Thursday, December 31, 2009

The placemat

Lil' Q uses a full table setting when she eats. Well, no knife or napkin yet, but she does eat off a plate (as opposed to the table or a high chair tray), does her best to use silverware, and uses a small shot glass for her water.

We definitely had to work on the plate thing.....there were MANY, MANY meals where she dumped it or threw it on the floor. Lots of training to get her to use it correctly. Even now, if she starts getting silly with it we say, "All done," and take it away and she's finished eating.

She is no expert with her fork and spoon, but she's getting better! Lots of times she needs our help stabbing or scooping up the food but puts it in her mouth herself.

We have a tiny metal espresso pitcher that we keep water in to pour into her cup. We just pour a tiny amout at a time. As she gets bigger we will add more and more. Right now she wants to drink all the water in the cup in one gulp, so limiting the amount helps teach her how to drink.

So back to the placemat....It's a piece of the plastic drawer liners found in home organization sections of any Target, Walmart, even grocery stores. I cut it to the size of a small placemat and drew on a plate, cup, spoon and fork. Under the fork I lightly drew an outline for a napkin so we can add that soon. The plastic of this placemat is great because it is "nonslip," so her plate or bowl stay relatively still while she is eating.

Q has a little cabinet with all her dishes neatly (most of the time) organized. We work with her on getting out her own dishes and help her to set the table. Having a placemat with the different pieces drawn in helps her to know where to put each item. It also helps build her vocabulary of the dishes.

As she gets older we will move to a much prettier fabric placemat with the details stitched in. For now this works great and is easy for clean up!

PS) I drew on it with a magic marker.
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