Bub has loved her food ever since we started solids at six months. Apart from initially pretending to gag on carrots and peas, she's always eaten everything I've given to her. Even though she got her teeth a lot later than the rest of the babies in our mums group she still insisted on moving onto eating "chunky" food instead of puree at about ten months old, when she only had 3 teeth (no top ones). She did surprisingly well using her top gum to chew food. She quickly became interested in feeding herself and never looked back. For the past few months she's been happily feeding herself lunch and dinner.
While other mums have gone through the refusing to eat stage with their toddlers, mine continues to eat everything. I know you all hate me after I admitted that, but believe me I know how lucky I am to have a toddler that eats everything. Her appetite has grown more since she's been walking so she now eats bigger meals and needed to move on from using her baby bowls because they just don't hold enough food. Because shes being such a big girl feeding herself, I decided to get her some big girl plates for home.
We're now using the TBMS educational dinnerware set for all our lunch and dinner meals at home. The dinner set comprises of a large dinner plate, a bowl and a tumbler which all feature different mathematic equations in bright stimulating colours. Each piece has different maths equations including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; ranging from simple through to more advanced calculations. The dinnerware is Australian owned and designed and is made from melamine which is BPA free. It comes in a pink and a blue version.
We've been using our set for a few weeks now and bub loves it. She uses the plate and bowl confidently and doesn't pick them up and tip the food all over the high chair tray or herself, despite them not having a sticky base like most bowls for toddlers. She's getting more confident with using the tumbler, she knows how to tip it up to drink out of it, but hasn't quite worked out how to drink without spilling some of it down the front of her because she still uses sippy cups. She's loving the fact that she can (at least try to) drink out of a big cup like us though. There's so many practical and educational benefits to this set that I love it too and so will other parents.
Big kid plates
The dinnerware set is a great first set for toddlers who are ready to transition from baby bowls to bigger plates. It lets them feel like big kids, but being made from melamine they're still perfectly safe for younger children. Now they can eat from a proper plate, bowl and cup just like mummy and daddy do, without the risk of breaking them. The set will also cater for children up until 11/12 years of age so they're a great investment.
Each piece is a sturdy 3.5mm thick which means they don't topple over easy and are less likely to fall. They're also made of 100% melamine which makes them super durable and able to withstand the odd bump and fall. Bub has a habit of occasionally throwing her bowl from the high chair when she's finished and shes done it to the cereal bowl and it was perfectly fine despite falling onto tiles. The only thing not recommended is putting the pieces in the microwave.
Easy to clean
The dinner set is easy to clean and doesn't get stained by foods such as spaghetti or soy sauce which normally left stains on her plastic baby bowls. It can also be washed on the top shelf of the dishwasher, I haven't done this as I hand wash all her bottles and bowls, but its great that they can be washed in the dishwasher for those who are time poor (or hate washing dishes).
Educational and fun
The best part of this dinner set is that the different mathematics equations make dinner into a fun learning experience for kids of all ages. For younger children who obviously don't understand maths yet it can be simplified by putting a certain number of each veggie (for example) on the plate and just talking about the number of each vegetable to associate numbers with fun. You could also simplify it to pointing out the different colours of the equations. Bub looks at the numbers and points to them, but obviously doesn't understand them and won't for a while. Right now she gets excited when she eats the food and the numbers appear underneath.
For preschoolers the dinner set could be used to point out different numbers instead of doing the actual equations, e.g can you find the number 4? Once they understand basic counting and numbers you could get them to count how many number 4's there are on the plate or cup. For those fussy eaters you could also use it to count out how many peas (for example) they have to eat before they can leave the table or have dessert.
Older children could use the dinnerware to practice times tables etc at the dinner table to open up conversations between the family, e.g. quizzing mum and dad or the other way round. Or make it into a game of who can get the most correct answers to the equations first.
There are so many opportunities to use this dinnerware set to make learning and numbers fun for children of all ages. It would make the perfect gift for children from 1-11 for Christmas. Personally I think the sooner kids get introduced to learning opportunities the better so I'm glad we've started using it at this age. In a few months I'll start using it to introduce her to different colours and eventually we'll move onto the numbers.
If you'd like to get a dinnerware set for your own little ones or to give as a gift, The Busy Mum Store is offering 10% off* to all Finding Myself Young readers on either colour dinner set (that's a whole set for only $18 + postage). Dinnerware pieces can also be purchased separately for $9.95 and TBMS also stock educational placemats for different age groups. They make the ideal practical, fun and educational (non toy) present for kids of all ages. To order, you can either use the contact form on www.thebusymumsstore.com or send a PM via the facebook page and don't forget to mention Finding Myself Young to receive your discount.
*discount only applies to complete dinnerware sets.
Disclosure - I was gifted a dinnerware set in pink and blue (the blue one I am passing on as a Christmas present to a little boy). All opinions in this review are based on our experiences with the products. I did not receive payment for this review.
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