Life skills - if they don't get the opportunities to practice then how will they learn? It's as simple as that! Sometimes we have to just give our littlies a chance and observe the carnage so that they can develop the motor skills to do real-world tasks. Just as we would a teenager learning to drive - YES we could do it better and drama free, but we have to give teens some practice or they'll never learn.
YOUR ONE YEAR OLD CAN DO THIS.
Just give them a knife and some butter. From as early as they can stand safely and hold things. In the beginning they might just bang the knife or lick the butter - that's part of the learning. If you consistently give them opportunities, they can only get better and better. August has been learning this skill since he turned one and this is where we're at now - a clumpy mess! But he's so proud and is always improving.
BUT WHAT IF........
Choose a blunt knife. They won't stab their eyes out.
The bread will get a hole and there'll be clumpy spread - you can fix it up a bit and they'll still eat it.
There'll be mess - yes. And it'll be worth it because your little one will be rapidly developing life skills.
MODEL THE ACTION AND THE LANGUAGE.
It's great get alongside your child and do this activity with them. Have your own knife and bread. Talk through what you're doing as you model the task. E.g.
"Right - I'm going to scrape the tip of my knife into the butter so I get a little bit on there. Now I'm sliding it over the bread. I have to hold my knife flat like this so it doesn't get stuck in the bread. I'm holding the bread with my other hand so it keeps still. I've run out of butter! I'll scrape my knife in the butter again to get some more..."
Has your one year old had a butter spreading experience?
Watch how it went here