Using chopsticks can be a challenge for adults, let alone children!
If you’re wondering how to teach your child how to use chopsticks, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we will take you through a quick guide on how to use chopsticks for kids.
Let’s get started.
Teaching your child how to learn chopsticks isn’t an easy feat, and will take time, patience, and persistence!
However, with the right attitude, starting your child on chopsticks can be a very fun and rewarding project for you both!
So, how do you go about teaching your child how to use chopsticks (see also ‘How To Hold Chopsticks‘)?
How To Use Chopsticks For Kids
Step One – Assist Your Child With Their Hand Positioning
When using chopsticks, it is important that your child’s hands are positioned correctly.
For starters, their hand position must be comfortable for them.
It also needs to be placed so that they have enough space to hold both chopsticks properly.
Instruct your child to hold the top chopstick like they would a pencil.
Step Two – Place Your Child’s Middle Finger Between The Chopsticks
Next, you will need to ensure that your child’s middle finger is placed between the chopsticks. Their middle finger will act as an anchor for them, with the idea that this will keep the chopsticks in the right position.
Step Three – Teach Your Child To Move The Top Chopstick
You need to teach your child to move the top chopstick up and down.
This is an important motion that they need to master so that they have an understanding of how to grip onto what they are trying to pick up to eat with their chopsticks.
Show your child examples and try using a few small movements until they get the hang of it!
Step Four – Have Your Child Pick Up Large Food Items
Once your child has mastered the motion of moving the chopsticks up and down without dropping them, it’s time to put their skills into practice.
Get them to pick up large food items first, as these foods will be much easier to begin with than smaller foods.
Once they have a handle on larger foods and their confidence begins to build, you can then try getting them to pick up smaller foods.
Once they have mastered smaller foods, you can try enjoying an entire meal with chopsticks!
Step Five – Enjoying A Meal
Your child has put in the work, so now the real test begins – a meal with chopsticks!
Eating an entire meal with chopsticks might be a challenge for them to begin with, especially as it will likely have a few components that they need to get their head around picking up.
To boost their confidence, you should opt for an easy meal that they can pick up quickly and work their way up as they gain a bit more experience.
After all, they need to learn to walk before they can run! So don’t push them too hard in the first instance by giving them a really difficult meal for their first try.
Tips When Teaching Your Child To Eat With Chopsticks
Have Patience With Your Child
Your child is learning a skill that even some adults don’t ever master, so it’s important to remain patient with them.
While it’s an impressive feat to achieve, if they’re really struggling – that’s okay!
Tell your child that they can try again another day. You should never become impatient with your child as they learn, as this will likely result in them resenting the learning process and they will likely take even longer to learn.
Create Training Chopsticks With A Rubber Band
Learning to eat with chopsticks comes to some people more naturally than others.
All you need to make training chopsticks is a rubber band, some tape, and of course, a pair of chopsticks! The plastic wrapping that the chopsticks come in will also help during this process, so don’t chuck that away.
Step One – Separate The Chopsticks
First, you will need to separate the chopsticks. When working with wooden chopsticks like this, you will also need to make sure that you rub them together to ensure that you’ve gotten rid of any splinters before giving them to your child to hold.
Step Two – Roll The Plastic Wrapping
Next, you will want to roll the plastic wrapping that your chopsticks came in until it is the width of a pencil.
Taking a piece of tape, you will want to tape it until it is fully sealed.
Step Three – Use The Plastic Wrapping As A Wedge
Following this, you will want to use the plastic wrapping as a wedge between your two chopsticks at the bottom part of the chopsticks.
Step Four – Wrap Your Rubber Band Around It
Last, but by no means least, you will need to wrap your rubber band around the bottom part of your chopsticks.
You will now have your very own training chopsticks that you can give to your child to help them on their way to learning how to use chopsticks!
What Age Should You Teach Your Child To Eat With Chopsticks?
There isn’t a specific age that your kid can begin to learn to eat with chopsticks. However, you will likely get some positive results when you try teaching them to eat with chopsticks at the age of 4.
In fact, in China, it is recommended that 4 to 5 year olds can use chopsticks, and by the age of 6 should know how to use them skillfully.
Before this age, it’s likely your child will struggle to use chopsticks, so bear this in mind when deciding when you should teach them.
It’s also important to note that every child is different. While one of your children might pick up learning to eat with chopsticks very easily at the age of 4, another one of your children might struggle until the age of 10!
You never know how well your kid is going to react to using chopsticks until they give it a go, so don’t feel disheartened if they’re taking longer than you expected to pick it up. Have patience with them and allow them to lead the way as they continue to learn this new skill!
So, there you have it! We have reached the end of our guide on how to teach children how to use chopsticks.
Hopefully, after reading this short guide, you now understand how to use chopsticks effectively for children.
Good luck teaching your child to use chopsticks!