How to Use Training Chopsticks
Using training chopsticks is a great way to transition yourself to using real chopsticks. Training chopsticks were created to help the process for those who may not have grown up with chopsticks as a child but want to pick it up. While training chopsticks may come in different styles, we’ll go into depth on when the best time is to learn using training chopsticks, the difference between kids chopsticks and chopstick helpers, how to use training chopsticks and how to make them DIY style.
How to Use Training Chopsticks
We’ll go through the steps of how to use training chopsticks in this section. While most training chopsticks may be suited for children, it’s never too late for adults to pick up the art of using chopsticks. Training chopsticks will only make the process easier.
- Find Training Chopsticks that Fit your Needs
- Practice with Training Chopsticks At Every Meal
- Use Training Chopsticks on Larger Foods First
- Experiment Using Training Chopsticks Outside of Home
- Transition Out of Training Chopsticks
Training chopsticks come in all different styles from chopsticks helpers with the plastic in the center, to toppers that hold both sticks together, to rings that you can slide your finger into. Depending on what you’re looking for and how much help you’re looking to get out of training chopsticks, start with those. There are training chopsticks for adults and for children, so make sure you get the right ones. While the chopsticks helpers may be the most cost effective, they’re also the most difficult training chopsticks to learn with and are best for those who may have already had some experience with chopsticks. If you’ve never been able to use a pair of chopsticks correctly, go for the kids chopsticks or training chopsticks for toddlers which either have the rings to loop your fingers in or the topper, or sometimes both.
Aim to practice with larger food items like pieces of protein and pasta before going into smaller pieces like rice or thin noodles. Bring training chopsticks out at every family meal time and challenge everyone to pick up everything at dinner with them. Go big first! From pieces of bread to chunks of meat or vegetables, using training chopsticks will help you ease into the smaller pieces and avoid frustration around the whole process.
Once you’ve nailed training chopsticks at home, see how you perform under pressure at a restaurant, or in front of others at a social gathering. Some may want to skip this step if they feel ready to dive head first into using real chopsticks instead of training chopsticks in public. Try using training chopsticks the next time you’re at a sushi restaurant. While sushi may come in large enough pieces and look like a simple task, they’re advanced because of the grip you need to maintain with chopsticks to avoid the contents from falling out. This makes the perfect test for using training chopsticks or chopsticks in general. For those who don’t want to take that dive yet, using training chopstick at restaurants is the next big step to transitioning out of them.
Have you mastered picking up sushi rolls at restaurants? If so, you’re ready to try real chopsticks and to transition out of training chopsticks. Leave your training chopsticks at home and see how you fair in restaurants. Different restaurants will have different styles of chopsticks so beware of what you may feel comfortable with. Note that disposable chopsticks may cause splinters so make sure to shave some of those loose strays by rubbing the chopsticks together. Other restaurants may have reusable chopsticks which will act similarly to the training chopsticks you’ve gotten accustomed to. Korean restaurants are notorious for using metal chopsticks which are just slightly more advanced due to its slippery material. Try out different restaurants to get experience using all types of chopsticks. You’ll soon become a chopsticks pro. If you want to learn more about metal chopsticks, read our guide here.
Once you’ve learned, introduce training chopsticks for toddlers to your children. Here’s a quick video on how to use kid’s chopsticks.
How to Make Training Chopsticks
While many opt in to buying a pair of training chopsticks, they’re also easy to make at home. Plan a DIY day with your family or children to all make training chopsticks together. You can make training chopsticks at home using disposable chopsticks that come with takeout! All you need are the chopsticks, paper wrapper, and a rubber band. Here’s a step by step guide on how to make training chopsticks
When to Learn Training Chopsticks & When to Teach Training Chopsticks
There is no specific age you need to learn chopsticks by. But starting sooner rather than later gives more time for practice. While many people first get their exposure to chopsticks in Asian restaurants, they’re prevalent in modern homes today as standard eating utensils. While chopsticks are commonly seen in Asian take-out, they’ve become staple kitchen essentials for families in eating just about any dish. There are even chopsticks helpers or kids chopsticks that you can buy that will ease the process a bit and also making learning chopsticks a little more fun.
When should you learn chopsticks? As soon as you can.
Learning chopsticks can be beneficial in social settings. Imagine being at a sushi restaurant and picking up a California roll with a fork or spoon – eek! At more established restaurants, this can be viewed as disrespectful to the chef. Learning chopsticks is a simple feat that gets even more refined through practice and time. If you have a family with children, the next question may be:
When should you teach chopsticks? After children have mastered the spoon, fork, and knife.
When children have reached an age where chopsticks are no longer a choking hazard to them, introduce them to chopsticks! Learning how to use chopsticks after learning the other foundations of the spoon and fork will only help them. There are plenty of kids chopsticks or training chopsticks for toddlers that are brightly colored and adorned with cute animals that make the experience enjoyable for children. Chopsticks helpers are designed in a way that eases someone into getting used to holding chopsticks the right way, picking up food with chopsticks, and then eventually help transition them out of helper chopsticks to real ones. We’ll show you our favorite training chopsticks for toddlers and adults later in this article.
Kids chopsticks and chopsticks helpers are synonymous with training chopsticks or beginners’ chopsticks. Kids chopsticks are usually distinguishable by its bright colors and children-friendly decoration like cute animals affixed to chopsticks as a topper. Chopstick helpers are really anything attached to a pair of chopsticks that holds them together in a way that’s less pressure and force on your hand to pick up food easier. Usually, it’s a piece of plastic that you can slot chopsticks into. These chopstick helpers, while helpful, aren’t absolutely necessary. But if you are having a hard time with using chopsticks, I’d highly recommend getting some chopsticks helpers. While chopstick helpers generally assist with learning how to use chopsticks, the piece may not fit all types of chopsticks. They seem to work universally with the single-use, disposable chopsticks. While the set up may not be ideal if you’re environmentally conscious, you can try a number of different reusable chopsticks to see which fit best.
Kids Chopsticks vs. Chopstick Helpers
Kids chopsticks are even more exciting! Not only are they great training chopsticks for toddlers to practice how to use chopsticks, but they also introduce fun to mealtimes for children. Encourage children to pick up broccoli with training chopsticks that have a lion on top or a pink elephant. While kids chopsticks come in a variety of styles, you’ll see training chopsticks for children that either have a loop to put fingers through, or a piece that holds the two sticks together, similar to chopstick helpers. Kids love using training chopsticks because it’s almost like playtime. Introduce these kids training chopsticks in an exciting way and mealtimes will never be the same.
The Best Training Chopsticks
The best training chopsticks are always the ones that you love because those will motivate you to continuing training with chopsticks until you’ve perfected the art! Training chopsticks for toddlers can be especially inspiring with the cute animals or bright colored designs. Here are a few of our favorite:
Cartoon Cat Children Training Chopsticks | White (1 Pair)
Kids Training Stainless Steel Chopsticks | Yellow Giraffe in Gold (1 Pair)
Cute Bear Training Chopsticks for Kids | Brown (1 Pair)
Remember that learning a new trick takes time. Be patient with yourself, friends, and children who may be learning how to use chopsticks for the first time. While training chopsticks are great for adults and children to ease into using real chopsticks, it does take practice and positive reinforcement. Find the best training chopsticks that motivate you to continuing practicing with them and you’ll be using chopsticks like a pro in no time.
Once you’ve mastered the art of training chopsticks, start with natural wooden chopsticks as these have more friction and are a great starter to using real chopsticks.