Slicing An Egg by Jeanne Marie Paynel from voilamontessori.com
One of Dr. Montessori’s core principles for natural learning is to give your child as many opportunities for hands-on learning as possible. Concrete experiences such as the ones we perform in the kitchen each day offer a great chance for a child not only to understand the world around them more clearly, but also to find their own sense of confidence as they interact with it.
Earlier this summer at Voila Montessori in a video about Peeling an Hard-Boiled Egg I explained how a child can be joyful through this purposeful activity. The dexterity and focus required to peel an egg are great ways to develop a child’s brain in a natural setting and lead to a joyful feeling when the task has been accomplished.
After repeated tries at this activity your child may soon master the technical skill of peeling an egg and may be ready to evolve to slicing an egg, as demonstrated in this week’s video. It is recommended these different steps of preparing a snack are modeled for the child separately, on different days, so as not to overwhelm the child with multiple new techniques at once.
While the act of slicing an egg exercises the same skills of concentration and hand-eye coordination as peeling an egg does, it also encourages the child’s growing sense of independence. Soon they will be able to prepare an entire snack or sandwich for themselves or a family member, and along with that comes the satisfaction of completing the process on their own!
You can easily support your child’s ability to concentrate by providing a quiet, peaceful environment and simple, age-appropriate activities, like the one in today’s video. The qualities to think about when you’re setting up an activity include:
Real materials: Children will be more careful, and hence more focused, if they’re working with ceramic and glass objects.
Real purpose: If a child knows his work has purpose, be it to feed himself or contribute to the family’s well-being, he’s more likely to remain focused.
Real challenge: Children gravitate towards activities that are just beyond their current ability level. Choose an activity that your child can ultimately be successful with, but which will require some effort and problem-solving.
Do you have questions about how to integrate this practice and others into your parenting? I am here to help with my Montessori Parenting Program, contact me today by using the “Looking for more?” tab below to find out more.
An egg-slicing activity provides much more than a tasty snack. Essential skills like focus, determination, and fine motor control make it a powerful developmental tool on the road to independence.
For more tips on how to introduce Montessori activities, read The Nine Key Points to Sharing a New Activity with Your Child.
P.S. Would you like my support and guidance setting-up your Montessori home? If, yes then go ahead and schedule a ‘Discovery Session’ with me. It’s free and you’ll know if we are a good fit. 😉
2 thoughts on “Slicing an Egg to Independence”
How many eggs do you prepare for teaching each child how to peel, (and later) slice eggs?
Angela, this really depends on you. In the classroom, I might cook five eggs depending on how many students I have. Not all children are going to be interested in doing the activity on the same day. At home, I might just do two but maybe if we are making an egg salad then more.