10 Airplane Tot Trays & Activities!

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This was such a busy week! But there is always some time for school, and this week we picked a ‘no-brainer’ theme we knew he’d love. Airplanes!

The Learning Resources Minimotors Counters from the bus theme made another appearance. We also brought the beans back again (which have been played with a ton outside of school too). Plus we have a new concept to share — easy DIY memory game cards!

Have a preschooler? Check out our 13 Airplane Preschool Trays! But for now, enjoy our 10 airplane tot trays and activities:


  1. Airplane Counter Addition
  2. Lacing Airplane
  3. Take-a-Part Airplane
  4. Bean Runway
  5. DIY Plane Photo Matching
  6. Parts of Planes
  7. Plane Paper Piecing
  8. Planes & Pegs
  9. Airplane Coloring Pages
  10. Simple Airplane Dough Tray

Airplane Counter Addition

  • In Publisher, I made two simple addition equations, 1 + 2 = 3 and 2 + 2 = 4
  • To represent the numbers, I used rounded corner rectangles
  • Said rectangles correspond to the matching colors of airplanes from his Learning Resources Minimotors Counters
  • Included the appropriate airplane counters to try and solve the equations

Lacing Airplane

  • Used the Silhouette Cameo to cut an airplane out of thick cardstock
  • Actually did the hole punches by hand
  • Included a cord to lace through the holes

Take-a-Part Airplane

Bean Runway

  • After his fun with beans… I poured the beans into two clear containers
  • Gave him a long black tray to fill and use as a ‘runway’
  • Of course, included a toy airplane!

DIY Plane Photo Matching

  • This is a new technique I will probably use a lot…
  • First I found three high-quality photos of airplanes
  • Simply printed two of each these with a regular photo order
  • Cut about 1″ off the long side
  • Trimmed a piece of cardstock down to 6″ x 5″ and mounted each photo on a cardstock piece
  • On the Silhouette Cameo, I cut three sets of question marks inside a circle on adhesive vinyl
  • For each set of mounted photos, I put the question mark on the back of one card, and the remaining circle (with a cut out question mark) on its match
  • All that to say that this is a DIY memory game! We actually made three more sets of cards but we are starting with three.

Parts of Planes

  • Printed two graphics in color that show parts of planes: here and here

Plane Paper Piecing

  • Modeled this design off of this image — thank you!
  • Using Publisher first, I created all the shapes of the plane
  • I saved this as a png and opened that in Silhouette Studio
  • Used the tracing to trace and cut out all the shapes (please see this awesome pin for how to trace a png)
  • Cut these shapes three times on three kinds of patterned scrapbook paper
  • Gave all these shapes to him with white cardstock and glue to see what he figures out!

Planes & Pegs

  • This is simply two planes of the number of pegs needed to fill the holes from various Lauri Toys sets

Airplane Coloring Pages

Simple Airplane Dough Tray

Well as anyone could expect — our Airplane Tot Trays were pretty fun. Don’t most little boys go through an airplane stage?

The memory cards didn’t catch on as much as I would like, but I bet they will soon. I think each week I do these I will collect one pair or so to create a whole new game.

And while you’re here… while this was not part of his school explicitly, I have to wholeheartedly recommend any large foam planes, like these High Flying Foam Gliders — wow, those are fun!

I’m proud to be linking this post up to 1+1+1=1’s Tot School Gathering Place with activities that E enjoyed at 36 months old! Also linked up over at Montessori Monday, Practical Mondays, Hearts for Home Blog Hop, Good Tips Tuesday, Tuesday Talk, Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop, Parenting Pin It Party, Everything Early Childhood Link Up, Kitchen Fun & Crafty Friday and Small Victories Sunday!

Cool Books for Airplane Tot Trays

Airplane tot trays are fun for transportation school!

(Note: A year later we did airplane preschool as well if you want to check that out!)

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