12 Circle Tot Trays

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Circles – an easy theme! We just built him some Montessori-inspired ‘centers’ – one for cleaning and one in the kitchen. In turn he has become even more obsessed with pouring, so the hope was that a pouring activity would be fun!

Here is a look back at our set of 12 Circle Tot Trays, plus his new “light table”!

  1. Circle “Stencils” & Pens
  2. Cutting Practice
  3. Circle Cards & Holder
  4. Pom-Poms & Tongs
  5. Lacing Circles
  6. Punched Circle & Lacing String*
  7. “Ring Toss”
  8. Cutting Practice + Circle Punch
  9. Salt Pouring Activity
  10. Bottle Cap Line
  11. Circle Stickers & Matching
  12. Coins & Container
  13. DIY Light Table

Stencils & Pens

  • 2 circular pieces from a kids meal game (I thought I’d use these someday!)
  • 3 felt-tip pens
  • 3 blank pieces of cardstock

Cutting Practice

  • Printouts of circles in different sizes and lines (made in Publisher)
  • Included safe scissors

Circle Cards & Holder

  • Burger King Uno-type card game
  • The intent is to see what he does here – match cards by number? Color? Or just put the cards in the holder?

Pom-Poms & Tongs

Lacing Circles

  • Lacing string
  • Random circles – empty ribbon spools, circles from block wagon, circular buttons, keyring

Punched Circle & Lacing String

  • I punched holes around perimeter of scratch-art ornament
  • Included string with a knot at one end for lacing

“Ring Toss”

Cutting Practice + Circle Punch

  • Simply added upcoming activity to his cutting practice…
  • Included easy-to-use circle punch and several scraps of “circle”-themed papers

Salt Pouring Activity

  • Tidy Tray
  • Easy-pour measuring cup with 1/4 cup of salt
  • Circular cookie cutters and a cookie press insert
  • Assorted other tools: sieve, teaspoons, large paintbrush, circular “foot” for something

Bottle Cap Line

  • Printout of circle shapes, largest to smallest (made in Publisher)
  • Five bottle caps in different sizes

Circle Stickers & Matching

  • (This was actually intended for a do-a-dot marker)
  • Sheet of standard circular labels for organizing
  • Printable I made of circle of circles with word “CIRCLE” in the middle

Coins & Container

  • A simple one: a collection of coins and a slotted container
  • Mom & Dad are proud that we kept this Tootsie Roll container for so long!

DIY Light Table

Maybe it’s the cold weather and cabin fever setting in, but I feel like with this “round” of activities only a few really held his interest for more than… 10 minutes? He is spending a lot more time with his “kitchen” and cleaning supplies.

I an say though that he is definitely going through a phase right now – his language skills are really improving but he seems to get frustrated real easily. So, he is needing a little more help than usual but he still seems moderately interested in his school activities!

As expected, the salt pouring activity was a HIT! By far his favorite of these Circle Tot Trays. He had 1/4 cup of salt and though he carried it around most of the day, moving the activity back and forth between his desk and the ottoman, he only spilled about 1 tablespoon. With little guidance he figured out how to pour into the cookie cutter, then lift the cutter for some salt to pour out and create a big circle.

The Tidy Tray was a huge help! I have had mine for years and I bought a second, but it was not the same. Rather than the full funnel style of pouring it was basically just a notch at the end of a tray. I have linked the right kind of tray here! While in the kitchen lately he is pouring everything together (his concoction of noodles, grapes and chamomile tea, for example), for the salt he really understood where it was supposed to stay. In the tray!

Anyway, on the flip side, the “lacing circles” just didn’t click for him. I showed it to him in a couple ways, offered some help, but he just didn’t get it.

This theme definitely taught me – quantity may not be as good as quality. I just think I put a little too much out there this time!

Want some more shapes? Check out squares and cubes tot trays and triangle preschool trays!

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!

Also linked up (and featured!) over at Favorite Things Friday! Also linked up at the Everything Early Childhood Link Up and Parenting Pin It Party!

Cool Books for Circle Tot Trays

A sample of circle tot trays for tot school or preschool!

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6 thoughts on “12 Circle Tot Trays

  1. I love these ideas! I am looking for ways to keep my little one busy while I teach my older boys…adding your 12 Circle Tot Trays to my list!

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