10 Squares & Cubes Tot Trays for Shape Tot School

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Our bus week marked the end of themes I planned back in February! So for the moment I am winging it a little :) But one theme I had considered was Squares, so why not add Cubes! So welcome to the Squares and Cubes theme, good for any iteration of shape tot school!

As we prepare to morph into home preschool in the next few months… I am opting for a few more quick but high educational value activities, kind of like how we treat the crafts.

Enjoy 10 different ways to explore squares and cubes! (Looking for more shapes activities? Check out our early set of Circle Tot Trays, or jump ahead with our Triangle Preschool Trays!)

  1. Ribbon Perimeter
  2. Dicecapades, Jr. Sight Word Match
  3. Square & Cube Sensory Bin
  4. Square Sticky Foam Mosaic Craft
  5. Tangrams
  6. Nuts & Bolts
  7. Square Cutting Practice
  8. Unifix Cube Patterns
  9. Square Dough Tray

Ribbon Perimeter

  • This is part 1 of 3; I made 3 of these
  • Pretty simple — in Publisher I made a square and then a smaller square in side, with the ‘perimeter’ matching the width of wide ribbon
  • Then I cut four pieces of ribbon to match the perimeter

Dicecapades Sight Word Match

  • These are 3 of the 4 letter dice from the Dicecapades Kids Game
  • Using Publisher I made a quick template with three rounded-corner squares to match the shape of the dice
  • Made easy sight words with the dice — cat, bed, etc.
  • Printed B&W on the little bit of toner I am trying to milk out of this cartridge, and trimmed to size

Square & Cube Sensory Bin

  • We had gone too long without a bin…
  • To keep up with the theme I used a square food storage container
  • Fillers include dollar store foam cubes,various square buttons, and foam 2-D square pieces
  • I also have some fun wooden items in here from CraftParts.com: Scrabble letters and wooden cubes (with holes; we have used these for lacing)

Square Sticky Foam Mosaic Craft

  • Utilizing some Bright Mosaic Squares I had purchased long ago
  • I made a big E on the computer, print and cut out
  • (Originally I wasn’t going to cut it out – otherwise I would have used the Silhouette! – but I thought the cut out E might be easier to put the squares on)
  • Included 9 each (squares) of several colors
  • These peel easily and we’ll see if he figures out how to stick them on!


  • Another favorite – our Lauri Tangrams!
  • To start out I gave him just three triangles that match the square “kite” shape
  • I figure this is a good talking point to explain how triangles can form a square.

Nuts & Bolts

Square Cutting Practice

  • As always, used Publisher to create boxes then made different dotted lines
  • Included scissors — and he’s cutting better than ever!

Unifix Cube Patterns

  • In Publisher, made little “chains” of squares the same size as Unifix Cubes in lengths of 3, 5, and 7
  • Printed in B&W and colored in the squares with Sharpies
  • Included cubes of course to match the patterns

Square Dough Tray

Perfect Squares Watercolors

  • Thank you Teach Preschool for this great idea!
  • I used Washi tape to make squares on a piece of thick Watercolor paper from Target
  • For paint, I gave him a handy strip of watercolors from one of those dollar books (and I ended up securing it to the tray with masking tape)
  • I included a paintbrush and an empty cup for water

This version of a shape tot school theme probably would not have happened without a certain DVD: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Space Adventure. Maybe you know what I mean – Martian Mickey and his pet cube! I really want to go in depth about geometric shapes soon and a cube is a good and natural place to start.

He went for the mosaic E first — that was fun! Perhaps next time I will make a whole grid for him to fill in. Those squares were extra nice as he could easily peel the backing off himself.

One thing that was particularly funny this round is that I used a lot of pieces from sets – the Unifix cubes, Tangrams, nuts & bolts and Dicecapades — and he wanted “all” of those things. I don’t fault him for that, it is just amusing.

Our next theme is a revisit — the Farm! It will be a day shorter than usual and I really enjoyed re-evaluating what we did in the past, as well as reflecting on how much he has learned!

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 30 months old, and thank you for the Week 150 feature! Also linked up at the A Little Bird Told Me Link Party, Inspire Me Mondays, and Tuesday Talk!

A fun tot school shapes theme - Squares and Cubes!


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