Your little tot has now reached the stage where he can eat his meal with spilling less. Thanks to his fine motor skill development, at this age, he will be able to feed himself well, with a spoon and a fork.
What you need to know
Feeding your little tot can be intense and emotional (positive and negative) for both you and your child. On the contrary, self feeding provides your tot a fun and easy way to explore different sensory experiences and feels. The age at which your little one starts to develop motor skills related to feeding, is dependant on how often you promote the activity of self feeding and how often he performs the activity. So, there can be variations in the age at which your little one starts to achieve this new skill.
It also depends on his innate ability to hold the spoon or fork and his constant interaction with the environment. Using spoon, fork and cup are some of the earliest opportunities for a child to learn how to use tools. Learning to use tools is very important as he grows and starts to draw with crayons, write with pencil and cut with scissor.
What you can do
Encourage your little pie to play with and feel crumbly, rough, wet, squishy, spongy and slippery textures. Self feeding can be a messy affair, but being allowed to be messy will help him gain confidence in holding the spoon and fork with good grip, thus enabling better strength and coordination of hands and fingers and eventually resulting in lesser spillage.
Some imitation and play like asking him to scoop and pour water into a tub using measuring cup, putting small objects through holes into a container, playing with dough- scooping, stabbing, cutting and pinching into pieces, pretending to feed a baby doll are all great ways to improve his hand motor feeding skills.