Summer Machines Activity: What Can You Use to Beat an Egg?
This problem-solving activity will get fives thinking about simple tools
- Grades: PreK–K
SKILLS: Children will use their observation, prediction, problem-solving, and language skills as they experiment with different ways to mix eggs.
- chart paper and a marker
- any or all of the following: fork, wire whisk, rotary egg beater, small jar with a tight-fitting Nd, potato masher, vegetable steamer, and measuring spoons
- raw eggs (not to be handled by children)
- small mixing bowls
- electric frying pan
- oil or margarine
- wooden spoon
- paper plate
- plastic spoons
1 Start the activity with a discussion about scrambled eggs. Ask, "Do you ever eat scrambled eggs? How do the eggs get scrambled? How does the inside of an egg look when you crack the shell?" Give children ample time to share their ideas. Make a list on chart paper of the different ways they think eggs get scrambled.
2 Display a variety of cooking tools for children to examine and discuss. Try to include some that are not commonly used to beat eggs, like measuring spoons, a potato masher, or a vegetable steamer.
3 When children have had ample time to review the tools, ask, "Which tools do you think we can use to beat the eggs? Which ones do you think will do the best job?" Suggest children place the tools in order from "best" to "worst." Tape a number to each tool to remember its place in line.
4 Using one egg at a time, let children try out the fork, whisk, or rotary egg beater. (Many children particularly enjoy shaking an egg in a jar and are often surprised by the results.) Ask children to observe the texture of each egg. Invite them to decide on characteristics that show the egg is well mixed, such as a foamy texture, or no yolk showing.
5 When all the tools have been tested, ask children to reorder them based on the results of the experiment. The numbers provide a way to check their earlier predictions. After all the fun, don't forget to cook the eggs. Discuss the experience as children enjoy this snack.
For younger children: Include plenty of household tools in the dramatic-play center, including wire whisks, forks, and egg beaters that children can have fun experimenting with.
For older children: Involve children in cooking activities that use eggs. Print the recipes rebus style, so that children can "read along" as they cook up delicious classroom treats.
Involve children in an "eggy" creative movement activity. Invite them to use movement to represent eggs being cracked, scrambled, whisked, and shaken. Later, arrange for children to work in pairs, with one child pretending to use a whisk or fork to mix the "egg," while the child pretending to be the egg moves in her own creative way.