1 to 2 years old: Sorting and Matching Utensils You need five forks, and five spoons, two identical baskets or utensil container with two compartments. Arrange utensils in a horizontal row in random order. Show your toddler how to place forks in one basket/compartment of the utensil container, and spoons in the other. Offer your help as necessary. Mix the utensils and start again. Make sure the materials stay available for as long as needed. Make this a group activity involving siblings. Introduce other utensils, such as knives, different sizes of spoons, forks, etc.
2 to 3 years old: Sorting and Matching Utensils Use the activity presented above first. Once your child is familiar with sorting utensils, ask them to help you with sorting the utensils from the dishwasher. Use a stool or an activity tower to make sure they can reach the utensil drawer. Show them where everything goes, and with help, have them place everything in its place.
1 to 2 years old: Using Cookie Cutters to Cut Bread into Shapes Material: cutting board, plate with slices of firm bread (not soft), a serving plate, small cookie cutter in any shape small enough to cut one or two shapes out of each slice of bread, aprons. You may start by washing hands and putting aprons on, if you have them. This is a good way to teach your child to prepare a snack with you.
When cutting with the cookie cutter, press the cutter moving slowly and deliberately. Lift up the slice of bread and gently push out the cut-out shape and place on the serving plate. Repeat, cutting two more shapes, and invite your child to do the activity with the rest of the bread, offering your help when necessary.
Put the materials away, showing your child to place the leftover bread in a covered container, cleaning the bread crumbs, wiping the table, sweeping the crumbs on the floor, washing the small plate. These can also be lessons for another day. Invite your toddler to eat the bread shapes or serve the others, then wash the serving plate and return it to its proper place. This completes the activity. Once the child has acquired experience and skill, offer cookie cutters of different sizes and shapes. 2 to 3 years old: Using Cookie Cutters to Cut Bread into Shapes Use the activity presented above. Teach your toddler how to clean after themselves. Cutting bread shapes could also complement a lesson in geometrical shapes. Add complexity and interest to the activity by using a butter knife to spread each shape with cream cheese or other spread, then decorate with raisins. Make this a cooperative social activity, by inviting the siblings to prepare a snack together.
Practical Life (all ages) Invite your child to help sanitize handles and frequently touched surfaces. Wet a cloth with water and soap or use a disinfecting wipe. Model how to wipe clean the handles of doors, drawers, and closet handles. (Be sure to wash hands before and after!)
Kitchen Peel hard boiled eggs. This is easier with eggs that are few days old and have been placed in a cold water bath after boiling. Save the shells for an art activity (see Self-Expression below).
Self-Expression Save your egg shells and show your child how to crush them with a mortar and pestle. Sprinkle the egg shells in your garden, make chalk, or dye the crushed egg shells and glue onto paper.