Totschool: How to Set Up Tot Trays

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Tot Trays are not necessarily a new idea, but they are all the rage right now. These fun little trays are great for both moms and kids. If you’re not familiar with them, here’s a little run down. Basically, you want to collect trays (of whatever size you want) to use with manipulatives and open ended play items (plastic animals, marbles, pom-poms, etc), puzzles, ice cube trays for sorting – really anything that can be used to improve their fine motor skills. You make them as themed as you like, to go along with the weekly/monthly lessons, or just for something to occupy them while you school the other children.

tot, toddler, totschool, tot trays, homeschool, homeschooling

However, here were days where Pixie was just not in the mood to work on her printable theme tot trays. So, I have come up with a system that works well for us. I purchased a few toys and items that fit on her tot trays, but these goodies are only for use when on the tot trays. It has helped her self discipline. Occasionally she will ask me to put a specific item on her shelf, or swap something out that she is now bored with.

This is what a typical week’s shelves look like:

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This week we will be using a Butterfly Totschool/Preschool pack and our play trays somewhat follow this theme. These are the “play trays” pictured above:

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1. This is a fairly easy activity to put together. I have these small bath mats with suction cups underneath. I have turned them upside down for Pixie to balance the marbles on using tweezers. Thesebaskets are the perfect size for holding the marbles.

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2. Pixie created her own little matching game with our Monarch Butterfly life cycle puzzle (here is a similar puzzle) and our Safari Ltd Monarch Butterfly life cycle set. She matches the life cycle items to the pictures on the puzzle.

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3. We have a wooden shape/number house similar to the Wooden alphanumeric intelligent house shape learning box above. Pixie loves building the house before inserting the different pieces.

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4. This is an colour matching activity I made for Pixie a while ago. I got paint strips from our local hardware store and laminated them together to make a worksheet of sorts. She then matches pompoms to the correct colour. She enjoys matching the different hues to each colour strip.

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5. We have a little ramp racer almost identical to the EverEarth Jr. Size Ramp Race above. Its another firm favourite that currently finds a weekly spot on our shelves.

What do you put in your tot trays each week?

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