Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Valentine Trays!

My plan is to prepare the tot trays each Sunday and post my learning plan for the week. We'll see how long I can keep this up!

Maddie will be sorting these jumbo conversation hearts by color...


and sticking these Valentine-y objects through the holes in this repurposed utensil holder from Ikea...

using tongs to move Valentine erasers from one festive cup to another...

making a Valentine craft...

and arranging some flowers in a block of floral foam (all from the Dollar Tree).

We also picked up a free easel this weekend off of our neighborhood listserv (have I mentioned I love our neighborhood and our listserv?). After a little elbow grease it's ready for some (ab)use so I think we may paint something this week, too. How do you think Maddie feels about the easel?

And while Maddie and I have been focused on her tot time, Dakota's been coaching Gavin on the finer points of programming.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!


  1. Again ridiculously jealous of you.

  2. Yay!! Loving learning from your tot school. I'm definatly going to steal some of these ideas to try at home with claire! Hannah goes to a Montessori preschool and your trays are very much like the different "works" she does at school, but I never thought to make my own for Claire at home - great idea!
    We have the same easel (love ikea!) and I was going to share that washable markers work just as well on the dry erase board but don't stain everything the way the dry erase markers do!
    Also, your kids are adorable!

  3. So, maybe I missed it, but is the idea with the trays & sensory bins and what not mainly to work on fine motor skills? And I guess to help her build her ability to focus/concentrate? Regardless it looks like fun. :)

  4. Thanks for the tip, Emily! The markers work sooooo much better! I'm totally stealing all of the tot tray ideas from other moms.

  5. Alison, yes it works fine motor skills, cognitive skills, and we'll work on gross motor skills, too (but probably not with trays!). The trays also focus on problem solving as well as on basic skills. Like the color sorting activity will help her recognize the different colors and help put the right name to them. She knows lots of color names, but doesn't consistently identify them correctly (a lot of things are pink and yellow). Another thing it does is occupy her and wear her out, so she's both more manageable in the morning and ready for a nap in the afternoon! Hehehehehe...

  6. She looks pretty pleased with that easel and Gavin apparently loves programming with his dad.