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Pour It On

No doubt your preschooler mastered drinking from a cup some time ago, but when can she start to pour her own juice or milk? By the time they're 3, most kids have the necessary hand-eye coordination, thanks to activities they do naturally, such as placing blocks into holes or filling a toy truck with dirt. To help your preschooler develop pouring proficiency:

  • Let her put her hands on yours as you pour from a pitcher. Release the handle slightly (but still hold it), to give her a sense of its weight.

  • For her first solo attempt, have her stand at a play table or on a sturdy stool in front of a kitchen counter; the surface of either should be waist-high. Give her a small container, such as an individual-size milk carton or plastic juice bottle, to pour from.

  • Provide her with a sturdy cup to fill: a short, wide-mouthed, heavy-bottomed plastic one.

  • Encourage her to hold the container she's pouring from with both hands for a firm grasp, so that she can control it easily.

  • Since her coordination and depth perception are still shaky, avoid an overflow by asking her to pour slowly and stop when the liquid reaches the middle.