I’ve had a set of wooden eggs in my work closet FOREVER, and I’ve used them for some other practical life works like this one. I noticed when we were dyeing Easter eggs that N enjoyed picking up the hardboiled eggs and putting them back in the carton, so I decided to make a more permanent work using the wooden eggs.
I put 12 wooden eggs in a basket on a tray with half of an egg carton — because of the size of the materials, I knew that keeping the top on the egg carton would be cumbersome and it wouldn’t quite fit while open, making the material frustrating to use. If you want to use the full egg carton for increased difficulty, I would suggest setting it up as a stationary work so the tray does not have to be so big that your child will have trouble carrying it.
To present this work, I took one wooden egg in my palm and put it in the upper left spot in the egg carton. I continued to fill the carton from left to right, top to bottom — believe it or not, this serves as an introduction to pre-reading skills! N tends to put the eggs in at random, and that’s fine. L puts them in the correct order. There is exactly one spot for each egg, which helps internalize beginning math skills as well.
This work is very satisfying to complete due to the weight and size of the wooden eggs — they are pretty heavy to lift, and one egg fits perfectly in a toddler’s hand. The repetition of the work helps build focus and concentration skills. N often does this work many times in one sitting before she is ready to return it to the shelf.
3 thoughts on “Montessori-Inspired Activities for Toddlers — Egg Carton Filling”
We have some toy wooden eggs and carton used in the toy kitchen I will have to set this up for daughter and see how she fills the carton after following my lead (I’ll have to find all the eggs first! 😊
Hi- I’m not too familiar with Montessori set-ups… do you have a thousand different trays on your shelf or just a few set ups at a time? How many do you rotate and how do you decide which ones to keep out?
I personally have quite a few out at a time, and I only rotate them every few months — this is basically all of their “toys,” just set up Montessori-style on tray or in specific containers instead of piled up in a toy box. I wrote a post on why we don’t rotate too often here: https://momtessorilife.com/2017/02/23/how-often-should-you-rotate-materials-in-your-totschoolhomeschool-preschool/
Many people choose to have a much smaller amount of activities available, which they switch out weekly. I can see that working better for much older children, especially if you don’t have a lot of space available. For younger children, I like to keep the works out longer than a week.
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