A winter nature tray is a great way to enjoy the season and to take notice of what is happening in nature. My kids collect ‘treasure’ whenever we are out exploring nature. When we get home we place our nature finds into our nature tray. The nature tray allows children to discover something new or to look closer at the detail of their treasure. I love the discussion that then ensues from our explorations of our treasures. Lots of questions, inquiry and learning naturally occur around the nature tray.
The children are invited to hold and explore the items in the nature tray. They are encouraged to use their senses to discover things and connect with the objects. The children can use the items in their play, in their art and in their learning activities.
Our nature tray is different to our seasonal nature table, although both include items from nature (more than likely sourced from our nature tray!), the nature table is about the story woven into the season and the nature tray is closely linked to discovering the properties of the objects. The nature tray encourages investigations of zoology and biology, prompted by the inclusion of non-fiction books related to the items and magnifying glasses.
Our winter nature tray is full of seed pods, rocks and interesting twigs that the children have found. This beautiful book A Seed Is Sleepy complements our tray perfectly at the moment.
Our tray is ever changing, according to the nature finds and interests of the children.