Introduction: Utensils for Kids

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Are you a parent who has a hard time getting their kids to eat their veggies? Or maybe you're like me and wince at the thought of a plate of steamed broccoli. Broccoli might not be much fun for kids, but put an engine sound behind it and their imagination might take over long enough to down those veggies.

Imagination might be enough for some kids but let's face it, toys make everything more fun. Add a little adventure to your next meal by combining toys with cutlery, don't forget to make the noises too!

enough talk, let's eat some broccoli make some cutlery!

Step 1: Tools + Materials

Almost any toy can be used to for this project, here's some criteria to consider when selecting toys to use:
  • can toy be easily disassembled/reassembled?
  • can toy accept a long flat metal addition?
  • is the toy easily modified?
Depending on your toy selection you may encounter all or none of the issues listed above. The important thing is to plan out your choices in advance. I got all my toys at the Dollar Store, they were a mix of metal and plastic toys and some were easier to work on than others.

  • screwdriver
  • marker
  • hacksaw
  • utility knife
  • vice / clamp
  • sugru
  • toys ($dollar)
  • utensils (fork, spoon, knife, etc.)

Step 2: Soldier Fork

The head of the soldier will be replaced with the fork head, a portion of the handle will be located inside the hollow cavity of the soldier body. This toy soldier had several screws located in the back, take a small screwdriver and disassemble the torso.

With the torso open, position the head of the fork in neck opening of toy soldier. There will be an optimal position in the neck opening depending on where the fork neck tapers into the handle. After the fork head has been positioned, mark on fork handle where the hollow torso ends. The excess fork handle will need to be removed in order to fit inside torso cavity.

Step 3: Airplane Spoon

This airplane was mostly metal with a plastic bottom and could not be taken apart easily. Luckily the plane had a flat bottom which could easily accommodate the addition of the spoon handle, so no disassembly was required.

The front wheel had to be trimmed off using a utility knife, then the spoon handle was positioned. Holding the spoon in position mark on the spoon handle where the excess can be cut off.

Step 4: Truck Knife

The knife has slightly different requirements than other utensils as it endures more abuse from the saw-like motion and pressure applied while cutting. For this reason it's advised not to cut the knife handle and find a toy which can accommodate the entire handle snugly. I chose a truck for the knife, as it had a long body and would be able to hold the knife handle without much modification.

Open the truck and find a suitable location to place the knife handle. This toy truck has a wind-up feature that I wanted to keep operable, so I placed the knife handle off-centre next to the wind-up housing, the blade sticks out the front of the truck through the radiator.

Using a hacksaw, cut a slit through the the truck chassis to hold the knife, then cut a matching slit in the radiator located on the top half of the truck shell. Several small modifications were made to the inside of the truck body to allow the knife handle to sit low and snug, use a combination of knife and hacksaw to make the grove the knife will sit in.

Step 5: Cut Utensils to Length

With the spoon and fork marked (from Step 2 and Step 3), it's time to cut some cutlery.
Clamp down cutlery securely before cutting, once secure use a hacksaw and make the cuts.

Remember that the handle embedded in the toys will help provide leverage when in use so measure twice cut once, the sugru alone will not hold the utensil heads.

Step 6: Sugru

To secure the utensils to the toys I used sugru, an adhesive non-slumping silicone variant that bonds to almost anything.

Soldier fork:
Place several gobs of sugru around soldier's neck and inside torso, then place fork and add more sugru to secure in place. Reassemble soldier and work any sugru that oozed out neck back in.

Airplane spoon:
Roll a gob of sugru into a log-shape, then place the roll on the flat underside of the plane where the spoon is to be placed. Position the spoon handle on top of sugru roll and press-fit into place. Using more sugru covered the spoon handle and smooth the sugru seam after joining.

Truck knife:
Sugru was used in select areas of the chassis to keep the knife blade vertical, stable when in use, and to join together to top and bottom halves of the toy.

Leave sugru to set overnight at room temperature.

Step 7: Vrooom, Time to Dine!

Once sugru has set buff blades of utensils to remove any residue and fingerprints that accumulated during the build, then hand wash.

Time to make some tasty eats and invite your new friends to vroooom, wooosh and semper fi your next meal. Post your own version of this project in the comments below.

Have fun! Happy making :)

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