Eggs are fragile. Whether handling raw eggs, cracking them, peeling or slicing them, extra care is required to get the desired results. While this requirement might seem like a good reason to prevent children from working with eggs, it is the exact reason why children, even toddlers should work with them.
Working with eggs provides the child with opportunities to practice and improve their fine motor skills and eye hand coordination.
It has rich sensorial qualities with it different textures when raw, fried or boiled. Its layers when boiled also provide different sensorial feedback.
It indirectly provides science learning opportunities… the child watches the state change from liquid to solid with a change in temperature etc
There are many more learning opportunities that come with working with eggs but for me the best thing the child can learn from working with eggs is gentleness. Their fragility require the child to focus and act gently.
When arranging them in a tray, he has to hold it surely or he risks dropping it and breaking it. At the same time, he has to put it down gently or he risks crushing them. The first time he tries this activity, he will probably crush one or two but that immediate feedback or what we call “control of error” in Montessori tells him to act more carefully and he makes the adjustment and puts it down a little slower… a little more gently.
When cracking an egg, he has to apply just the right amount of force and listen for the crack. He then has to gently pull apart. It requires a lot of gentleness and control and it’s so amazing to watch a very active child slow down and handle an egg so gently. I caught my son on video as he prepared eggs for the family yesterday morning. It’s not a perfect video but it shows the reality of a toddler in the kitchen with all its imperfection. I especially love when the egg slipped away from his hands.
Here are two practical life activities that have to do with eggs with step by step guides.
What practical life activities does your child enjoy?
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