Exploring Green Leaves and Fresh Herbs : Sensory Water Play
Today Merog had a lazy morning and was not showing any interest in his toys.
So, I decided to take him to our balcony garden to explore the variety of plants, leaves and flowers around us. We discussed about many things like, how to water a plant properly, how often should we water our garden, how to water slowly till the soil in the pot gets moist and water reaches out to the bottom of the pot. When to water plants and when not! and much more. Our walk in the balcony garden was full of learning, curiosity and enjoyment.
As, we know, toddlers are inborn nature lovers and they love to explore garden areas, plants, trees, flowers, soil and everything that relates to nature. They try to engage all their senses while exploring nature like, smelling flowers and herbs, looking at the beautiful colors in the garden, observing and feeling natural water splash and other techniques to do the water splish-splash.
When we involve ourselves into their exploration act, we can passively observe them too. They try to look, observe, listen, touch, feel and learn. If we see, they are more attracted to water plays, because water play comes with the unlimited possibilities like, floating, sinking, pouring, spilling and the unusual wetness comes along with it. And, this all connects our young toddlers with nature where they belong.
This morning affair inspired me today to plan this nature activity for Merog. So, we started collecting variety of pair of leaves from our garden plants which included few herbs as well. While plucking Tulsi leaves we discussed how we offer him Tulsi in his milk when he has cough and cold, fever or sour throat. also how we use curry leaves as a seasoning ingredient in our daily meals. Similarly, we talked about coriender leaves, fenugreek leaves etc. which we have planted in our garden.
So, this is how we moved forward,
- We poured some water into the tray and kept these leaves into it.
- I asked Merog to start with leaf matching and sorting activity.
- He was examining leaves through their shapes, colors, touch and feel.
- He sorted all the pairs into the another tray.
But he looked unsatisfied, as the main motto behind doing this activity for him was to play with water 😉 For Merog, this was the most fun filled water splashing activity and till the time he matched all the leaf-pairs, water was already spilled everywhere around. But he knows the house rule. So, he grabbed the cloth immediately after his playtime and wiped off the water that had created a mess.
What Merog observed through this activity today,
- Variety of green leaf shades, deep green to parrot green to pale yellow ( we didn’t have other color leaves in our garden).
- Examining leaves to the deepen the understanding about different leaves (considering shapes, colors, size, etc.)
- Knowing about leaf details for the first time like, veins, stem and tip etc.
- Textures like Roughness and Softness of leaves.
Nature has a lot to give to our children. Let’s Grab it right away!!