Montessori in the home: Egg Slicing Activity.


I hope to be able to share with you some really simple ways you can do some Montessori inspired activities in your own home with your child.
This is what is referred to as a ‘PRACTICAL LIFE’ activity, as it is helping the child learn life skills (preparing food in this instance). It does, however, also involve so many other things such as fine motor skills in peeling the egg shell, concentration in getting every little bit of shell, hand-eye co ordination and you can even add on with what Montessori refers to as ‘GRACE AND COURTESY’ or what we would call table manners so simple little manners YOU want to teach your child. In our house our simple rule is that you need to sit to eat. As long as my girls either sit in a high chair, at their table and chair setting, or on a mat I am happy!

So for this activity you will need the following:

  • a boiled egg
  • an egg slicer (I bought this one for $3 at the supermarket, you can get them in bargain stores too)
  • and your choice of accompaniment, I chose rice crackers as the egg slices fit perfectly on these.

So first you will need to show your child how to crack and peel the egg. I gently tap the egg on the table to crack it and take the first piece off to show Laila what she needs to do and she follows on from there.

Your child may find the peeling process slow but keep encouraging and let them know once all the shell is off they get to do the fun part! It is such a great fine motor experience.

Once all the shell is off ask your child to open up the egg slicer and place the egg in it.

There eyes will light up in slicing the egg… watch there amazement as they press down and close the slicer and make perfect little circles. Then place them on the cracker and enjoy!

Most children love the action of slicing the egg and will want to put them in the slicer again and again, that’s fine! I let Laila do it, even though it can be a little messier it is just part of the exploration.

How easy is that? We often get very scared to let go and let the child prepare their own meals, but if you set up the environment for them they will have so much fun doing it, and may even try new foods more.


What is Montessori all about?


The Montessori method of education is based on the teachings of Dr Maria Montessori.
Some important elements of Montessori Education are:

  • Teach me to do it for myself: so many times I see adults step in unnecessarily (I too have done it many times myself!)
  • Freedom of choice: that the child is free to chose in their work area work they have been presented. Many homes have a ‘play room or area’ that can easily be turned into an area for your child to access activities they are capable of doing and packing away themselves
  • Uninterrupted periods of time: allow the child to work on something and to get absorbed by it. There is nothing more frustrating then really enjoying something only to have to stop it to do something else.
  • A purposeful prepared environment: children love a sense of order, this doesn’t mean you need to go overboard but if you have an activity out for the child that you really want them to get absorbed in, make sure that it is ready to use and complete. Chances are if there is a puzzle on the shelf and there is a piece missing, the child will only get frustrated by it and it is likely they won’t want to do it again because there will be no sense of fulfillment in finishing it.
  • Mixed age learning: I know this may not be possible in the home but if your child does have older siblings then there is nothing like using that child as the ‘teacher’ in helping the younger one learn a skill. Sometimes lessons can be a little boring coming from the adults mouth, so older children make excellent teachers and sometimes they make much better communicators.
  • Repetition: we all know how much little ones can enjoy the same song/book/game again and again, and whilst it may be boring for us, this is an important part of the learning process for children and it’s how they develop a skill.