10 Outer Space Tot Trays

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I try to plan ahead with school, tying it to local events, holidays, or other special things. Sometimes though, that’s taken care of for me! I was taken aback when we took our weekly trip to the library and the children’s area was all decked out with a space theme! We looked at a wall with big, accurately sized pictures of the planets, read books and even made a Mars landing craft. It was so cool!

It of course tied in perfectly to our week of Space tot trays. There were so many options here but I chose to keep it simple – we will definitely do this again! (And we did: fast forward to our 16 Space Preschool Trays!)

Onto our 10 Space Tot Trays:


Space Word Sheets

  • Used the same see/trace/write template I made
  • Made three space-themed words — space, star and moon
  • Laminated and included dry erase markers

Alien Cereal Stacking

  • Made a simple alien with a ball of blue dough and wiggle eyes
  • Stuck three pieces of fettuccine in the alien’s head
  • Let the alien dry out overnight
  • Included a bowl of apple O cereal to stack on the pasta
  • (This was the same cereal as the St. Patrick’s Day Mini Cereal Ring Stacking)

Moon Phase Magnets

  • These magnets are from his daily board, made from this cool page of moon phases!
  • Printed out a “worksheet” to match the magnets onto
  • Displayed this on a dollar store (magnetic) tray and put the magnets in a small container

Alien Needs Eyes

  • Printed out three aliens found here — thank you!
  • With the Silhouette Cameo, made two sets of “stickers” with vinyl scraps – larger white circles and smaller black circles
  • We showed him the point and he picked it up quickly – put one or more eyes on each alien!

Constellation Light Exploration

  • Another example of using what you have…
  • Used a black photo storage box as a functional ‘tray’
  • Inside, put all eight Green Sprouts Stacking Cups, bottom up (as they have various patterns of holes in the bottom for use in the tub)
  • Also included some papers that were punched with stars
  • Used a dollar store flashlight (NOT LED!)
  • We encouraged him to use the flashlight to make “constellations” inside the box, and to take it all into the dark bathroom as well
  • The inspiration for this came from Nature Watch — thank you!

Star Punching

  • A simple tray starts with two star craft punches
  • A few paper scraps – plain black, and black with silver stars


Night Sky & Star Play Dough

  • Simplified this from our original plans
  • Made a dark blue play dough (it didn’t turn out as black as intended!)
  • For the star theme, we included a silicone star tray and a star cookie cutter
  • Gave him a few dough tools as well

Put Planets on Space

  • This idea is from Moms Have Questions Too — thank you!
  • Taped a piece of black paper to a tray with washi
  • Put four circular colored stickers on it, as well as the word Space in silver letter stickers
  • Gave him tongs and four balls to match the stickers
  • Encouraged him to transfer the balls onto the paper with tongs, and put them back in the long tray

Outer Space Stampers

  • Bringing back the Outer Space Stampers from our quick tot trays
  • Just gave him a set of stampers and a few index cards to stamp onto

Black Bean “Space”

  • This activity evolved into fun on the floor! Inspired by No Time for Flash Cards — thank you!
  • Initially, we gave him a container full of black beans and eight large star-shaped buttons
  • Also included four dollar store containers to put the buttons into
  • Eventually, it was more fun to spill this onto the floor, and bring in some “comets” as well (aka white northern beans)

Our Space tot trays theme was a long time coming, and it was fun. On top of the library tie-in, we watched several space-related TV shows, played his new space iPad game, and printed some cool pictures of outer space. While this is true for many themes, I think this is the best example of one we will be able to revamp when he is older! 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 35 months old! Also linked up over at Inspire Me Mondays, Motivation Monday, Mommy Monday Blog Hop, Good Tips Tuesday, Wonderful Wednesday Linky Party, A Little Bird Told Me Link Party, Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop, Everything Early Childhood Link Up, Hip Homeschool Hop, Hearts for Home Blog Hop, Family Joy Blog Link Up Party, and the Everything Kids Link & Pin Party!

Cool Books for Outer Space Tot Trays


A sample of space theme trays for tot school!

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