Adventures in Mommyhood

Posts tagged ‘Tot Trays’

Tot Tray Showcase: Week 8

Tot school is really going great with my little lady. She is making great progress in her pre writing skills, and overall we are just having a good time. I’m excited about this week because we will be working on the letter L, and of course we will be working with ladybugs a bit.

So now, without delay I present this weeks tot trays.

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1. Using play doh to creatively make the letter L on the dry erase coloring station.

2. This tray deals with size matching ladybugs, I used foam sheets and a sharpie to make these.

3. Working with clothespins on a line to secure the leaves. Fine motor skills at work here.

I’m happy with the way the trays came out, and am looking forward to working with Ladybug in tot school this week.

What themes are you working with, with your little ones this week?

Tot Tray Showcase: Week 7

This week has been a little hectic. Ladybug has been super grumpy, and then broke out in a small rash. A short trip to the pediatrician’s later, and my little lovebug was diagnosed with a viral infection. Yuck. To top it off,  Bumblebee started cutting his fifth tooth. Heavy sigh. Not a lot of sleep in this house this week.

So posting got the back burner a bit while I snuggled my cranky babies. It happens. So without further delay, here are our tot trays for this week:

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1. This water transferring activity has a spin on it. We used a salt shaker with the lid on to add a fun pouring element.

2. A matching tray using a household objects printout page. I chose this one because Ladybug is big into matching, plus the vocabulary building factor.

3. A “beading” tray, using wooden keys the object is to string them along the pipe cleaner.

I got the household objects printout from the Letter K Tot School Printables download. We use printouts from that site each week for working with letters.

This week we are working with the letter K. I will put a post up detailing how our week with the letter K went, later in the week.

What are your go to activities for when your kiddo is sick? 

Tot Tray Tuesday Showcase: Week 6

It is time again to showcase our tot trays for our week in tot school. This week we will be working with the letter J, so I tried to theme the trays with the letter J.

Here we go again on our adventure in learning.

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1. Transferring and matching objects of two different sizes to the inside of the jar. I made the jar from drawing on a white foam sheet, cutting it out, tracing the objects with a blue permanent marker.

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2. Working with small spaces, I used the top of a plastic salt shaker and pipe cleaners to make our jellyfish tray.

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3. This borrowed idea is matching different shaped lids to their jars.

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Bumblebee's Discovery Bottle containing two pipe cleaners.

I got the idea for the third tray from Nicole from The Kavanaugh Report. In fact I was first inspired to tot school from when I was a part of a close knit message board for moms and moms to be with Nicole. And in this post is where I got the inspiration for the lid matching activity. You should definitely check out her page if you are thinking of tot schooling your little one.

My goal for this week is to actually finish a post a detailing how we use our trays and other activities for our tot school, so keep an eye open if you are interested in starting, or adding new activities to your tot school routines.

Tot Tray Tuesday Showcase: Week 5

It is that time once again to present the tot trays we’ll be using this week. I thought we would switch up our focus and begin to work more with sorting. Our letter this week is the letter I, so I also incorporated a little bit of that in our theme for our trays.

Here we go with week five.

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This tray was designed to work on number value when counting. I cut up an egg tray to make the base to transfer blue gems into. And then printed out the 1,2,3 from 1+1+1=1

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Working with clothespins, for this tray the object is to color match and attach the clothespins to the colored craft sticks. We're working with fine motor skills here.

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This tray involves color sorting different objects intro different compartments.


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Here we have Bumblebees discovery bottles for this week. In the first one we have blue gems with water. The second one has colored craft sticks. This is going to be a fun way for Bumblebee to explore objects in a safe way.

So, we have some newer challenges to work through with Ladybug, and some fun discovery bottles with Bumblebee. I am lucky to have my husband home this week to help out a bit with tot school. Yay!

Wondering where I got the printout for tray #1? Checkout here for tons of resources for schooling your kiddo. In fact many of the concepts we use in our trays are inspired by using the principles of this page.

This week we will be getting out and about a lot as a family, it is our three year wedding anniversary on Thursday. Double yay for family time. Hope everyone else is having a good week.

Check out here to see how this week went in tot school.

Tot Tray Tuesday Showcase: Week #4

It’s that time again, to check out what is on the menu for this week’s tot trays. Ladybug has been very intrigued in our tot trays including water. So I thought I would finally invest in some water beads to incorporate into one of our trays. It is my first time using them at all and I think the Little Miss will love them. I mean, I loved playing with them Monday night getting them ready. 😛

So without further hesitation, here are the trays we are working with this week.

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A twist on spoon transfer, I used the spoon attachment we used to use for toddler pouches. Then I used an upcycled baby food jar to hold blue gems, and then I used an apple shaped ice tray from Target.


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Working with small spaces here. I chose kabob skewers, and a sugar shaker I got from the Dollar Tree


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Big spoon transfer using a slatted spoon, with water beads being the object to transfer.

I can’t wait to introduce these tomorrow. It is going to a fun week, I just can feel it.

What are some fun things you are doing with the kiddos this week? What is your favorite way to use water beads?

Tot Tray Review: Week #2

This previous week in tot school was great! She was interested in all of the trays in additon to doing some printouts. It is always a joy when I can provide her with activities that are both stimulating and engaging while we both have a good time.

The following were are trays for week number two in our tot tray series.

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1. A stamping craft using tp rolls cut into different shapes.

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2. A water transfer activity using a measuring spoon into an egg plate.

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3. A color sorting activity using clothes onto pipe cleaners in the shapes of circles.

Tray #1: I originally got the idea for this week here, however, once we tried them with the stamp pad we realized it just wasn’t going to work out. It was very faded and not so interesting for Miss Ladybug.

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So I quickly pulled out some washable paints and it was a huge success. We did two colors at a time on the plate, and she got to experiment a bit with color mixing. Overall it was a good craft tray after a minor adjustment.

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Some of our finshed products.

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Such concentration.

Tray #2: Since water transfer was such a hit last week, we decided to continue on with water play for a tray this week. And as you might imagine Ladybug was intrigued, once again. We had so much fun with this one. The only problem was that once she transferred all of the water into the egg shapes, the only way to continue play was to dumo the water in the sink and then add more. Not a big problem, of course, but I would prefer it to be a completely toddler led activity. So next time, we definitely won’t have that problem.

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Kitty caught in action helping clean up, lol. Also if you were wondering about the wall hangings, they were from our Harry Potter Party from that weekend.

Tray #3: I knew going into this one that it not might not work out so well. I’ve read that clothespins can be difficult for small hands, and that sometimes they pinch. Talk about the ultimate discouragement to a kiddo…  pain. So I took a tentative approach to this tray.

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First we had help doing this activity, thanks Auntie K!

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Which built confidence.

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Then we loved it so much, we used them as accessories.

She started out frustrated with this tray,  but once we started explaining you have to “squeeze the legs” she caught on fast.

Conclusion: That was a great week in Tot school, I aspire to have all weeks go that great. With a couple of small adjustments it made for a great learning experience for both of us.

How did your week in tot school go?  What struggles did you and your tot meet?  How did they succeed?

Tot Tray Tuesday: Week #3

Take a look at this week’s Tot Trays. We are expanding out a bit and working on our matching, and counting skills. And a little bit of craftiness thrown into the mix as well.

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An abacus inspired, number matching activity. I used a sheet of foam, pipe cleaners, and wooden beads to make this.

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Letter G Puzzle from 3dinosaurs.com, I cut it out and glued it to a foam sheet so it is more graspable for toddler hands.

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Our crafty tray, coffee filters to be colored with markers. And then experimenting with the spray bottle with color mixing.

I had a lot of fun putting these trays together, I can’t wait to see how Ladybug takes to them.

If you would like to link up with your tot trays for this week feel free to add it to the link up. Happy Tot Schooling to all!