Monday, March 24, 2014

Help with mealtimes

Finding mealtimes challenging with a toddler/preschooler? Well, you are not on your own! I thought I would just share a little something that we find helps us.
When working as an Early Years Practitioner, I learnt that children need rules and guidelines to help them on their learning journey. Mealtimes are a perfect example for coming together with your child and drawing up a few simple things that are expected. 

Who can play?
Children aged 2 years and above, depending own their age and stage of development.

What do you need?
  • Paper/card
  • Felt tip pens
  • Area to display mealtime rules
  • Cello tape
  • Ruler  

What did we do?
Bee and I sat down at the dinner table and talked together about things that we do at Lunch, snack and dinner. I tried to focus on what we do rather than what we do not do, to make it a positive experience.
We then put our ideas in order of importance, for example wash our hands first, to make our hands clean and germ free. We then talked about the importance of being safe at the table, as we sit on our chairs and use our utensils in a safe manner. Another important point that Bee thought we had to include was to "try our food with leaves" Well, promoting healthy eating is also important!
When writing our ideas on the paper, I invited Bee to write some of her ideas. The wrote some recognizable letters and said that "We should be good and drink our water


Finally, we talked about helping to tidy up afterwards. Getting your child involved in this not only helps you, but also gives them a sense of ownership, a role within the family and promotes self help skills. 

The final product is on the wall, near our dining table, for future reference. You will probably have to keep referring back to the mealtime rules chart, but at least it is something that has been drawn up together as a team. Good luck!
What did we learn?
  • Communication and language- Discussing ideas, Speaking and listening
  • Physical development- Fine manipulative skills when writing and discussing healthy food choices
  • Personal, social and emotional-Learning social skills and self help
  • Literacy- Providing an opportunity for a writing experience.
  • Mathematics- Ordering rules
  • Understanding of the world- Learning about mealtime rules
  • Expressive arts and design- Designing a mealtime poster together
What could be done next?
  • Make mealtime place mats
  • Involve your child in the setting up of the table, so that they can learn where the knives, forks and spoons go
  • Let your child help wash th

    e dishes after mealtimes (as long as there are no sharp objects in the sink) You will find that the dishes may not be squeeky clean, but they will love feeling helpful and playing in the bubbles/water.

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