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Montessori Activities: Nature Tray


Prep time: 10 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Estimated Cost: Collect from outdoor

Mess level: Medium

What you need

  • Loose parts that can be combined, moved, lined up, taken apart, and put back together again.

  • Biotic materials. Wood (rattan, bamboo, bark, etc.) Natural fiber (silk, wool, cotton, flax, hemp, jute, kapok, kenaf, moss, etc.)

  • Inorganic material. Stone (flint, granite, obsidian, sandstone, sand, gems, glass, etc.) Native metal (copper, iron, gold, silver, etc.) ...

  • Other natural materials. Soil.

  • A tray to place them on


Collect items from nature to study and to use for language work, on a tray or in a basket. See if you can find interesting things like feathers, leaves, seedpods.


A Sensory Nature Tray is a fun activity for kids to engage with nature, stimulate the senses and develop fine motor and sorting skills too.

How to adapt:

  • Sit with your child, feel and discuss their items or allow the child to touch and explore them independently.

  • Introduce a magnifying glass

  • Use the items you have collected for an arts and crafts activity and make various patterns/shapes or add scissors and cut the leave to stick onto paper.

Good to know:

I have never seen a child get bored of nature, so if you can take them outside, open-ended play will always evolve.

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