“The way natural resources look, feel, smell and taste all provide children with great learning opportunities whilst also ensuring they are getting a better understanding of those objects. Plastic representations do not give anything like the same possibilities. If a child’s only experience is of a plastic lemon, when will they find out that actually, lemons are sour? That they are white underneath the yellow skin? That they are segmented? Providing a child with the real thing is a great way to help find those ‘teachable moments’ and support their understanding of the natural world.

This ARTICLE outlines the benefits of playing with natural resources, and provides some wonderful examples for the baby and toddler age group.