Teaching your child how to use chopsticks doesn’t have to be difficult. It all comes down to three things: creativity, patience, and a lot of practice.
Chopsticks not only make mealtimes more fun, they’re also a great learning experience, and can help with fine motor skills such as hand-eye coordination as well as developing the hand muscles they’ll need to hold a pencil.
To get you started, we’re sharing our 12 favorite tips and tutorials to teach kids to use chopsticks as well as 9 fun activities you child will love doing at home.
5 Tips on Getting Started
These 5 tips will get you ready to teach your child how to use a pair of chopsticks.
- Start simple – You can help your child begin to master the basics with a set of starter chopsticks. Grab a pair of training chopsticks or create your own set at home with this super-easy tutorial.
- Prepare some food – Make the experience more manageable by prepping some foods to practice with. Some great starter foods include cubed cheese and chunks of apple or bread. Mini marshmallows are super easy to pick up since they are soft and squishy. Avoid anything slippery and always keep in mind the age of your child to avoid any choking hazards.
- Be safe – If you’re using disposable chopsticks, prep them ahead of time to avoid splinters. All you need to do is rub them together to remove the loose strays.
- Practice at every meal – If possible, try and practice with chopsticks at every meal. While it may not always be possible for all meals to be chopstick-friendly, you can still have a small amount of food along with the regular meal that is easy to pick up.
- Encourage participation – Learning can be a more positive experience when everyone participates. When friends and family are learning and using chopsticks at the same time, it’s not only fun, but also more productive.
9 Fun Activities You Can Do At Home
Playtime can also mean learning. These 9 activities are a fun way for your child to practice their chopstick skills, from balls and blocks to pasta and pom pom balls.
- Keep your eye on the ball – Grab some cute little containers, such as cupcake holders, and fill them with colorful felt balls or pom pom balls. Have your child sort them by size or color.
- Learning letters – Have your child use their chopsticks to pick up magnetic letters. They can create the alphabet or spell out simple words or phrases.
- Build a tower – Legos and even small wooden blocks are easy to pick up with chopsticks. You can let your child free play or have them build a simple tower using their chopsticks.
- Play with food – Gather some soft play food and allow them to use their chopsticks to practice picking up the food, pretend to cook and eat it, or just make up their own game.
- Have a treasure hunt – Fill up a large bowl with rice and then hide some small toys and pom pom balls inside. Place the bowl on top of a rimmed cookie sheet to avoid a mess, then let your kids go at it by digging through the rice with their chopsticks to find the buried treasure.
- Practice counting – Grab some corn puff cereal such as Kix. Lay out small bowls or containers, then place a post-it with a different number on it under each container. Have your child pick up pieces of cereal one at a time to fill up each one according to the number below.
- Cars and trucks – If your child has a lot of small play cars and trucks, this activity is perfect for them. Create a pile of cars and trucks and have them sort them using their chopsticks. They can sort by color, type of vehicle, or number of wheels.
- Play with pasta – Gather different types of pasta and have your child sort them or place the pasta on a tray or a piece of paper to create different designs.
- Sort the coins – This activity is best for older kids or those who are feeling comfortable with using chopsticks. Give your child a handful of change and have them sort the coins in denomination order.
4 YouTube Tutorials to Teach Kids to Use Chopsticks
If you’re looking for a little extra help, these 4 video tutorials will make it easy to teach your child how to use chopsticks.
Teach your kid how to use chopsticks in a fun and simple way | ThePlaygroupTV
The name of this video says it all. Your child can watch along with you to learn the basics.
How to Use Chopsticks Easily for Beginners | HowToCreatorss
With just a few simple instructions, this video teaches the art of chopsticks to kids and adults alike!
How to Teach Your Child to Use Chopsticks | Heidi Dulebohn
This video walks you through why using chopsticks is a valuable skill and the best way to teach your child.
How to Use Chopsticks Immediately | Easily Explained
This video will show you how to teach your kids to use chopsticks without the use of training chopsticks.
3 Helpful Tips to Remember
Keep these 3 helpful tips in mind before you begin teaching your child to use chopsticks.
- Start early – The younger you start, the easier it will be to teach your child how to use chopsticks. Believe it or not, in Chinese culture kids as young as one begin learning how to use chopsticks. Your best bet is to wait until after your child has mastered using a spoon, fork, and knife, before you introduce chopsticks.
- Don’t rush – The whole process can take awhile, so it’s important to be patient. Younger kids especially may lose interest or get frustrated sooner. Everyone learns at their own pace, so just focus on the fun.
- Have backup – Keep a fork on hand for those moments when little fingers get tired or it’s too hard to be patient.
Learning how to use chopsticks can be exciting! Mealtimes will never be the same again after you try our 12 tips and tutorials to teach kids to use chopsticks.
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