Leaf-Shape Cabinet and cards

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3yrs to 4 1/2 yrs


  • A wooden cabinet with three drawers, each drawer containing six divisions. Drawer 1 Leaf forms: cordate, obcordate, ovate, obovate, orbiculate, reniform. Drawer 2 Leaf Forms: elliptical, spatulate, hastate, saggitate, deltoid. Drawer 3 Leaf Forms: linear, aciculate, lanceolate.



  1. Invite the child to work with the leaf-shape cabinet.
  2. Show the child where the leaf-shape cabinet is located on the shelf. When the child has made the selection of the material, begin with the third step after naming the material for the child.
  3. Indicate the procedure for removing and carrying the drawers: with thumb, index, and middle fingers, grasp the knob of the drawer and remove the drawer halfway.
  4. Then place a hand on each side of the drawer and remove it entirely from the cabinet.
  5. Carry the drawer to the rug. Place the drawer in the top left corner.
  6. Indicate the insets to the child saying, "These are the shapes that some leaves have. After I remove the insets, I will match the inset to the frame."
  7. Begin with the inset in the upper left and remove the insets proceeding from left to right.
  8. Grasp the knob of the inset with the thumb, index, and middle fingers of the dominant hand, and place them in a horizontal line below the drawer.
  9. With the subdominant hand, select the inset on the left, trace the edge of the inset with the index and middle fingers of the dominant hand.
  10. Select the matching frame and trace it with the dominant hand, moving clockwise.
  11. Place the inset in the frame.
  12. Continue in this manner with all the remaining insets until all the insest are returned to the drawer.
  13. Return the drawer to the leaf-shape cabinet in the manner described in step #3.

With Cards:

  1. Start the work in the manner described above through step #4.
  2. Carry the cards to the rug.
  3. Place them below the drawer.
  4. Select the cards of the solid figure and place them in mixed order in a horizontal line at the top of the rug.
  5. Select the inset in the upper left of the drawer and match it to the appropriate card.
  6. Note that the printed figure is hidded by the placement of the inset.
  7. Continue with all the insets, selecting insets from left to right, top to bottom of the drawer.
  8. Begin to the left, and move the card with the inset to the top and right of the drawer.
  9. Continue to move the remaining cards with the insets to the top in a horizontal row.
  10. Then return the insets to the drawer, moving left to right.
  11. Collect the cards by moving from left to right.
  12. Return the materials to the shelf.

Control Of Error

When the inset is placed on a card with a figure larger than the inset, the border shows. The inset does not match the frame. The final inset does not match the card remaining.

Points Of Interest

There are basic forms that leaves have. Pattern of shapes created when all the cards are displayed.


  • Introduction to the leaf shapes.
  • Development of tactile sense.
  • Development of visual discrimination of the leaf shapes.
  • Development of concentration, order, coordination, and independence.
  • Responds to the sensitive need for order in the child.
  • Preparation for writing
  • Preparation for the classification of leaves by shape and margins.


  1. In removing the insets and cards, place them in mixed order.
  2. Trace the frame first, then select the inset that will fit in the frame. Upon the selection of an inset, trace the figure and place it in the appropriate frame.
  3. The insets are removed on one rug, the drawer is placed on another rug a distance away. Select an inset. Move to the rug with the frames and make a selection.
  4. A blindfold is introduced to make this a stereognostic exercise.
  5. Cobine two drawers and proceed.
  6. Combine three drawers and proceed.
  7. Go to the outside environment and collect leaves. Match these leaves with the botanical leaf forms.
  8. Match pictures of leaves to the basic leaf forms.