Leaf Cabinet

Leaf Cabinet


Visual discrimination of forms.

Preparation for botany.

To be given when the child is secure in handling the shapes.

3 1/2 – 4 year

A wooden cabinet with three drawers containing the forms of the leaves:
– Two drawers have six insets each.
– The third drawer has two insets and four wooden squares.
– The frames are varnished and the insets are painted green.
– Each inset is fitted with a knob.
– The bottom of each drawer is the same color as the insets.

Three sets of cards matching each shape in the cabinet:
– A set with the whole figure in green.
– A set with a thick green outline.
– A set with a thin green outline.


Invite the child to come and work with you. Bring him over to the cabinet and tell him that you will be working with the leaf cabinet. Have him bring over the demonstration drawer over to the table. Have him place it in the center of the table.

– Pick up the leaf furthest to the left using your thumb and index finger to grip the knob.
– Gently place the leaf up above, in the empty square.
– Place the second leaf down below in the empty square and then the leaf furthest to the right up above in the empty square.
– Lift the leaf furthest to the left by the knob using your left hand and turn it so it will be easy to trace around.
– Pick up the stick with your right hand as you would a pencil.
– Using the stick, trace around the entire leaf, rotating it as little as possible.
– Place the leaf back onto the empty square.
– Trace the inset with the stick starting from the bottom and moving clockwise.
– Repeat the tracing.
– Place the stick onto the tray and replace the first leaf back into the inset.
– Repeat the tracing for the other two leaves.
– Invite the child to work with this first drawer.


Exercise 1
The child can work individually with all of the drawers of the cabinet and one at a time.

Exercise 2
The child works with two drawers at a time. He then moves up to working with the three drawers.


To be done after the child has had language and once he has been working with and is comfortable with each of the drawers.


From Card to Inset
The directress will choose 3 – 5 cards at a time. (Begin with cards of contrast.)
Isolate one of the cards and have the child match the shape with an inset from the cabinet.
Have the child superimpose the inset onto the card to verify.
Repeat for each of the cards by isolating them.

From Inset to Card
Similar to the lesson above but this time show the inset and have the child find the correct card from the pile of cards.


Exercise 1
The child works as in the presentation.

Exercice 2
Introduce the second set of cards with the thick outline of the leaf. Repeat the lesson as above but now using the two cards.

Exercise 3
Introduce the third set of cards with the thin outline of the leaf. Repeat the lesson as above but now using the three cards.

Matching at a distance
Find the missing card using the insets
Find the missing card without the insets

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