Spreading. July 25 2013

Often it's easiest to prepare a snack and give it to the child - less mess and it's usually quicker. However spreading can be an important activity on it's own. Think developing coordination, building concentration and strength in the hands and fingers, life skills and learning about foods. 
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A hard cracker or rice cake is easier than soft bread when the child is first learning how to spread. Something soft to spread is easier too, think peanut (or other nut) butter, soft butter, hummus or cream cheese rather than something hard like cold firm butter. It's also important to make sure it's something the child will like and at a time it's likely they will want to eat it. No one wants to waste food for the sake of an activity. 
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Put a small amount of spread into bowl or on the side of a plate, commensurate with the amount of crackers you have out. This will help the child to recognise how much spread is needed and not waste (or empty the entire jar, or get crumbs into the jar!).
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A young child will need a demonstration. Where I can I try to work along side my child. Otis will often observe me working and this is has a longer lasting impact than a once or twice off demonstration. So I'm suggesting preparing your own snack and spreading alongside the child. 
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Our Simple Spreaders are ideal for children learning to spread.
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  • They have a natural wooden handle which is nice for the child to hold. I also think they are visually attractive. However do not soak the handle in water and ensure it is completely dry after each use. It is not suitable for the dishwasher. The handle can also be oiled occasionally (just wipe it with some olive oil) to refreshen it. 

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  • They are small and suitable for a toddler's hands. Children can easily hold and control the spreader. They are also a good size for adults - I often use ours in the kitchen.

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  • The blade is completely dull. It's suitable for a child to use to cut very, very soft foods like banana. But most importantly a toddler can use it safely for spreading - there is no risk of them cutting themselves. This also makes it suitable for spreading activities in the class room. 

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Pictured is Otis at almost three (35 months) spreading with the Simple Spreader. The hummus is in one of the Small Weaning Glass Bowls. The white chopping board is the Small Cutting Board.
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I also have the beige vinyl placemat as shown in stock. If you would like one put into your order please leave the comment 'Beige Vinyl Placemat' in the comments section of your order - while stocks last. 
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Happy spreading!
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