Tot Tray Ideas ~ The Ultimate Collection

The Ultimate Tot Tray Idea Collection



I am so excited to launch a brand new series featuring Tot Tray™ ideas from me and from YOU!  Tot Trays are a simple twist on a very old Montessori idea involving a contained work area for young children. The trays are my version of this, making it simple to implement at home. I developed the term Tot Trays years ago to describe the variation I was using at home with my son, and went on to use with my daughter

Tot Tray ~ Droping Chips into a Container

 

What are Tot Trays?

  • a tray your child can work on, providing a clearly defined work space
  • an activity presented visually on the tray so children can choose from a variety of options, promoting a child-led early childhood environment
  • easy to clean up for a young child due to the contained space of the tray, promoting independence

It’s really simple, but can get as complex as you choose.  It’s just an idea for creating a child-led environment which promotes early learning skills through play.  That’s the entire goal of Tot School, and Tot Trays are just an extension of Tot School.  You can read much more about Tot Trays here in my original post from years ago!

What Are Tot Trays

 

The concept of Tot Trays has spread far and wide across the Internet and that excites me!  There are many blogs who feature their own Tot Tray ideas and I would love to pull these ideas together here! I am developing a series of posts which will feature a linky for you to link up your specific idea{s} for the Tot Tray category.

Transferring Ping Pong Balls Tot Tray

We will all work together to create a massive collection in one place, so you can find ideas quickly and be inspired by all of those who are using Tot Trays with their tots and sharing ideas.

Tot Tray Set Up

The Linky Details

To make these linkys simple for bloggers I am not requiring a link back, that way you don’t have to go back and add it to old posts but can feel free to link up quickly and easily.  I do ask that you pin whatever post you link up to, or share the post on Facebook.  If you want to provide a link back to the idea collection, that’s GREAT and will only help your readers!

As new categories are added, the graphic will be added here so you can come back and jump around to the new ideas!  This will be our landing page and all of the upcoming posts will be linked here.

Some trays will obviously fit into more than one category, and as we go you can link up the same tray idea again if it fits.  A transfer activity might also involve color work so it could be linked in transfer ideas, color ideas and even fine motor ideas!

Below you can see the categories I have ready to go and will post over the coming months, some may also be added.  These graphics should give you a start in thinking about what you may want to come back and link up when the linky for each category goes live!

The Ultimate Tot Tray Idea Collection

 

Stay tuned for our first collection and linky, it will be coming soon!

Be sure to follow my blog via email so you don’t miss a linky when it goes live. Right now I don’t have a set schedule, but hope to launch a new category every 2-3 weeks.

If you feature Tot Trays on your blog, feel free to leave a link to your blog in the comments section of this post.  If you have your Tot Trays sorted by a tag/category, use that specific link so others can find your ideas!

Tot School Letter Gg

~Ladybug is currently 34.5 months old~


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Here is her desk set up for letter G…

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The items in the pocket chart are all available here on the Animal ABCs webpage.  I added gorillas on her desk, and her Gorilla Be Good book, which she loved! {files are released for free when they are posted on the Totally Tots blog for the ABC feature, letter G is not free yet, but it will be once it is posted on Totally Tots!}.

We also had a few gorilla books off to the side in her pink basket. On her shelves, nothing really gorilla related…IMG_1888

Here are some Letter G and Gorilla ideas for you…

She did very little tracing this week in her dry erase notebook. Totally fine by me, it’s her choice each week.  She did pull the shapes sheet out and trace the entire thing with regular markers.

Coloring gorillas…IMG_1949

Here she is working on Letter G Dot Fun, we used play doh this time!  This set is included in the Animal ABC Bundle, or you can purchase the set as a stand alone set for $1.25 on Teacher’s Notebook.

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She then pressed jewels into the balls…IMG_2028

 

She worked with me to make the letter craft, which is basically an open ended project that you can do whatever you want with!  This week she asked to paint her letter red!  She was excited to cut her gorillas by herself.

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Not only did she want to cut herself, she wanted to use the white glue by herself too!  I showed her how and she did a great job!

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She is VERY into play doh letters.  I am working on a new set of A-Z play doh mats that feature the animals from Animal ABCs!  The set will be done soon, I hope.IMG_2019

Special Note: Please read my post about Following the Child’s Lead if you have a tot and need info about this.  All tots are different and what Ladybug is doing may not be appropriate for your child, even if s/he is the same age!


We are taking our All About Reading Pre Level 1 lessons slowly.  I am not expecting mastery from Ladybug, just using this program as a way to expose her to the Big Five Skills.

This week we did lesson 7, continuing our work with rhyming words.  No photos of that part this week!

She loved the letter page this week!  She colored orange first {her choice}, then I let her use glittery gold paint, and we added seaweed to the tank!IMG_2311


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She loved the pom pom transfer.  I gave her an assortment of different tweezers we have so she could choose.  The little ice cube tray is from Target about 2 months ago.

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She still enjoys putting stirring sticks in the holes of a cheese container…IMG_1903

We played our version of Scrabble ABC Soup many times!  We take turns scooping letters and naming them one by one.  She loves this!IMG_1897

WedgitsIMG_1994

MagneatosIMG_2042

Foam BlocksIMG_2057

Another favorite from the week, the balancing toy.  Her favorite thing to do is spin it around until it all crashes! {I noticed the review on Amazon is bad, just so you know-our toy is perfect and VERY well made!}IMG_1975

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Building with one of our favorite block setsIMG_2429

She still loves to poke the sticks into the holes of this toyIMG_2437

Matching fabric squares…IMG_2448


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We are still studying Brazil thanks to our Little Passports.  Here we were finding hidden animals.  IMG_2161

She continues to LOVE the puzzle and can now do the entire thing by herself!  IMG_2104


Moms-Favorite_thumb2This is one of her very favorite things to do.  Dump out all of our bean bags and get covered up in them..

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Or, covering one of us in them…IMG_2450


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More Tot School Links…

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Please put your tot’s age (in months) after it, like this: 1+1+1=1 (41 mos)


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