I’m not sure who made the rule that child-size items had to be so chunky and loud colored. Utensils, for example. On many products, the edges are so rounded that the fork can hardly stab through any food. And those that are stainless steel seem to have weirded out wavy handles that look nothing like what we’ll expect them to use appropriately within a couple of years.

I suppose if my kids needed motivation or colorful distractions to eat, I might be more a fan of the retail ware, but have you seen our kids’ stats? They are obviously not strangers to food! Oh sure, for trips out during or around meals, we take our fair share of take and toss utensils, but when we’re at home, I love the child-size flatware by Oneida.

Toddler Size Silverware

They’re a perfect size for small hands, approximately four-and-a-half inches long, pictured above next to a grown up fork. We purchased ours (set of 5 forks and 5 spoons) from the Michael Olaf Montessori online store for $27.00. I did a search on the internet and you can also find them on Amazon.

I may have mentioned no less than a thousand times that we’re really striving to develop and foster independence in our kids, and this includes respecting their participation at mealtime by having dinnerware not unlike Mommy and Matou’s.

This includes what the drink from. We never used traditional sippy cups, instead transitioning from cups with lids and straws to, around nine months of age, these open-top 5oz tumblers made by Carlisle Foodservice Products. Less than four inches tall, they are the perfect size for tiny hands to manage.

First Cups

A curious thing happens, too. They are more intent and careful – for the most part – with the open top cups. Whereas with the flip straw cups elicit more carelessness, I guess because when they’re tossed to the ground, there is no consequence other than for mom to pick it up.

This is not to say they always place the cup back on the table, or that it is done so without spills, or that they don’t sometimes blow bubbles into the cup, or stick their fork in the cup, or drop blueberries into their water and go “UH! OH!”. BECAUSE ALL THOSE THINGS HAPPEN.

But we do minimize spills by pouring only enough liquid into the cup for them to manage readily. And they are getting better and better. It has also given us a chance to teach and reinforce the signs for “more” and “please” and “thank you”. And since they only drink milk or water, we’ve worked on the use of the words “milk” and “agua”. All good practical life experience for us.

We picked ours up at AceMart, an area restaurant supply store, for…wait for it…FIFTY CENTS EACH. Check your local restaurant supply store, or find them in their online store, here.