Sunday, August 22, 2010

An Independent Breakfast

Looking for a way to get your children involved in (the sometimes hectic) breakfast time?  Certainly, a parent can get their children involved in cooking eggs or pancakes, but most times, we're looking for helpful ways to get our kids fed and on the school bus in time.  It does take a day or two of adjustment, accidental spills, and a few dollars but it's worth it in the long run.  Start simple. A cereal breakfast. 
Here's what to order:

Bowls and silverware of your choice

Serving tray (these work great)


  • Set up your bowls and the cereal dispenser on a low pantry shelf.  Place the juice glasses on a serving tray on the same shelf.
  • Fill one pitcher with milk and one with orange juice and place on a low shelf in the refrigerator.
Day One:
Tell your child you are going to pour yourself a glass of juice.  He or she is welcome to try it too as soon as you're finished presenting.  Using limited words, show your child how to choose a juice glass and place it on the kitchen table.  Walk to the refrigerator and choose the juice pitcher.  Carry it properly with two hands- one on the handle and one supporting the spout.  Slowly and deliberately, pour the juice into the glass.  Put the pitcher back into the refrigerator, holding it properly.  Then, sit down and enjoy your glass of juice.  Stand up, push in your chair, and place in the dishwasher.  (Maybe on the weekends, you can show your child how to wash the dish in the sink.)

Day Two:
Tell your child you are going to pour a bowl of cereal.  He or she is welcome to eat the cereal as soon as you have prepared it.  Using limited vocabulary (it's simply too distracting for the child to watch AND listen to you at the same time) show your child how to fetch a spoon and a napkin.  Set your place (introduce place setting with this puzzle if you like).  Walk to the pantry and choose a bowl.  Put your bowl under the dispenser and turn the knob.  Put your bowl on the table and clean up any pieces that may have fallen.  Walk to the refrigerator and choose the milk pitcher.  Carry it to the table properly and pour the desired amount of milk onto the cereal.  Return the pitcher and invite your child to eat the bowl of cereal.  Again, encourage pushing in the chair and placing items in the dishwasher. 

Day Three:
Ask your child to pour himself a glass of juice.  Then, ask him to serve himself a bowl of cereal.  Watch carefully and note any difficulties.  Go back later when your child is not present and find solutions to the problems. 

Breaking the lesson into days ensures that your child has mastered one skill at a time, without getting overwhelmed.  It may seem like extra work, but before you know it, your children will be downstairs serving themselves breakfast while you're catching a few extra zzzs!

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