Though it's been a while, some of you may remember that Tyler enjoys math. A lot. A lot, lot. The very idea of updating the huge amount of math we've covered truly makes my head spin. So, anyhow, using a Sharpie, I turned the tray into a clock! Tyler was instantly intrigued. He enjoys saying "I ate all of 1:00!" and enjoys eating his way around the clock, getting a good variety of foods as he goes. We've been doing this for a couple weeks now and it still works to make meals more fun for him!
For children not interested in or ready for the concept of clocks, you can simply use it for number recognition: "What food is in six?" or "What number are your beans in?". Of course the kiddos can help fill their tray as well: "Where do you think we could put your carrots? Two or three?" and then the child's task is to find that number and fill it. You could teach even and odd numbers to a child who's ready by, for example, placing fruit items in the even spots and vegetables in the odd. Or look at halves by making one half of the clock veggies and the other fruit. Hands-on math fun!
I should note that in order to fill the whole clock I often have to put the same food in two spots, but children who eat a wide variety of food (this is not Ty) could have little nibbles of everything. Kids love choices!
What do you do to make meal-time more fun and interesting? Please feel free to share in the comments!