Menu Close

Percy Fixes Eggs: Toddlers and Life Skills

Percy beating the egg.

Greetings from the Land Down Under. Or whatever it is they call New Zealand. Once I arrived at the airport on the appropriate day, I had no trouble checking in, flying fourteen hours, catching another plane, flying an hour, being picked up by a handsome and charming son-in-law then driving an hour through a mountain pass to arrive and see this view.

Big, brown-eyed Percy.

Percy 2019

I was totally prepared for it to take a few days for Percy to warm up to me. I came with a pile of books to win him over. Turns out, I didn’t need to wait or bring books. Within ten minutes we were buddies. Here he is, helping to put the groceries away.

Percy peeling an orange.
Percy cracking an egg.

Percy is fiercely independent. No surprise there. What is amazing is the life skills he has developed at not even two years old. Iris and Ben allow Percy to be involved in all household and outdoor activities that are safe for a toddler.

Percy fixing eggs.

He isn’t a kid who is shuffled off to a pile of toys. He is a child who is welcomed into whatever work or household activity is going it. It makes me so happy to see Percy being raised the same way I raised his mom and her siblings.

I really had no choice but to have my toddlers in the kitchen with me. Even before she could walk the only way I could work in the kitchen was to have Iris on the counter next to me. I always had a drawer and cupboard that was reserved for my children and Percy has his own drawer in the kitchen as well. I would hand my toddler a spatula and allow them to “help”.

Right now, while I am in New Zealand for three weeks, thirteen-year-old Tucker is in charge of fixing dinner. I have some meals in the freezer and he knows how to cook from scratch. His job is to plan for dinner the night ahead, pull anything out of the freezer that needs to thaw, and get dinner on the table.

Percy learns life skills by cracking an egg.

This afternoon I watched Percy, 20 months old, crack an egg into a bowl, carefully removing every bit of shell and dropping the bits into the garbage.

Percy making eggs.
Percival one year old.
Percy and Iris making eggs while Percy learns life skills.
Percy making eggs.
Percy beating the egg.

Iris gave Percy a fork and he carefully beat the eggs.

Once the eggs were beaten with cream and salt and pepper added, Iris cooked it and then Percy sat in his high chair and contentedly ate the meal he helped prepare.

Pery 20 months old. Toddlers are capable of amaing life skills.

And Percy beamed with pride at a job well done.

“The essence of independence is to be able to do something for one’s self.” 
Dr. Maria Montessori

Don’t be afraid to teach your toddler life skills! A child’s work is their play and they will be so much happier when they know they are contributing to the family.



  1. Suzan

    Percy is so sweet. My 22 month old granddaughter loves to help. Her favourite toys are potatoes, onion and passionfruit. Enjoy your time away and I pray for a safe delivery of the next little one.

    • Renee

      Those are great toys! I walked into Ben and Adalia’s house and there wasn’t a single toy in sight…because honestly, toddlers don’t need them.

  2. Tanya Redfield

    My beautiful daughter in law is a Montessori teacher and I am in awe of how she and my son raise my grandchildren. I tried to raise independent children but never would have thought about having such small children do some of the things that my grandchildren are very capable of. Children are really able to be much more self sufficient than many of us give them credit for. And those skills serve them so well as they get older and go out on their own.

  3. Sara

    Agreed. I get so overwhelmed when I walk into friends houses and their toddler has every toy you could ever imagine. They come to my house and pull an empty plastic cup out of the (top) of the garbage and play with it for hours. My 9 year olds life skills are on point. She can make simple foods, wake herself up for school, get ready… clean most things well… (besides her room… she is a hoarder hahaha)… but my 12 yr old has never had an interest in learning life skills (short background-he’s my stepson- we got full custody when he was 5, she was 2). While we still teach him it is usually stressful for both of us… but he is very responsible in other ways- he is responsible for walking his sister to and from school a few blocks away… so we keep trying new ideas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.