Age: I introduced this a little after my child started walking proficiently and figured out how to pour. This is used with our dog, but can be used for any pet where food needs to be transferred from one container to another.
- pet food
- food dish
- can pour solids from one container to another
- can walk while carrying objects
- can use pincer grasp to pick up kibble
1. Ask child to bring food dish over to where pet food is stored.
2. At first, I scooped the food to ensure the pet is getting the right amount. When a child is closer to 2, they can start doing the scooping. Picture is of child doing a practice scoop and then I added more as needed.
3. Give scoop to child to pour into pet bowl*.
4. Return scoop to pet food container.
5. Carry dish over to where the pet eats their food and set it down*.
*Things to keep in mind: This activity requires a lot of patience and time! Especially in the beginning, it’s ok if your child doesn’t do it all the time! There will be lots of spills, and many times there just isn’t enough time and patience in your day. It’s ok, give yourself grace as well. My 1-year-old feeds the dog once every couple days. Sometimes I help hold one side of the pet food bowl while they are walking with it and then give them chances to do it on their own as they get more proficient. I also might help physically guide them to where to pour in the beginning. When there are spills, encourage the child to help put the food back into the bowl, many children might even be excited to do it. Or they may get overwhelmed and run away. Just finish up the task and try again another time. If your child tries to continuously shove pet food in their mouth, it is also ok to abandon the task! Toddler activities require lots of trial and error. Before you know it, they will be 3 and they can do it independently.