Sweet Pea is 36 months old.
From: I was browsing through the Montessori Services website when I came across a Grinding Activity Set. I though that Sweet Pea would love something like this and since it was right after Easter, I just happened to have a bunch of dyed, hard-boiled eggs in my fridge. When it was time to eat the eggs, I removed the shells, rinsed, dried and saved them for this activity.
- Washed, rinsed and dried egg shells. (Plain shells will work, but dyed ones are more interesting. You could also use spices.)
- Mortar & Pestle.
- 2 Bowls.
- Place the egg shells in one of the bowls and leave the other one empty.
- Assemble everything on the table where your tot will be working and sit next to your tot.
- Tell your tot that he or she will be grinding the egg shells with the mortar and pestle.
- Use the spoon to carefully transfer some of the shells into the bowl of the mortar.
- Use the pestle to grind the egg shells. Comment on how the egg shells pieces are getting finer.
- When the egg shells in the mortar have been ground finely enough, use the spoon to transfer them into the empty bowl.
- Let your tot have a turn.
Observations: Sweet Pea took this work very seriously. She was very careful not to spill any shells when she spooned them into the mortar.
Sweet Pea kept saying, “Crush Elmo. Crush Elmo,” while she worked. I was really confused until I realized that I had drawn pictures of Elmo on the eggs in wax crayon before we had dyed them. I guess she was crushing Elmo.
After grinding, she was equally careful about transferring the egg shell dust into the other bowl.
Sweet Pea was really engaged with this and finished grinding the entire bowl of egg shells in one sitting and then asked for more egg shells! I had to tell her that I didn’t have any more shells, but would save some the next time we ate hard boiled eggs again.
This was a great activity for Sweet Pea and I would definitely recommend it for an older tot.
The next day we even extended the activity by gluing the ground egg shell dust onto paper, which made a quick and fun art project that Sweet Pea enjoyed immensely.
Notes from the Trenches: This is a little messy, but overall went very well.
Rating: 4 Stars * (Fun, Easy, Independent, Frugal if you have a mortar and pestle.)