Snack time in Beginners is often a highlight of the children’s day. While the children are typically motivated to join snack because of the appealing food choices, snack time also offers them the opportunity to develop and expand upon an extensive array of skills.
The children must use executive function skills when setting up for snack. If they bring a plate or a cup before the placemat, they will have to reorganize their place setting.
Gross motor development and coordination is supported through movements such as transporting objects to the table, navigating around others and furniture, gently placing items on the table, pulling out the chair, sitting down and scooting in close to the table.
During snack, the children practice practical life skills of self-care, care of the environment and grace and courtesy. The children feed themselves, use utensils, pour from pitchers and serve themselves with scoops and tongs. If a spill occurs, the children use small mops or a dustpan and broom to clean-up. Common courtesies such as passing the serving bowls and pitchers, saying “please,” “thank you” and “excuse me” are a part of our snack routine.
Snack time is also a wonderful time for conversations and discussions, which contribute to the children’s language development.
You may also notice your child is more likely to try new and novel foods as a result of seeing peers eat something he/she had not tried previously.
At the end of snack, the children pour any excess water in their cup into the sink, scrape any remaining food off of their plates into the trash and place the items they used for snack on a dirty dish trolley or basin—this is another practice in caring for the environment. It is amazing how much happens in an activity that is relatively brief in terms of time!