In the midst of this unexpected extended time at home, I have decided to focus on various everyday objects for a week each. On Week 1, we are using utensils! We will have 4-5 activities and crafts to complete throughout the week. Want to take a peek at what we’re doing?
Monday: Sorting utensils from the Dishwasher and Using a Sensory Bin
Tuesday: Painted Fork Flowers
Wednesday: DIY Spoon Butterfly
Thursday: Play-Doh with Utensils
Friday: Make Your Own Placemat
Saturday: Spoon Chick Coming Out of an Egg
What’s In Our Sensory Bin:
- Paper Grass (Could be substituted for rice, kinetic sand, real sand, water beads….and the list goes on)
- Forks (adult, child, silver & plastic)
- Spoons (serving, adult size, child size)
- Knives (I kept these plastic & cheese board (so dull))….If adding these you must have supervision!
B loves to help with the dishwasher right now so this seemed like a natural place to start our week. Every morning she “helps” put away the dishes by putting her dishes in the cabinets at her kitchen. So we added this sensory bin to the mix along with the worksheet to start teaching sorting/early categorizing.
Step For Using Your Sensory Bin For Language:
- Prior to your child seeing it, fill a bin with utensils of all shapes and varieties and filler.
- When you first give it to your child, let them just explore. Narrate what they find and describe each item (“Oh! You found a fork. It’s so silver and shiny.”). Once they have explored you may try asking them to find a fork/spoon/knife to see if they understand the vocabulary words.
- Once your child can find the utensils, try using the expectant pause to see if your child can name what they found. Say “Look! You found a……(pause and see if they answer)”. If they don’t answer it’s ok! Give it 3-5 seconds and then finish your sentence. You are still modeling the word for them to hear and know.
- Add the sorting worksheet found HERE. Print out the worksheet and have your child try to sort the utensils based on their picture. This is a harder task because it’s not an identical object but begins to teach print/2D awareness. Initially make sure to only present 1 item at a time so it’s not overwhelming!
Painted Fork Flowers
- Plastic/Reusable Fork
- Gather all materials. Let your child help you by saying “I need ___” or “Find the ____”. Just pay attention that the paint doesn’t get opened!
- Have you child use the bottom of the fork to make the “stem” of the flower. Use simple words for directions “put IN green paint” then “put ON paper”. It will likely be easier if this color is the only choice out at first. Wipe off paint after stems are created.
- Pick 1-3 colors for your flowers (my general rule is the younger the child, the fewer the colors). You can use the simple question “What do you want?” to decide on the colors. Encourage your child to respond by pointing or using words.
- Show your child how to use the fork to make flower. Say “We want to make petals/We need petals now”. While making the first petal say “Look! I put the fork here”. Then ask your child to do it “You make some”.
- Let your child make the petals to all flower. Narrate using prepositions or the core words here/there as they make each flower.
- Let the paint dry!
DIY Spoon Butterfly
What You’ll Need:
- Paint (We Kept to 2 Colors)
- Construction Paper for Handprint Wings (I gave 2 colors for choices)
- Spoon (Or if you don’t have plastic ones- a cut out shape of one!)
- Pencil (for tracing)
- Sharpie/Marker/Paint for face
- Gather all the materials before starting.
- Start with making the wings. For language opportunities, ask your child “Do you want pink or blue wings” (while pointing to each color).
- Trace each of your child’s hands. This is great practice for following directions:
- Put your hand ON the paper.
- Open your fingers
- Don’t move!
- Take your hand OFF the paper.
- Parent: Cut the Handprints out (before starting you may say- “what do I need to cut the paper?” or “Where are the scissors?” to give more language opportunities)
- Time to get painting! Again- give your child a couple of paint color choices for language practice. “Do you want the wings to be yellow or purple?”. Let the paint using the color they requested.
- Then Give paint color choices one more time to paint the body of the butterfly. Make sure to label the parts of the butterfly as you do them- this is great for teaching key details about vocabulary.
- Let the paint dry. When everything is dry glue the wings onto the back of the spoon and add the eyes & mouth.
Play-Doh with Utensils
- Fork, Spoon, Knife (NOT sharp- cheese knives or children’s knives often work great for this if you don’t have a play-doh knife)
- Start out by letting your child explore the utensils and play-doh texture. Name the utensils as they pick each one up.
- Narrate the actions “scoop, stab, slice” as they do them independently. If your child is unsure of what to do with the different utensils SHOW them, modeling while naming the action.
- Make balls out of playdoh and practice “scoop it up” or “stab it”, pretend to make pizza and cut it into slices, etc. etc. Get creative!
Make Your Own Placemat
- Placemat Printable (found in my packet HERE)
- Crayons, Markers, Dot Markers, or Paint
- Prep the materials in advance. Let your child help by saying “Go get the _____” and see if they can find it. If they can’t tell them where it is and see if that prompt helps.
- Give your child visual choices in the materials (type and/or colors). Wait for them to request. IF you’ve waited for 8+ seconds with no response, then say “Do you want the ____ or ____”.
- Label the vocabulary as they decorate the placemat. Narrate with things like “Oh you colored the fork NEXT TO the plate”.
- Afterwards, talk about what should go at the top. This is a great place to personalize even further by writing their name. You can practice having them tell you their name (an important safety skill) by saying “Your name is (pause)”, “My name is _____, your name is ______” or “What is your name?”
- IF you have a laminator this one is worth laminating! Ours has held up for over a month now with no sign of wear. We use it at every meal to have B help set her place setting at the table. Talk about multiple opportunities for language AND teaching a skill for promoting independence (while also giving Mama those extra few minutes to get dinner ready :))
Spoon Chick Coming Out of an Egg
- Plastic Spoon
- Crayons/Markers/Washi tape
- Paint & Paintbrush
- Gather all materials. Again, get your child involved in this. “I’m looking for ____” or “Go find/get the ____” are great opportunities for everyday language practice and following directions.
- Start by painting the head and body of the spoon. “We are going to make a chick. Let’s do his head first.”
- When finished say “Ok Stop, we are finished with the head”. Set it aside to dry.
- Draw the outline of an egg (with the cracked edge on top) and let your child decorate BEFORE cutting it out. Give your child choices and offer one material/color at a time but keep others in their line of vision.
- Cut out the egg. Tape a small strip of cardstock or cardboard on the back (the spoon will fit through this space). You can practice “front/back” during this step.
- Get playing! Have fun making your chicks go “peek-a-boo” in their eggs. This is a great opportunity for practice with turn taking in social interactions!
I hope you have enjoyed our week of table utensils and your child has expanded their vocabulary! If you want even more “worksheets” for your child to use during this week you can find my Table Utensils unit with additional activities, crafts, and worksheets HERE.
Remember- the key is slowing down, being repetitive, and staying intentional during your time together! Let me know if your child learned any new vocabulary throughout this week! And if you do any of the crafts please share with me @languageandplaydates on Instagram! More examples of using these activities to increase language can be found under “Utensil Week” on Instagram in my story highlights!