Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Tot Trays

This week I planned on working on the letter G and doing some G is for gingerbread activities but I haven't gotten any printables organized yet so mostly we are playing with our tot trays and other fun Christmas and advent activities.

So, what's on the tray?

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This idea (and most of the others) came from Little Hands, Big Work. This is a transferring tray to develop fine motor skills. The idea is for Boogie to move the pom poms, using the tongs, from one side of the tray to the other. We can also count the pom poms either by color, size, or total (HA!). We can sort the pom poms by color or size. We can do sequencing pom poms by size as well. I got the tray at the Dollar Tree and love it. Santa is on the side you can't see.

 Another Dollar Tree find, that I knew to look for thanks to Little Hands, Big Work. I got the peg activities for Halloween and Boogie really enjoyed them. This works fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. We can also sort the pegs by gingerbread men or snowmen. We can count the total pegs and holes. We can count just the snowmen or just the gingerbread men.

Another idea I saw on Little Hands, Big Work, as well as other places. This is another transferring activity, this time using a spoon. The idea is for Boogie to use the spoon to scoop out ornaments and put them into the paint tray. This works on his motor skills, his coordination, and balance too. He can organize the ornaments by color in rows. I think he is a bit young for patterns but we might try it. The ornaments have 3 different finishes, for lack of a better description. There are shiny ones, glittery ones, and then just kind of plain ones. So that is another way we can organize them onto the trays. We can count the ornaments by total, color, or finish. I kind of think he will just drop the first ornaments he scoops up into the first paint tray opening they land on, but we will try to have some method to the madness. The ornaments are from the Target dollar spot, the paint tray is from Michaels. Not sure where the box is from.

This idea was on Little Hands, Big Work and The Adventures of Bear, another blog that features Montessori trays from time to time. Boogie will sort erasers by type using the chopsticks. So, again, this works fine motor skills and coordination. He does use real chopsticks at dinner with us, but these will practice the pinching motion that he struggles with. There are technically 5 different erasers, but they are 2 different reindeer erasers. I am interested to see if he notices the difference. We can also count the total erasers or how many of each kind there are. The erasers are a Dollar Tree find.

Again, this is adapted from Little Hands, Big Work. I re-used the sprinkles container from our frog trays and made it Christmas-y. Boogie can drop and dump red, white, and green pipe cleaners (cut in half to fit). So he is working fine motor skills and using coordination, as is the case with most of these trays. We can also count the pipe cleaners total, or by color. We can sort by color as well. There are 3 different shades of green so maybe we can talk about shades a little bit. I am interested to see if he names all three shades as green when asked.

The last tray is our green, glittery, peppermint play dough with cookie cutters, a rolling pin, and jewels to decorate any creations.

As a bonus activity, which is in the playroom next to his Little People Nativity set, Boogie also has a mini tree to decorate with mini ornaments. The tree ($5!), ornaments, and pail ($1) are all from Target. This is more fine motor work, and we can talk about colors or the finish of the ornaments while we are putting them on.

Do you want to know what else Boogie is up to this week?

Christmas Sensory Bin
Christmas Book Advent (and advent linky party!)

Linking up to these great parties!


  1. Linking up after you on living life intentionally. this is such a great idea. Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. I got the erasers for my 2 year old to sort too, but I haven't seen the cute peg game yet! Stopping by from TGIF!


  3. I love your pegs activity & your peppermint playdough looks like fun & must smell WONDERFUL!! Thanks for linking up to TGIF! See you next week,
    Beth =-)

  4. I love your tot trays this week. I totally want a little tree like that for Liam to decorate with items from his sensory bin.

  5. Such wonderful, doable trays. Happy Christmas!

  6. LOVING these trays!! I'm going to pin a couple of these fine motor tasks for my daughter (She has JIA and gets OT for her fine motor skills). I need to hit up the dollar store!! Thanks so much for linking up at Thirfty Thursday, I hope you find some other great ideas there this week!

  7. Hi Sierra! I can already tell your blog is going to be a new favorite of mine. What fun ideas you have here! Thanks so much for linking up to the Mingle With Us Blog Hop this week! I'm following you back and am pretty darn excited about it. :) Hope you'll stop by again next week to link up!

  8. Thanks for sharing this creative idea! I am just loving those trays!!! Would you please share this with our readers for Fun Stuff Fridays linky party?

  9. I love your inviting activity trays - and the way you're so aware of which skills you're focusing on! I added your post to my Montessori-Inspired Christmas Activities at

  10. What great ideas! Thank you for sharing them at Sharing Saturday!

  11. What great ideas for tot trays!! Love the dollar tree! So many great finds! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  12. what a variety of skill-building activities!! just wanted to let you know that this will be featured at this week's tip-toe thru tuesday party! stop by and grab your featured button!

  13. Love all your Christmas trays!!


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