Plastic Easter Eggs 3 Ways- 2nd Installment

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This is the second installment in our series “Plastic Easter Eggs 3 Ways.”  Easter was this past Sunday, so you’re probably just cleaning up and putting away your Easter decorations and that probably includes quite a few of these!

This sensorial activity focuses on auditory memory and discrimination.  It is officially called “Sound Boxes” in traditional Montessori theory, however for our purposes we’ll call it:

Sound Eggs

Listening comprehension and auditory memory are both critical skills in  early literacy development.  This is a fantastic and fun way to begin honing these skills with your Little, and you can probably create it entirely out of what’s in your home right now!

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Sound Egg Supplies:

  • 12 plastic Easter eggs-standard size (preferably 6 in one color and 6 in another color)
  • Glue gun or super glue
  • Tape (any type will work)
  • Uncooked rice
  • Dried beans
  • Dried barley
  • Dried lentils or peas
  • Course sand and fine sand OR
  • Course sand and flour

Directions:

This activity  is designed for Littles 36 months and up, however, scroll down to the bottom of the presentation for some modifications if you’d like to present it to a younger Little.

Before you begin, check your Easter eggs.  Many plastic eggs have holes poked into them.  Use your tape, on the inside of the eggs,  to tape up the holes.  I use about a 1 inch piece to cover both holes in the bottom of each egg.

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I chose to use yellow and blue eggs, but this activity typically uses cylinders with red and blue tops.  Go as “traditional” as you’d like.   I’ll be referring to “yellow” and “blue” eggs from here on out.

Add 2 teaspoons of rice to a yellow egg.  Close the egg and use your hot glue gun to run a thin bead of glue along the outside seam, sealing the egg closed.  For super glue, keep the egg open and run a thin bead along the inside of the egg.  Close to seal.  Repeat these steps with a blue egg.

Next, add 30 beans to a yellow egg and seal as above.  Repeat with a blue egg.

Continue in this fashion adding 2 teaspoons each of barley, sand, and/or flour and 60 peas to 1 yellow and 1 blue egg.

Sound Eggs Formal Presentation:

Supplies:

  • 12 sound eggs
  • Egg carton
  • Workmat

Traditionally, this activity is stored in two boxes.  Since these are eggs, I think it’s more fun to store them in an egg carton!

Arrange the yellow eggs so that the loudest one (the beans) and the softest one (the flour/fine sand)  are in a place you remember within the carton.

Call your Little over, have them sit next to you, and tell them this activity is called “Sound Eggs.”  Then, no more talking during the presentation.

Carefully and gracefully pick up the loudest yellow egg and place it on the workmat in front of you.  Show your Little the proper way to hold the sound egg- with index finger and thumb on top and bottom of egg.  Holding it a few inches away from your ear, give the egg 2 sharp, downward shakes.  Then hold the egg near your other ear, and repeat the 2 shakes.  Place the egg back down on the mat.

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Invite your Little to shake the loudest egg in the exact same manner as you just demonstrated.

Place this loud yellow egg on the left side of the workmat.

Carefully and gracefully pick up the softest yellow egg and place it on the workmat in front of you again.  Repeat the shaking routine described above and have your Little do the same.

Repeat with each of the other yellow eggs, creating a cluster, in no particular order, on the left side of the mat.

Show your Little the blue eggs remaining in the carton.  Tell them, “These sound the same as the yellow eggs.”  Arrange them in a cluster on the right side of the workmat.

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Choose any yellow egg and put it in front of yourself.  Then take any blue egg and set it to the right of the yellow egg.  Shake the yellow egg as described above followed by the blue egg.  If they sound dissimilar in pitch or sound, place the blue egg back in the carton.  Repeat until a blue matching egg is found.  Say, “These sound the same.”

Line up the matched pair inside the carton.  Remove the unmatched blue egg(s) from the carton and place them back in the group on the right side of the workmat.

Allow your Little to choose a yellow egg.  You continue to demonstrate the process until all eggs have a match.  After a match is found, have your Little shake and  listen  to them one at a time and place the set inside the egg carton, creating two columns.

Sound Eggs Finishing

When every egg has been  matched, shake each pair in turn, one egg at a time, starting with the eggs furthest from you.  Then, invite your Little to do the same.

Mix up the eggs, and allow your Little a chance to complete this activity independently.

Remember to show your Little how to clean up this activity as well as where it is stored.  Independence and care of the environment is just as important a part of this activity as the egg matching itself!

Modified Presentation for Younger Littles:

My LO is only 24 months.  Obviously, this activity would be way too challenging for her.  Instead, I chose to present only three sets of eggs which showed a great variance in sound and pitch. I presented flour, beans, and rice.  You could also choose to present a smaller number of eggs but with sounds which are more similar. Select the level of modification which is right for your Little!

As always, thanks for visiting!  How did this activity go for you?  What do you think  will be your Little’s favorite part?  My little loves placing the eggs into the carton and closing the lid after every match!  Can’t wait to hear how this went for you and your family!

 

 

 

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Plastic Easter Eggs 3 Ways

This is the first installment in our series “Plastic Easter Eggs 3 Ways.”  Easter is this Sunday, March 27, and chances are you have plenty of these guys hanging around your house!

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If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly fighting a battle against sugary treats and your Littles.  If you want to host a fantastic Easter egg hunt that doesn’t require 10 pounds of pastel colored candies, our first way  to use those plastic Easter eggs is for you!

And, even if you want to stick with your traditional Easter egg hunt (candy included), this activity is a fantastic way to use those eggs after the hunt is through rather than letting them gather dust in your closet for a year.  Instead of stuffing eggs with sweets, why not fill them with beautiful spring bird figurines?!!  Without further ado:

Nomenclature Cards with a Twist

Montessori nomenclature cards are a fantastic way to increase your Little’s vocabulary and feed their natural curiosity.  My Little is constantly asking “what’s dat?” and I bet yours is too! You can use nomenclature cards in any subject area and with practically any set of objects.  See:

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Typically nomenclature activities are presented using 3-part cards.  However, in order to make this activity toddler friendly, in our house, we only use the control cards (the ones with the label attached) and will focus on matching a physical object to the picture.

In keeping with the spring theme of Easter, we will be making Backyard Bird Nomenclature cards!!!  Your Little will be learning and identifying 7 common birds you probably  have flapping around your neighborhood right now!

Backyard Bird Nomenclature Cards Supplies:

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Directions:

I created two sets of nomenclature cards within the same document (link above).  One set is just the control cards for younger Littles (18mo-3 years) and the other set is the typical 3-part cards for older Littles (3 years and up).  Print which ever set you  plan on using, and cut them apart.  If you’re using the 3-part cards, make sure to leave the control card in tact, but cut the label off the other card.  Put one bird figurine in each egg and snap shut.

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I like to store the birds inside the eggs in a bucket and the nomenclature cards in a small wooden box.  I purchased both at Hobby Lobby.

Backyard Bird Nomenclature Card Formal Presentation:

Invite your Little to see a new activity.  Bring a workmat and the tray containing the birds in their eggs and the cards to the floor or a table.  Tell them this activity is called “Backyard Bird Nomenclature Cards.”  Remind them that you will have a turn first while they watch, and then they will get a chance.

Backyard Birds Presentation Banner

Presentation for 18mo-3 years:  Remove the cards, one by one, from the box and place them on the workmat in rows.  Then, remove one egg from the bucket and open it.  Using a pincer grasp, remove the bird from the egg.  Compare the bird to the first picture.  If it does not match, move on to the next picture.  Continue until you have found the matching picture.  Place the bird on top of the matching picture.  Open the next egg and repeat until your Little grasps the concept, then allow them to complete the activity.

Once they have finished, remember to show them where this activity is kept.  Foster independence by having your Little clean up and put the materials away properly.

Presentation for 3 years+:  Remove the control cards (the ones with the labels attached) and place them in vertical rows on the workmat.  Take the first picture card (without the label) from the box and compare it to the first card.  If it does not match, move on to the next picture until you have found it’s partner.  Set the card down to the right of the control card.  Continue in this way until all of the picture cards have matches.

Next, open an egg and remove the first bird.  Find it’s match using the same protocol described above.  Continue until all the birds have been matched.  Last, take the top label card and find it’s match in the same way, laying it beneath the correct picture card.

I can’t wait to hear how this activity went for you and your Littles.  Please let me know in the comments along with any other fun Easter egg activities your family does!  Remember to follow us on Twitter to get updates about our blog.  Check out our gorgeous photos of other Montessori inspired materials on Instagram.  Like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel- we put up videos every week.