There are so many fantastic activities we can prepare for our toddlers using materials found around the home. Sometimes we just need a little reminder. My toddler loves to unpack the dishwasher and put the dishes away. But he doesn't always get the chance, often his brothers unpack the dishwasher when he is not around. Due to the height of our cutlery drawer he often just puts all of our cutlery in one spot in the drawer.
A cutlery sorting tray is super easy to put together and appeals to the child's sense of order. The child can sort and put the cutlery away over and over. For this activity I've used a spare set of travelling cutlery, the knives have a round tip and are much safer than our every day adult's cutlery. I've used a wooden bamboo cutlery tray and some print outs of our fork, knife and spoon to help direct my toddler. I've attached the images to the bamboo tray with double-sided tape which is easy to remove.
I've included lots of examples pictured above. Some are lovely images of toddlers unpacking utensils straight from the dishwasher, some are prepared trays. #2 uses children's cutlery in a bucket which is fantastic if you have enough to spare. Others like #6 use plastic cutlery, while in Montessori we would prefer real cutlery, this is still a nice and affordable sorting activity. Some have drawn outlines (#4) and some have used no outlines at all. However you do it, this is an interesting and relevant sorting activity that will appeal to many young toddlers!!
I've used images in the tray to help direct my toddler. The first time I presented this activity Otto (23 months) repeated it around five or six times. This is easy to mix up too, perhaps with wooden spoons, spatulas and, ladles or other kitchen tools.