We had a great time learning with this set of St. Patrick’s Day tot trays! (He even took a day off on his own – it was cute that he requested it!) Like Valentine’s Day, it was neat to be able to tie in so much outside the house as well. Even walking by our neighbor’s house was exciting as he always pointed out her shamrock decorations. I can’t count how many times he said, “Just like my school!”
For this set of St. Patrick’s Day Tot Trays I also did a quick spending analysis, seeing what we get out of about $25, not just for this theme but future ones as well. (As a rule of thumb, if you combine sales and coupons you can get a lot for a little at craft stores!)
Now here are 12 fun activities — 11 trays and a very cool sensory bin. Thanks to Pinterest I could have made at least 50 activities! Click any activity to see more information below.
- DIY St. Patrick’s Sensory Bin
- Mini Cereal Ring Stacking
- TP Roll Shamrock Craft
- Pipe Cleaner & Beads
- Coins and Patterning Tray
- St. Patrick’s Day Stickers & Coloring
- Shamrock Sight Words
- Heart Sponge Shamrock Stamping
- Shamrock Size Chart
- Shamrock Cutting
- Green Play Dough Tray
- Pom Pom Sorting
- I liked the idea of a “DIY” sensory bin where E could put things together himself. I know I saw this idea somewhere on Pinterest — thank you!
- Included lots of green bowls and scoops
- Fillers include:
- (Idea is from Pinterest, I just can’t find who I saw do the different lengths of spaghetti!)
- For the “box”, first covered the lid of a box (saved from a snack from a gift basket) with shamrock paper and a couple of stickers
- Poked four small holes in the top
- Put a ‘log’ of old play dough inside the box and put on the lid
- Stuck four spaghetti noodles in the holes and snapped them to four lengths
- Added cup of green Apple Jacks for stacking
- Idea is from Crafting a Green World — thank you!
- Bent three toilet paper rolls into heart shape and cut into six pieces
- Included green crayons and colored pencils to color the heart shapes
- After he colors them and the time is right we will get out white glue to arrange the hearts into shamrock shapes
- Made a shamrock shape out of a green pipe cleaner
- Included several green pony beads to string onto the shamrock
- This is just an empty green Patterning tray from the Lakeshore Learning math trays and a box of pennies!
- Printed three pages from Crystal & Co. — thank you!
- Included two sheets of St. Patrick’s Day stickers plus six skinny markers
- Found simple shamrock clipart
- In Publisher, put four white circles on shamrock with simple words in middle (is, at, my, on)
- Made separate green circles with same words
- Laminated and trimmed all pieces
- Made four clipart shamrocks in different sizes
- Printed in color, cut, laminated & cut again
- Also made easy chart in Word to arrange them in size order, from “really really big” (his favorite way to say something is, well, really really big!) down to “small”
- We will be using the heart-shaped sponge and green paint to make shamrocks!
- I made simple “shamrocks” in Publisher with four hearts a little larger than the sponge
- Printed on thick cardstock
- (This was not displayed as part of his school; we got it out when the time is right to be using paint!)
- Simple prints of shamrock outlines on green copy paper
- Included scissors for cutting — yes, it bothers me that we don’t have green safety scissors!
- Freshly made cucumber-white tea dough
- Container of ‘longer’ tools – pizza cutter and scraper from his dough tools, plus a plastic tube for a roller, plastic kids knife
- Container of two green dough stampers from the Lakeshore Learning Shape & Play Dough Designer Kit
- Shamrock cookie cutter
- A favorite! Just like last time…
- We started out with a small paint palette
- Six pompoms, 3 dark green and 3 light green
- Six 1″ punched cardstock circles to match pom-poms
- An appropriately green gator grabber
- I used double-stick foam squares to attach the circle to each well.
After a set of more “difficult” activities, these were quite a bit easier. that said, he was really able to tackle them on his own.
The funniest moment was on St. Patrick’s Day specifically when we set up the sponge painting craft for him. It was the first time he had used true finger paint, though he is very familiar with cornstarch/hand soap paint in the tub. (Hooray for Crayola Washable Kids Paint – it truly is washable!) He was into it for about 10 minutes, carefully using the sponge to ‘paint’ the hearts. Then he painted his hands a bit. But then he was DONE, showed off his green hands, then washed his hands and admired the green soapy water for 20 minutes. He is a clean kid to say the least!
Beyond the bin and dough, his favorite of the smaller activities was definitely the cereal stacking. I don’t think he even ate any. My favorite activity was the shamrock size chart. I spent way too long cutting out the shamrocks (there was an odd printing error in the background I wanted to cut out) – but I appreciated how easily he was able to sort the four by size.
Next is a special theme – Japan! It is tying in with a local event that we are going to be attending. It is by far the most abstract theme we have ever had so we will see how he likes it!
I’m proud to be linking this St. Patrick’s Day Tot Trays 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, Inspire Me Mondays, Hip Homeschool Hop, Mom’s Library, Turn it Up Tuesdays, Mommy Solutions, Everything Early Childhood Link Up, and TGI Saturdays!