Sorting cutlery is a great way for children to become familiar with cutlery before learning to set the table. This activity is most beneficial for younger children from around eighteen months/two years.
There was never a time though that Caspar would have been interested to sit down at his table and do this activity alone. Simply it was never of interest. So, this becomes like so many other activities in our home, an activity that occurs in the kitchen when the need arises. He will sort the cutlery when helping unload the dishwasher, when I am cleaning out the cutlery draw or on the occassions that I have rearranged the kitchen.
I think this is a great example of how we can introduce Montessori concepts into our everyday lives without having to set up elaborate activities, really it's just a part of everyday living.
You could even turn this into a Three Part/Period Lesson
1. (Holding the spoon) This is a spoon.
2. Can you give me/show me the spoon.
3. (Holding the spoon) What is this?
This also demonstrates the perfection that an older child will seek in an activity they are familiar with. Caspar is making sure each item is perfectly aligned.
I should mention that to start Caspar off, I put one of each item into the dividers, one spoon in the spoon section, one knife in the knife section etc. If you were super organised you could cut out an image of each item and put it into the relevant section to guide the child.
A practical, practical life activity!