It was my husband who started it actually and surprisingly it worked.
It was not the first time I had to pick up rice[sss] from table or from the floor or at the edge of her bowl after my girl had her dinner. I am sure this is nothing new to any mums in the world.
It was not the first time her daddy warned her to be more careful. I tried giving a big plate, a big bowl whatever. It doesn't seem to work. No matter how big the plate or the bowl I gave her, still rice[sss] everywhere! This time even worst, she got rice droplets on her clothes and on her arms too because the plate was so huge that as she ate, the rice[sss] that was at the edge of her plate got stuck onto her clothes and her arms obviously.
One day my husband couldn't stand anymore. His nagging, his explanation, his story about how difficult a farmer's life was didn't seem to work at all. So, he started his award system.
If she finished her meals with no rice droplets anywhere (floor, bowl, plate, table, clothes, arms....) she will be given 15 stars. Everyday at the dinner table, she could also catch daddy or mummy in case one of us spill over some rice droplets. If that happened, she got 5 more stars ontop of the 15 she got. The 15 stars in her little mind seems a lot because usually I would grant her 1 or 2 only if she bath on time or she practice her piano etc.
She was very "hardworking" when dinner time came because she liked to be police! It didn't take too long. I guess a few days perhaps. She started to have good eating habits. Somehow, no more rice droplets around her territory. Automatically she learned to scoop properly sufficient enough to fit her mouth. Occasionally she would take her bowl up and checked if there was any left-outs. Her eyes won't stop looking around our territories too in case we made mistakes. It added more fun during our dinner time too because we looked out for each other as we ate. She would come out with new rules like any rice droplets that got picked up before we finish the meals, considered OK (obviously that was when she dropped them haha!!). When we had noddles for dinner, she would say penalties would be excused as there were noddles, not rice (because sometimes it was hard for her not to have some noddles diving off her bowl haha!!).
She has been doing so well nowadays that we started to do away with granting anymore stars. we have no more problem of wastage of food, rice droplets everywhere. I save my job of picking up rice[sss] too!
Of course, one important thing to educate them as we apply this rule -- if we have meals in outside our home, in restaurants, we are not suppose to pick up any of the rice droplets from anywhere and put them in the mouth!