George Dent Nursery


Playing with real vegetables

At nursery we always have real vegetables for the children to play with. The children use real cutlery to cut the vegetables, although it is not sharp. This is something you could do at home.

 You could use the off cuts from the vegetables you eat, such as the outer leaves of a cabbage, tough stalks, the ends of carrots or parsnips or whatever is at hand.

At nursery we put the veg in a basket and provide real chopping boards, plates, bowls, cutlery and pans. We then leave the children to their play.

You do not need a child’s toy kitchen; in fact, it’ll be great if you don’t because that will allow your child’s imagination to develop. Just provide those things listed above on a tray or table and see what happens!

Some of the learning possibilities from this play are:

  • Developing hand strength

  • Finding enjoyment in persisting with something which is challenging

  • Developing imagination and creativity

  • Learning about healthy foods


If you can, spend some time watching your children to see how they play and if they ask for your help with the cutting encourage them to keep going, this will allow your child to begin to solve their own problems and to build up a firm belief in their own abilities.