Kids Can Use Knives TooPosted: August 13, 2012 | Author: Jena | Filed under: Cut and Paste, Developmental Themes, Experimentation, playing with our food, Small Motor Skill | Leave a comment »
Warning: I’m not suggesting you hand over your favorite chopping knife to your children.
Starting at 3, I began to carefully supervise my oldest as he cut his own food with a real knife.
I think for every parent and every child, there is a different age that feels comfortable.
I often cut up Little J’s food right at the table, and of course, he expressed his curiosity.
When my kids are genuinely and sincerely curious about a thing, I can trust them to be focused and careful.
When a child is having fun and learning, there’s not a lot of room for destructive behavior, which usually stems from boredom or unmet needs.
Little E and Miss L have joined us for many lunches this summer. Their parents own a restaurant and cooking, baking is a frequently practiced language at their home. One day, I bring cheese, cucumber, apple, pretzels and hummus to the table. They all proclaim their desire to cut up their own food. A while back I bought some really colorful paring knives with covers, specifically to have them for the kids to use. They are real knives and would cause a wound if used improperly, and I warn them of this, teaching them how to hold a knife and which part is sharp.
4 kids sit around the lunch table and slice up their own lunch, the fifth child is 2 and wants to use a knife too. I give him a pumpkin carving knife, strong enough to do the job, but unable to cut his precious little digits. This is probably the most peaceful lunch I have ever sat through with a group of children.
I’m already lamenting the fact that it’s probably frowned upon to pack a knife in Little J’s kindergarten lunch box so he can enjoy the prep of his own foods. The thought of him with a knife at school sends chills up my spine, an example of how the illusion of making kids “safe” deprives them of important life lessons.