It is especially fun to create toddler activities with recycled trash! Cheap, homemade (of sorts) and DIY are some of my favorite descriptions for toddler activities. So, egg cartons are perfect! I keep a stack of different kinds of egg cartons in my craft cupboard. They are great for sorting, counting, and art activities. They are also great for holding small items and organizing your drawers or cupboards. Ice cube trays also serve similar purposes. Here are some basic activities with egg cartons but you can do so much more! One-to-one correspondence activities such as placing wooden balls, puff balls or wiffle balls in cartons are early math activities. You can also color code the egg baskets or assign numbers or letters. You can use them for more complex sorting or use them as paint dishes. I still remember uses egg cartons when I was in elementary school for painting projects.
Here is B (21 months old) is placing wooden balls in a 6-egg carton. He did NOT like the activity with puff balls so try different materials and don’t get discouraged. I usually have to introduce an activity several times before B wants to try it. We counted each ball as he placed them in the carton. I’ve seen other people write numbers or letters on the balls and in the cartons for a matching activity. We’ll build up to that.
Here is B with a 12-egg carton. He enjoyed filling it with wiffle balls. No puff balls, please! Maybe it’s boy thing? A major part of the activity is taking the carton off the shelf and putting it back when B is done. He knows he can’t get something new until he puts everything back. The practice of moving things on and off the shelf helps with body control.
Here are some more ideas from other Montessori mamas using egg cartons !
Living Montessori Now – Color Walk
Our Natural Journey – Repurposing Egg Cartons
Gift of Curiosity – Math with Egg Cartons + several other cool Montessori activities
Any other ideas? How have you used your egg cartons?
We’ll revisit this theme again in the Spring! Say, around Easter time! You, me and that crazy Easter bunny. This will be the first year B really gets to open Christmas presents and will understand the idea of an Easter egg hunt. Can’t wait! Have a Merry Christmas!!