Tot School ~ Back to the Trays!

~Krash is currently 33 months old~
For those of you who are new(er) readers (or unfamiliar with my background), I will briefly explain why I am titling this post “Back to the Trays”. You see, I have a passion for Montessori type learning, with a bit of a modern twist. I did an internship in a Montessori classroom while obtaining my early-childhood degree back in the day and I LOVED it. My twist is, I am not a die-hard believer in the particulars of the method, therefore I modify it and wouldn’t call ours a Montessori type of homeschool. BUT, many of my ideas and beliefs come from that internship and many wonderful Montessori blogs I read.

For us, our Montessori-style spin comes in the form of the trays, we used to do stuff like this, but then I got away from it (mainly from poor planning on my part). This past week, I dove back in and we have had a GREAT week because of it! Krash has really taken to the idea of the trays, and the assortment of simple activities I am providing him with. I even finally went on a big shopping spree for many of the “wanted tools” that had been on my list and for very little money, I stocked up on many items, and a way to store it all. I am in a process of writing a post all about what I got and how I am storing it and using it-stay tuned, I HOPE to have it up sometime this week!

This is how I set up our trays (got them here) each day, since we lack a shelf to put them on-this is the best way I can come up with for now…

Krash then tells me which tray he would like to work with and I help him take it down and we begin. Here’s what was on the trays at various points during the week and what K thought of them!!!

He loved transferring the pom-poms with tongs…
Stringing beads onto pipe cleaners…
Pouring beads…I set up hole-punching mainly for my oldest son, but K dove right in and I was shocked he could do it!
He even taught Shamu how to do it!!!The next day I kept some activities similar, and some I just changed up a few details-he LOVED seeing what was new, and also practicing skills he had done the day before. I added a heart shaped ice-cube tray (from Dollar Tree) and a little Valentine Tin ($1.00 from AC Moore) for the pom-pom/tong activity…We added spooning jewels into mini tea light holders, this was by far his FAVORITE tray of the week. (the colored spoons were from Dollar Tree in a large pack, the tin from AC Moore, the jewels are the ones you find in little sacks at Dollar Tree, Michaels, or somewhere like that)I switched up beading to add the heart-sticks (from Dollar Tree), he wanted to play golf with them first…
Then he put the beads on them. He didn’t really like this though and left it quickly!I made him a Hide-n-Seek bowl, you can read more about that here!

I switched up pouring with a new pitcher and a fishy cup. He loved this, I think since he could see the beads inside of the pitcher!I added a hammering activity Added a funnel and a tiny pitcher to the pouring, he LOVED this!!!Switched to big tongs, big pom poms in a new container for him to practice unscrewing (this was from AC Moore) and a bigger tray (from AC Moore, in the paint section).
We didn’t only use trays this week, but they were a large part of our Tot School time. We also played many different games with our Twister Hopscotch rings, here he is jumping into the colors I yell out!We dot paintedAnd painted with regular paints another day!It was a really fun week and I am going to stick with the trays I think, I loved the time we had together each day, it seemed much more calm. I am trying to help Krash develop his perseverance skills and also his focus, I think these tray activities really help with that.
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If you have a tot (approximately ages 1-3) at home, join in the fun and share what you’re doing with your tot! Here’s how to get started if you’re new…

If you’ve never read this: Go HERE 1st for more details- please do!!! Then if you have any ideas you’d like to share, link up your exact post to Mr Linky (if you have questions about how to do that, let me know in a comment or email-links to homepages will automatically be deleted).

New this week: when you add your name(blog name) to Mr. Linky will you put your tot’s age (in months) after it, like this: 1+1+1=1 (33 mos)? I think this will help new readers a lot as they look for ideas for their specific aged tot!