motor skill practice every week! See the difference practicing using well designed children's cutlery makes to their confidence and independence in no time!
If you would like to introduce our Stage 3 children’s cutlery to your child’s school, please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org We offer unique discount codes to schools to share with their PTA / parents to support children accessing our children’s cutlery at home.