Activity of the Day – Nature Tray and Cutting

There are so many opportunities that we have to show something beautiful to a child – and just in your very own back yard. Today we used the lovely warm weather to discover herbs and plants and start to practice how to use scissors. Joshua has been interested in watching me cutting things up and today he was the day he decided to give cutting a go on his own.


This is the first pair of scissors we tried out. It is a small light weight pair of first scissors that I found for him and it is just the right size.


Joshua still finds it hard to use scissors. He used them in a rather large chopping motion at first, as if they are a pair of large gardening cutters. We are cutting some thyme which he is very drawn to.

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Joshua switches to using a different pair of scissors. These are Crayola scissors for small hands.

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We collect our herbs and place them in our tray for inspection inside.

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I encourage Joshua to touch each one, to hold it, observe its shape and smell it. He can name a few different herbs, today he correctly identifies rosemary, mint, parsley and thyme independently.

20141021_161532 20141021_161619Is there a sensitive period for identifying objects by smell? I know there are Montessori sensorial smelling jar activities that are presented to children as part of exercising olfactory senses to distinguish smells from one another and applying these to other smells or taste in the environment. In any case Joshua loves our herbs and is constantly picking over them at the moment. I might cook something and send him out to get some of our herbs for it – independently – and see if he gets it right. Spring time this year has been wonderful, I am going to take Joshua on a nature walk to see if we can identify some other plants this week.



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