The Botany Cabinet, or the Leaf cabinet as it is sometimes known, is a Montessori sensorial material that provides children with an. introduction to the world of botany.
The Botany Cabinet, or the Leaf cabinet as it is sometimes known, is a Montessori sensorial material that provides children with an
introduction to the world of botany. It is also one of the first Montessori materials children work with that allows them to explore the world through a scientific lens.
The Botany Cabinet comprises a wooden cabinet which houses three drawers filled with different leaf forms. Two of the drawers have six leaf insets each, and the third draw have two leaf shapes, and four wooden squares.
The leaf insets are coloured dark green, with a knob in the centre allowing children to pick up each piece of the material with ease. These are kept in yellow squares that have a cut out of each leaf shape.
The direct purpose of the Botany Cabinet is to help children develop the ability to visually discriminate between shapes and objects of different sizes. Students begin working with this material at three years of age, as this is the developmental period when they become familiar with the pincer grip, a key feature of this Montessori learning activity.
Although scientific in concept, the Leaf Cabinet is part of the Montessori Sensorial Curriculum. Its primary purpose is to encourage children to refine their senses of sight and touch as they explore this material. The secondary aim of the material is to introduce the child to the language and concepts associated with the studies of botany and science.