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Knife and Fork Skills for Preschoolers

play doh dinner

The twins will be starting school in September. It is a big change from Nursery as they will be at school all day and will have their dinner in school. I am a bit worried as I haven’t spent a lot of time teaching them knife and fork skills. We have a lot of work to do over the Summer. Although we will be practicing every meal time and I will give the children lots of reminders I thought it would be good to start them off without using real food and take some of the stress away from it. I decided to make them some pretend food with play dough which they could practice cutting.

Play dough dinner

play dough dinner

I made three colours of play dough: green, yellow and red/brown. When they were made we made them into food shapes. The girls enjoyed doing this themselves but I made a final version to give them to practice cutting up. Rose liked rolling the peas – although I don’t know why she made the other things into crosses. This was really good practice for rolling balls.

play dough dinner

The final dinner was sausages, peas and chips. I have set aside some cutlery to keep with the play dough as the girls loved this activity so much I’m sure we will repeat it.

homemade play dough dinner

As you can see this is a definite work in progress. Both girls found it hard to hold the food down with the fork and then cut with the knife in the other hand.

practicing knife and fork skills

They used their hand often instead of the knife and fork.

practicing knife and fork skills

They played this game for quite a while and I did start to see an improvement. It was good because I could concentrate on helping them with this one skill. Usually meal times are so busy and I don’t tend to focus on their knife and fork skills but i could give them lots of tips and model how to hold their cutlery correctly.

play doh dinner

Of course you do have to remind young children not to eat the play dough – especially when it’s shaped like food. Luckily neither of them ate any, but they liked to pretend they were eating it – silly things.

play doh dinner for knife skills


This is my post for get Ready for K Through Play

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To see what the other bloggers have been doing to prepare their little ones for school check out these blogs:

Transitions to Independence for Kids – Mess for Less

– Mama Smiles

Mom to 2 posh lil divas

Coffee Cups and Crayons

The Pleasantest Thing

Rainy Day Mum

– Toddler Approved

 Pin for later!Play dough dinner: a great way to practice knife and fork skills for toddlers and preschool children


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