I have an old nutcracker – I think it came from my grandmother. Every fall I put it out as a center choice. I first check to be sure there are no nut allergies and make all the necessary precautions. (With some children – it is not possible to even have the nutcracker out.) If all is a go, I buy a variety of nuts in bulk and put them with the cracker. The children adore it!
It provides several opportunities:
- The child has to “twist” the end that holds the nut tightly in the holder. This exercises important fine motor muscles.
- To crack the nut, it takes a strong and intentional push down of the handle. This takes strength and focus – both important skills. This is a great activity for children with lots of energy!
- Finally, it provides a delicious morsel of nutmeat. This helps the children to understand where nut meat comes from! And, oh, how yummy!