How to Teach Your Toddler to Use Chopsticks *updates

Chopsticks are a great way to eat your food quickly and conveniently.

Studies have shown that using chopsticks can have some added benefits, such as improving memory and increasing manual dexterity.

There are many different types of chopsticks, from the Japanese wari-bashi (disposable chopsticks, could not be used more than one time due to can harbor bacteria if not properly cleaned) to different styles of chopsticks used for cooking, eating and picking up cakes and other sweets.

Although they are a great way to eat your meals, to the uninitiated chopstick user, they may be a bit tricky to use at first.

Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value ~ Albert Einstein

Most of Chinese children start using chopsticks as early as age 1, and most are competent by 5 or 6.

Our Chopsticks
Our chopsticks: made from Japanese lacquered bamboo ~

I love creating fun and challenging moment for my kiddies 😉

Toddlers just love playing with any games!

For my kiddies, using chopsticks can make an ordinary meal exciting *Alhamdulillah*.

Note: Never Learn To Quit Learning

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Step by step guide:

  • Step 1: Prepare your toddler favorite food
    My main tip would be that beginners should probably avoid the more slippery looking items of food.

Our Foodies!
Bon appetite!

Us ^_-
Cheerful faces 😉

  • Step 2: Pickup Sticks
    Please do not encourage your child to use training chopsticks.
    Don’t screw it up.
    We’re the Asian dining equivalents of helicopter parents.
    We should just be handing our toddlers the real sticks and letting him/her to figure out how to eat somehow and we should keep on guiding them. They’ll pick it up soon enough from watching us.
    Plus, your toddler will surely learn the value of patient, appreciating their valuable foods and time efforts.

Me ;)
Me: ambidextrous in action!

  • Step 3: Get a Grip
    Toddlers will first grip chopsticks in their fists, as they do forks and spoons.

KiruaMi-cHan!
Gambatte ne KiruaMi-cHan~

ReiHi-cHan!
Gambatte ne ReiHi-cHan~

  • Step 4: Show & Tell
    To demonstrate the proper technique, try this method: Have them rest the end of one chopstick in the V of their thumb and forefinger.
    Show them how to support it with their little and ring fingers.
    Help them hold the other chopstick as if it were a pencil, between the middle and index fingers, anchored with the thumb.
    Then try this imagery used by Chinese parents: The sticks are a bird’s beak. Holding the bottom stick still and moving only the top one, imagine the beak opening and closing to pick up food.
    As for my KiruaMi-cHan‘s, I told him: The sticks are a truck crane, while my ReiHi-cHan‘s loves “Pinching Sticks” method 😉 *tackle your lil toddler interest*
  • Step 5: Make It Fun
    Bowls work better than plates.
    Try cheese cubes, apple chunks, or mini-marshmallows.
    At playtime, put cotton balls or pom-poms in a bowl and take turns moving them with the chopsticks to another bowl.

KiruaMi-cHan!
Great pleasure~

ReiHi-cHan!
Total satisfaction~

YunaFi-cHan!
YunaFi-cHan joined the club!

You also could teach your child a number of etiquette rules when it comes to dining with chopsticks:

  • When your chopsticks are not in use, you should lay them down with their ends pointed to your left.
  • Do not stick your chopsticks into your food and leave them standing up. In Asian funerals, chopsticks are left standing in balls of rice that are placed on the altar of the deceased.
  • Do not pass your food from your chopsticks directly to another person’s chopsticks. Once again, this is also a funeral custom, where the bones of the cremated are passed from one family member to the next in this manner.
  • Do not lick your chopsticks.
  • Do not use your chopsticks to point at objects, whether it is food, the table, etc.
  • Do not wave your chopsticks through the air or play with them.
  • Do not use your chopsticks to push or pull bowls or plates around on the table.
  • Never cross your chopsticks except if you are at a Dim Sum restaurant. It is acceptable to cross your chopsticks on the table here because it indicates to your server that you have finished your meal and are ready to pay. Sometimes, your server will cross them for you, to indicate you have paid your bill already.
  • If you have already used your chopsticks for eating, and you want to move food from a shared plate to your own plate, turn them around and use the opposite end to get the food.

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May Allah swt blessed your family 😉

Keep on trying mommies.

Best of luck!

About MamaFiza

Born in 1984. Family 1st; living in boulevard of peace, loving my treasured family, fully breastfeeding my precious 4 kids (tandem nursing) *30 months duration for each of 'em*, homeschool advocate, book writer, Work-at-Home-Mom (WAHM), certified Lactation Counselor (LC), official ZIN, yoga + pilates enthusiast, no pacifier & no maid rules! [Praise to God]

28. February 2008 by MamaFiza
Categories: My Fun Homeschool | Tags: , , , , , | 5 comments

Comments (5)

  1. salam mamafiza
    i spent nearly 3 days surfing your blog to study about the methods of homeschooling. thanks sooooooo much for those valueable information and techniques. you are superb !!
    moga2 ALLAH mudahkan sgl urusan untuk menjalankan homeschooling pd anakku Arif Kauthar.amin.
    doakan la saya ye mamafiza.

  2. i bought korean chopstick (stainless steel type) lurveeee it..tp utk babies a bit heavy la..

    but i think kindly avoid using wooden chopstick as i read in email about the hazardous effects…

    However, good job mamafiza!

  3. This is really great.

    everybody should learn to use chopsticks.

    thanks for sharing.

    regards,
    buih

  4. Excellent Article!

    If I could write like this I would be well chuffed 😉

    The more I read articles of such quality as this (which is rare), the more I think there might be a future for the Web. Keep it up, as it were.

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