Our First Tot Trays!

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A couple weeks (or less) from now, E’s six tot trays will have a theme. But for now, I am sticking to things I know he likes until this whole Tot School thing clicks for him! So here are the first six activities for January 2014:

Our first fun set of tot trays and toddler activities!

  1. Tangrams
  2. Open & Close Containers
  3. Clips & Container
  4. Word World Coloring
  5. “Yarn Cutting Practice”
  6. Counting Bears Matching


Open & Close Containers

Clips & Container

  • Awesome spring loaded clips from IKEA and soup container
  • I clipped 3 on and put the rest in the container

Word World Coloring

  • Word World printables from PBS Kids reduced to a quarter of a page and printed on cardstock
  • Thin Crayola markers

“Yarn Cutting Practice”

  • Yarn Cutting Practice sheet from Confessions of a Homeschooler – thank you!
  • Three strings to line up with the dotted lines
  • Scissors to cut paper or strings as desired

Counting Bears Matching

  • Nine counting bears
  • Made simple triangle-shaped “grid”, laminated and colored in for matching

Naturally, the flu bug hit our household this week (excluding E), so that plus some frigid temperatures made it a particularly great time to start tot school! Four days in, he is still interested in seeing what’s going on with “school”. Each night I have “reset” one or two of the activities; changing the clips container to a basket, adding different coloring pages (then plain pieces of chipboard another day), and changing the little snacks in the open and close containers. I was actually surprised that the hadn’t tried the cutting practice activity; so this morning I sat with him and showed him. Then he enjoyed that for a while!

E loves to pretend to cook, and he decided he needed a refrigerator. D suggested the school shelf and hey, that worked perfectly! Nice to see other uses for it too.

Next we are switching out to a new set of ‘random’ activities. After that, I will begin the first ‘themed’ tot school set of activities. I vowed to spend very little money on tot school related items through the end of February, so I am doing themes first that fit items we already have. On the schedule right now is Fish, Circles, then Farm.

He was a little distracted, of course. His first order of the day was feeding his pretend dog, so the Panda Puffs in the containers were a perfect way to get him to look at his “School”. He was especially excited by the Word World printables and he’s always happy to see his scissors.

Looking ahead, I think these trays will last a couple days and then I will switch out probably an activity at a time.

I’m proud to share this our first tot trays with the inspiration for it all – 1+1+1=1’s Tot School Gathering Place!

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