There are many different strategies for opening a coconut. Here’s a little guide to the approach I took.
Start with a fresh coconut. You should be able hear the coconut liquid sloshing around inside when you shake it.
Use a sharp knife or nail to find the softest eye.
Puncture the eye with the knife or nail.
Allow the coconut liquid to drain into a glass or bowl. Drink the sweet liquid or refrigerate until use.
Whack the coconut with a mallet or hammer until it cracks. This little guy enjoyed giving the coconut a little whack, but grown-ups are better equipped to handle this step.
Alternately, place the coconut in a plastic bag and give it a firm slam onto concrete or another hard surface. This strategy was the easier of the two. Note the sunglasses, hooded sweater and lack of pants on my three year old. This is how he insists on dressing when the temperature is in the 90's. Kids!
To remove the coconut meat, insert a butter knife between the meat and the shell all the way around. Use the leverage from the butter knife to pop the meat out.