10 Tools Tot Trays & Activities!

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This week we went with a very “Boy” theme — Tools! Activities for this were easy to put together. Plus, with the Community Helpers theme I often see around Pinterest, I was able to get a few more ideas.

We also plan on doing a separate “Kitchen Tools” theme later this year, and maybe even “Auto Repair”! But for now, here are the 10 activities that make up our Tools Tot Trays:

  1. Dough “Tools” Tray
  2. Jumbo Tool Bin
  3. Washer Stacking
  4. “T” Search
  5. Builder’s Tool Kit
  6. Golf Tee Hammering
  7. Tool Matching
  8. Measuring Activity
  9. Tools Line Tracing
  10. Nuts and Bolts


Dough “Tools” Tray

Jumbo Tool Bin

Washer Stacking

  • Reused the green from our sports week
  • Put a new piece of paper on top
  • Poked through the paper and foam with small popsicle sticks and a wooden dowel
  • Took them out, added a little glue and pushed them back in to the holes
  • Put some tape on the underside so no sharp parts are poking through
  • Included various washers to stack on the sticks

“T” Search

  • A simple one here: make a letter T by ‘highlighting’ each T
  • I made a quick printable in Word that naturally has a T made of T’s with other letters around, like a word search
  • Laminated this and included a yellow marker so he can practice

Builder’s Tool Kit

  • We got this Let’s Pretend Builders Tool Kit at the big box store
  • There are several cute, cartoony (but realistic) thick cardboard tools that you match up on 3 different scenes where tools are used
  • An idea I didn’t do was to take all the tools, put them on the glass of a copy machine and leave the lid open when copying so you’d get black outlines of each tool.

Golf Tee Hammering

Tool Matching

  • This is from a worksheet from Preschool Printables — thank you!
  • Printed the sheet in color and cut all to size
  • Gave him four words plus pictures to match

Measuring Activity

  • Inspiration for this activity from Learning with Mrs. Parker — thank you!
  • Started out with a 12″ ruler
  • Included enough foam blocks to measure out to 12 inches
  • Also included three lengths of ribbon/string
  • Intent is to measure in different ways — measure each string with the ruler, see how many cubes it takes to match each string, etc.

Tools Line Tracing

  • This is from another worksheet from Preschool Printables — thank you!
  • Printed the sheet in color and cut all to size
  • Included crayon for tracing the lines

Nuts and Bolts

  • Another worthwhile purchase — some nuts and bolts!
  • A good combination of functional size and low price was to get 3/8″ hex nuts and bolts
  • Put them together and take them apart!


The Tools Tot Trays theme did not necessarily line up with anything on the calendar. But wouldn’t you know we had car trouble this week so E got to watch and help D work on the car?! They were able to incorporate many more tools than ‘hammers’ and ‘nuts and bolts’ — that’s for sure! Maybe I will get started on that “ignition tester” tot pack…

Until then, we are currently in our Music theme, then we have 3 A’s to follow: Airplanes, Art and Alphabet. As E is about to turn 3 we are going to slowly transition into more true ‘learning’ activities. We’re all looking forward to it!

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 32 months old! Also shared at Motivation Monday, Mommy Monday Blog Hop, Turn it Up Tuesdays, Everything Early Childhood Link Up, Everything Kids Link & Pin Party, Wonderful Wednesday Linky Party, Shine Blog Hop, Wonderful Wednesday and TGI Saturdays!

Cool Books for Tools Tot Trays!

Tool theme ideas for tot school!


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One thought on “10 Tools Tot Trays & Activities!

  1. I love tool trays. My daughter is very high energy, but making a busy tool tray certainly calms her down. I’m definitely sharing this because it’s so helpful! Parents alike who are trying to teach through play will find this so useful. Thanks so much for sharing this with us on #shinebloghop!

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