Teaching Gentleness through Practical Life

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.

Making an Omelette

Peeling and Slicing an Egg

What practical life activities does your child enjoy?

Live a Good Life!

 

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5 thoughts on “Teaching Gentleness through Practical Life

  1. Beautiful post. Thank you. Lotus and I just watched the video together so that Lotus can learn from Solu. He is so capable and you are so patient and gentle. Well done.

    1. Lotus really enjoyed watching the video of Solu and later this afternoon she asked to eat an egg. Initially she wanted it boiled but then she decided she wanted to crack and whisk it just like Solu she also poured it into the fry pan and served it on to the plate. She was very happy to cook an egg “just like Solu” and enjoyed eating the results too.

      1. This makes me so happy Liz. Thanks for letting me know. I’m glad Lotus enjoyed the video and was inspired to make her own eggs and enjoy them. Let me know if you do get around to trying the boiled eggs. We also prefer our eggs fried and only boil them because peeling them is such a great activity for Solu. He also eats the yolk first when it is boiled.

        If you do boil it, make sure to put it into cold water and soon as it’s done boiling and before peeling. We were given this tip during training and it makes for a cleaner peeling process.

      2. We still have not tried the boiled eggs but we had omelette for breakfast again yesterday and Lotus cracked them, whisked them and served them up again! Also, thanks for the tip about placing it in cold water for easier peeling. We will keep it in mind.

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