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Practice, Practice, Practice

In my last post, I wrote about Henry's transition from a highchair to a booster seat. As a toddler, Henry's ability to drink from an open cup and use flatware are also improving. The more he practices, the better he is getting at these skills.

Henry still uses straw cups for most of our meals. With the hot summer weather, however, I have been giving him lots of opportunities to use a regular cup when we are outside. He hardly spills when he drinks from an open cup, but he also enjoys pouring the water out and watching it splash on the ground.
Henry practices drinking from an open cup.

In the past month, Henry has become obsessed with using utensils at every meal. He wants to have a fork or spoon in hand, even when we are eating finger foods like a sandwich or grapes. I don't want to squash his enthusiasm, so I try to remember to give him a utensil with each meal.
Henry focuses on stabbing a blueberry with his fork.
Henry usually doesn't use flatware for the entire meal. He continues to alternate with using his hands but he is determined to keep practicing. It may be a while longer before he is ready to use flatware full-time.
Henry uses a spoon to eat his morning oatmeal.
Henry also uses his hands when he gets frustrated with a spoon.
Henry's grip does need some improvement to help with accuracy, so we try to model how to hold both fork and spoon. Sometimes, I also use the hand-over-hand technique to help guide his spoon with runny foods like applesauce or soup.

Henry uses a spork to eat chickpea curry and rice at the farmer's market.
There is still quite a bit of mess, so we usually place a towel under Henry's booster seat to catch the drips. 

What skills is your toddler practicing at mealtime? 

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