With Finn starting school in September we felt it was a good time for him to start learning a key skill - using a knife and fork properly. Meal times are a bit of an ongoing battle for us still as he is such a fussy eater but he does love to feel like he is doing more 'grown up' things, including staying up late and having dinner with us, so it felt like the timing was right to start. We were lucky enough to be sent a knife and fork set from Nana's Manners to test out - cutlery that promotes independence and building confidence - both important life skills for a new chapter at school.
Set up by teacher and mum Kathryn, who I've had the pleasure of meeting a handful of times, she is truly dedicated and passionate about her family run business after being inspired by seeing the issues faced with kids at school using cutlery. After a lot of research and testing she has come up with these ergonomically shaped handles to help support the teaching of a key skill.
Aimed at school age kids 4+ years, both the knife and fork have uniquely shaped handles to guide smaller hands to the correct position. Finn really liked the packaging and design (as did I) it felt fun, colourful and modern and he was keen to get cracking with using them! The set comes with peekaboo stickers to help guide children to position their fingers and hold the cutlery independently by sticking them to the fingernail of index fingers and their respective points on the cutlery. To be honest we only used the stickers once as Finn seemed to find where the right dents and dips were to snuggle his fingers into quite intuitively.
We have been practicing at meal times and he does still need to build his confidence up by using them without asking or checking with me if he is doing it correctly (which he is most of the time). He can now cut up his own food using a knife and fork - now we just need to work on getting him to eat a more varied diet!
We were also sent a pack of conversation cards which Finn loved - a pack of cards each with an open questions on to help get them thinking and start up conversation, such as 'Would you rather be a bird or a fish'. Some of the answers we got back were pretty funny and cute, it was a good distraction to making a meal time more relaxed and making him eat more.
I really recommend using this cutlery set if you want to teach your child to use a knife and fork properly. It's a brilliant idea and I love the concept behind it - to create a stress free eating environment removing distraction to focus more on the food and engagement in conversation around the table instead - another key skill for growing up.
Nana's Manners Cutlery set (green or red) £19.95
Conversation cards £4.50
Super pleased to see these now being stocked in JoJo Maman Bebe as well. To buy a set direct from the Nana's Manners website click here.