Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Tot Trays

This week we are doing the letter T for thanks and turkey. I have been planning a couple of these tot trays since Halloween! Without further delay, what's on the tray?

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I fell in love with this idea the first time I saw it at To The Lesson. Boogie has a lot of trouble with clothespins right now, but is really good at other fine motor skills, so I wanted to challenge him with a fun clothespin pinching activity. We can talk about the colors of the feathers and count them as we put them on. There is some sensory learning here too, with the different textures of the feathers and the foam.

This tray is a simple artist-in-training tray. Boogie has a pen, a leaf notebook and some stickers to be creative with. He will have to use fine motor skills with the pen and stickers (getting them off and sticking them). He always wants to use pens when we do, so hopefully he will enjoy his own personal seasonal pen.

I have seen this idea all over Pinterest, and decided to try it with a turkey picture this week. I cut a picture into strips, pasted it onto popsicle sticks, then spread watered down glue all over the top. Voila! A popsicle stick puzzle! This works at his problem solving skills, and he has to use fine motor skills to line them up neatly to make the picture too. Boogie likes all of his chunky and peg puzzles, so we will see how he likes this. I need to remember to print out a complete version of the picture for him to use as a reference.

This next tray is a sorting tray. My BFF gave Boogie a bunch of seasonal foam stickers. We will sort tan owls, red acorns, brown squirrels and glittery orange pumpkins. I chose five of each of these stickers and put them in the center of the tray. We can talk about colors, we can count, and we can sort with this tray. I have a whole bag full of more of these and other foam stickers, so we can create some pictures this week too.

I have a feeling Boogie will be pretty excited about this tray. He loved these cups last week, so I chose two Thanksgiving-y colors. We can practice telling the difference between yellow and orange, which he is struggling with. I filled up one cup with flat marbles in fall colors (from Pier 1 Import, used a gift card). I also provided a yellow and orange spoon. The main skill I am targeting is transferring by spooning or dumping and pouring. Guess which one Boogie will prefer :P We can also talk about colors and count the marbles.

I think this is the first Thanksgiving activity I saw, and it seems to have originated at My Montessori Journey. Mine is much simpler because I don't have the time for fancy sewing. I am all about the glue gun instead! Boogie LOVES buttons (because they are circles!) so having the chance to play with some will make him happy. We will talk about colors and count with this tray too.

For more turkey and Thanksgiving ideas, click on the picture below to see my pinterest board.

You can also check out the Thanksgiving Sensory Bin Boogie has been enjoying.

Linking up to:
TGIF @ Living Life Intentionally
Sharing Saturday @ Crafty Moms Share
Show and Share Saturday @ I Can Teach My Child
The Sunday Showcase @ Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
Montessori Monday @ Living Montessori Now
Tip-Toe Thru Tuesday @ Crayon Freckles
Show and Tell @ ABC and 123
For the Kids Friday @ Sun Scholars
Link & Learn @ No Time for Flashcards
Thrifty Thursday @ Playing With Words 365


  1. Cute ideas! I found your blog on the Sunday Showcase. Thanks!
    Andrea @

  2. Love the clothespin turkey & button turkey!! SOooo clever!! Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Have a great Thanksgiving & we'll see you next week!
    Beth =-)

  3. Wonderful ideas!! Thank you so much for sharing them at Crafty Moms Share. I look forward to seeing what you share next week. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  4. I like all your trays and how each one provides several different opportunities for teaching.

    Thanks for stopping by my site to visit.

  5. Beth- Thank you! I fell in love with those ideas when I saw them too.

    Carrie- Thank you!

    Jenny- I try to vary the activities we do to figure out what Boogie has mastered and what he is struggling with.

    Hope you all had a nice thanksgiving! We sure did :)

  6. These are some great activities! I really like the clothespin one as my daughter struggles with them as well. I am a new follower from For the Kids Fridays. Vicky from Mess For Less

  7. Thanks, Vicky! Boogie has shown some improvement with the clothespin turkey. I hope your daughter does too!

  8. I was away from the computer more than normal to spend extra time with my family last week, but I shared your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page last Wednesday. I love your activities - and your idea of using the glue gun instead of sewing! I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful! :)

  9. Hi Deb! Thanks for featuring my post again :) I am always looking for ways to simplify great ideas! With two little ones, free time is extremely hard to come by. My glue gun has been getting a ton of work recently :) We did have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope you and yours did as well!

  10. Thanks so much for linking up to Show and Tell this week. Your trays all look like fun. I especially like the button on feathers:)

  11. I enjoy linking up to Show and Tell! Thank you for providing a fun linky party :)

  12. I really LOVE the Turkey Fine motor activity! It would be awesome for my daughter. I'd love for you to stop by and share this (or another great activity) at my new Thrifty Thursday Linky Party this Thursday! (ps your kiddos are ADORABLE!)

  13. Thanks, Katie! I'm a sucker for compliments about my kids :) I will stop by now!

  14. Sierra thanks so much for linking up! I'm following you back now also on GFC and on Pinterest (I have an addiction with Pinterest...) And...I'm a sucker for Asian hubby is 1/2 Asian ;)

  15. Hi Katie! I thought your kids looked like there was some Asian in them, but didn't want to say anything if I was wrong :) I hope when we have girls, they will have curls too! So cute :)


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