This cute and classy Toddler Apron is available in multiple designs - please choose your favourite from the drop-down menu! The Apron itself measures approximately 46cm in length (from the neckline to the base of the frill). The waist measures around 70cm (including the straps). The neck strap measures approximately 36cm. It is intended for 'toddlers' (around 18 months to 3 years) but of course each child will be unique in height and body proportions so please consider the measurements to decide whether the Apron will be comfortable for your individual child.
The Toddler Apron allows even the youngest children to start helping in the kitchen and acquiring independence. In particular, the use of velcro to secure the neck and waist straps ensures that little fingers are no obstacle to independence. The child can fasten and remove the apron without intervention from an adult!
The process of fastening the Toddler Apron is demonstrated by my little helper (aged 2 years. 10 months at the time of this photo).
Please note - the use of velcro is a great way of removing an obstacle from the young child's environment so that the toddler can build self-confidence and participate in the cooking experience. It is, however, important to note that we should not therefore offer this as a permanent 'short-cut'. As the child matures, and his/her fine motor control improves, it is important to begin introducing more challenging, age-appropriate experiences. It is therefore appropriate for a pre-school age child (3 - 6) to progress from Aprons with velcro fasteners to those with buckles or with strands to tie together.
The Toddler Apron features a small pocket in front. This is cute but also practical - it can be handy for holding a baking utensil or two so they are always within easy reach through the cooking process.
The Toddler Apron in Pears design is shown here with our Mini Spatula Set in purple.
The pocket can also provide a great way of scaffolding a child's developing 'self-control'. The baking process might involve steps that are particularly 'risky' - such as the use of a sharp implement or a hot tool/surface. Parents or teachers might be eager for the toddler to be involved in the overall process but might wish to initially limit 'hands-on' participation during these more risky procedures. The adult could therefore politely ask the toddler to please place his or her hands into the front pocket until the risk has passed. This works well because toddlers tend to respond much better to a 'positive' instruction rather than a 'negative' one. Saying 'please pop your hands in the pocket' is positive both in tone and in terms of giving an active direction. On the other hand, simply saying 'don't touch' is a more negative instruction because it focuses on what the child can't do and doesn't offer an active suggestion for an appropriate alternative.
Of course, the Montessori approach suggests that a child can be involved in all elements of a cooking procedure as long as appropriate safety precautions and presentations are provided (please see our Safety Suggestions for further details). I therefore certainly wouldn't recommend the 'hands-in-pocket' strategy for long-term use. I do, however, recognise its merit in providing scaffolding for the child and adult alike, as the child becomes familiar with the safety precautions and as the adult becomes more comfortable with the concept of the child engaging in these tasks!
The Toddler Apron is made of 100% cotton. The use of only cotton, rather than featuring a 'plastic' front, provides a natural progression to another Practical Life experience; clothes-washing! The child can learn to carefully hand-wash the Apron (or 'spot-wash' where a stain has occurred) before hanging it out on a clothesline to dry.
This gorgeous Toddler Apron is handmade here in Australia by a very clever and crafty individual.