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Toys & Activities

Brooke Peels a Boiled Egg

Saturday, May 5th, 2012 3:18 pm | By Stephanie Woo

Every Wednesdays, we have soy-sauce braised chicken wings and eggs for dinner. It’s a delicious Shanghainese specialty. On those days, we boil many eggs and the girls help peel them. Well, ‘helping’ implies they save me time, but actually, right now, it takes more time to have them ‘help. ‘ BUT I know investing time now will pay off later when they can do it by themselves! We’ve been practicing for several weeks and luckily for Mama, I was able to capture the first time Brooke (16 months) peels an egg all by herself! I even let her eat it at the end, which I don’t always do.

She’s already broken the shell by tapping the eggs on the table. Here she is starting out.

She peels off the first couple cracked eggshells at the top.

Notice how she uses her thumb to peel away the shell. This took many demonstrations on Mama’s part! It takes a lot of control to be able to use ENOUGH strength to peel the shell but not TOO much strength so your thumb goes through the egg white.

She brings the egg to her lap to work on it.

She’s so concentrated at this point that when I said, “Brooke, turn the egg around,” she actually jumped. Don’t ever interrupt your child when they are engaged or concentrating!

A big piece comes off. Can you see how she just throws the egg shells everywhere as she’s peeling? We gotta work on getting it in the bowl!

The last little bit is left.

She takes it off.

All done. A clean egg!

She breaks the egg in half. No egg yolk for me, thank you!

Brooke enjoys the fruits of her labor.

This activity took a while for the twins to get the hang of. Whether they are successful or not depends a lot on the egg, some eggs are easy to peel and the shell comes off in chunks; some eggshell sticks to the egg and are difficult to peel even for an adult. I find bigger eggs are easier to peel than smaller eggs. However, they don’t care whether they are ‘successful’ or not – they just want to do it!

Even better than peeling is snacking on these organic, omega-3 eggs afterwards!

An Excellent Toy for a 12-18 Month Old

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 2:30 pm | By Stephanie Woo

For months now, I’ve observed how much my kids love to open and close things. And they also love to put things inside other things. Their favorite toy since they were 8 months is a little drawer with a ball inside that they can open and close.

With that in mind, when I saw this wooden cigar box at the Salvation Army, I thought maybe I could do something with it. A great Montessori activity for toddlers usually around 15-18 months is putting chips into the slot of a box. So I ask my very handy husband for help.  He broke out his power saw and cut a slot in this wooden box and screwed on the latch. Then we bought some plastic poker chips to put in it.

This is by far one of my kids’ favorite toys. They love the box; they love the chips even more. Watch what Mackenzie does in this video at 12 months.

Now that they are 14 months, they still play with this box endlessly. Of course we find chips everywhere in the house, including inside the VCR player, inside my file cabinet, inside baskets, inside other toys, in bed, in the bathtub, everywhere. It’s been an excellent investment: $2 box + $2 for the latch + $1.99 worth of plastic poker chips = fine motor skill development and months of fun!