When we're setting up a home for an adult couple, buying suitable drinkware is no problem - we select an assortment of sizes and styles that meet our entertaining lifestyle and personal preferences. However, when toddlers enter the scene, it's a whole new setting.
Selecting carefully to meet the demands and needs of this younger generation can go a long way to prevent spills and needless injury from your everyday glassware.
Choose glassware styles that are easy to grip and drink from. Tall narrow glasses are not really suitable for children. Grasping these uniformly-shaped models is more difficult for small hands. Drinking requires more patience and these taller glasses are more likely to be accidently knocked over.
Ensure the shape and design of the glass will provide the best grip for small hands. A glass with a heavier base will add stability and be less likely to be tipped over. Glasses with a pedestal base usually offer easier handling, but ensure the 'bowl' part of the glass is not too large for small hands and that the base provides the required weight to counter-balance the glass.
Select an assortment of sizes of drinkware suited to your children's various ages. This will require a little more cabinet storage room, but well worth the lower spill rate. A small 4 oz juice glass is more manageable for a three year old than an 8 oz partially filled glass. Remember that the size of the glass also adds bulk and weight to the content.
Glasses sporting an 'unbreakable' label are excellent value for your money and extremely durable for young children. However, these models can and do sometimes break, whether from the way they are dropped or the particular angle at which they meet a hard surface, and when they do, they usually shatter in a million pieces. But overall, they generally outlast the rest of the drinkware in the cabinet.
Acrylic drinkware is still the best for children's outdoor refreshments. Very economical, user friendly and of less concern should they end up in the sandbox or hidden in tall grass.
Choose glassware that is made of thicker glass for increased durability. This is especially important for toddlers, as they tend to want to bite into the rim and could easily break into a thin glass and suffer injury. Thicker glasses usually have a longer lifespan and are much more durable when washed either in the dishwasher or by hand.
Use the same guidelines when choosing family drinkware for special occasions. Young children love to drink juice or soda from their own stemware at a formal dinner, but look for shorter models with a thicker glass. A short stem will be easier to manage for small hands and this style will be more durable when they extend their 'toast' with the rest of the guests.
These guidelines will reduce hazards and help increase the lifespan of your glassware investment. If you've noticed that your family's drinkware breakage rate has increased recently, it may be a good idea to review your current glasses and make changes where needed.