Monday, December 24, 2007
December 24. Dining with very little children.
Being a part of the social life of the family is VERY high in the priorities of a 0-3 year old child. During these important years, the little ones basically want to do everything that they see the adults around them do. This includes eating at a table. Eating together and all the wonderful things that it involves (Food, Langugage, Sensory Information, Cultural Information) can be one of the richest moments of family life and there is no reason why the tiniest child cannot participate.
As Christmas gifts for the little ones that I have been observing as part of my Montessori A to I training, I made special small place settings. In Sweden we used these in the classroom at very low tables for every meal and snack that the children had. An adult was always close to the child to help, and to remind the child (over and over) those menial details like- "the broccoli doesn't go in the glass". The lowness of table was also a safeguard against things breaking on the floor. The place where the spoon, dish, and glass (or fork and knife) go is chain stitched on to the mat to give a visual reminder of where things belong. One large adult place mat makes four tiny ones, shot glasses are cheap and replaceable, the spoons are adult dessert spoons, and the bowl or dish can be of any kind but with raised edges for easy scooping.