Here's what you need: two bowls (identical if possible), a spoon or ladle of some sort, and something to spoon!
Here's why you should do it: It helps with fine motor skills/eating skills and helps increase their concentration. Confession: Lawton has NEVER eaten cereal with milk - he prefers it dry - and refuses to eat soup. He also prefers drinkable yogurt and hates ice cream because it is cold (crazy!), so . . . the boy hasn't had a ton of practice "spooning". I know - I'm a terrible mother. He is a sensory guy - doesn't like mushy things (cereal with milk), doesn't like for his hands to have food on them. Is anyone else's kid like this? Please, please say yes.
Here is your set-up. Now, in a Montessori classroom, this would be on a beautiful tray with color specific or themed bowls and contents and sitting in a specific area on a shelf in succession of easier to harder activities, or "works". whew. Seeing that I don't have a nice shelf to put a nice tray on and actually leave it there, I just got these bowls out of my cabinet and put it on the table. :) Oh, and notice the beads? If you did this cutting activity, then hopefully you will have some beads to spoon yourself!
Notice - always put your contents into the bowl on the left, and then have them spoon into the right bowl. Why? What's the big deal? This helps to lay the foundation for pre-reading skills . . . we read from left to right. When in doubt, always think about how we read - from left to right, top to bottom. Oh, and the spoon? Set in the middle. This allows the child to choose what hand feels comfortable. If you were to place it on the left hand side of the place mat, they would pick it up with their left hand. Same goes for the right. . . Lawton actually switched his hands in the middle (even though he is completely right handed). You'll see what happened later when he switched hands . . .
What a heaping spoonful! And look! This can be mesmerizing. . . Once they get everything in the right bowl, transfer it back to the left. They can go for as long as they want!
Yep. Things can go flying across the kitchen when you get carried away. Guess what else he found under the stove? A car, a straw, and a scrap of paper - and a few dust bunnies. Never mind the crumbs on the visible areas of the floor.
Here's another idea to get your juices rolling . . . a ladle and some fun balls!
This was actually harder for him than the beads - I think it was the ladle.
Wow! Three in one spoonful!
Another thought - dried beans and a starter spoon
This spoon is a tiny baby spoon and these are the tiniest disposable plastic containers. You can't really tell the scale in this picture.
"What are those small white ball thingys" you might be wondering? I actually have no idea! When I was teaching I stocked up on all kinds of cool dried goods from the ethnic store within our local Farmers Market. Any ethnic store would be sure to have lots of cool "spooning" items! And who knows? If I knew what it was and how to cook it, it might be good! :)Want to take it down a notch? Just set out two bowls with some large items (like fava beans) and just let them grasp and transfer from one bowl to the other. They might do it over and over and over again - and that's great! Let them!
HERE are some neat spoons of varying sizes and shapes that you might not have handy in your drawer . . . Enjoy!