How can I make my toddler’s Montessori inspired tot trays St. Patrick’s Day themed?
Smiley Man is 22 months old.
We love tot trays!!! Seriously, I cannot say this enough. It is the perfect “homeschool” to do with my toddler. Our trays are all about playing, but Smiley Man thinks he is doing work just like his big brother. So far, Smiley has loved all of the activities and trays that he has done. This St. Patrick’s Day set of trays is no different. I got almost all of the materials from around my house or from the dollar store. Smiley Man definitely isn’t ready for school, but he is a toddler that likes to be involved. Check out his awesome tot trays and hopefully they will give you some ideas for your tot school.
Erasers on Pencils
Smiley Man put green and yellow erasers onto the ends of pencils.
Open and Close Containers
This tray has a bunch of containers to open and close. A few, but not all, of the containers have a piece of gold in them. The gold makes this tray very exciting to Smiley.
I printed off these St. Patrick’s Day Matching cards, cut them out and laminated them. All of the cards go on the tray along with a cup or bowl. Smiley Man matches a set of cards, and then puts them into the bowl. I make sure to only have 2-3 types of pictures on the tray at a time, but if your child is older, use as many cards on the tray as you see fit.
Golf Tee in Styrofoam
Use golf tees to cover the shamrock that is colored onto the Styrofoam. We did a similar activity when we did our Valentine’s tot trays and Smiley Man loved it so I knew I had to think of a similar activity for St. Patrick’s Day.
I got some green washcloths from the dollar store. They were unfolded on the tot tray and Smiley folded them. I demonstrate each of these trays before Smiley Man does them, but this one took a bit extra demonstration. He’s getting it though. :)
Color Game 9
(Each color game is only on the tray for one week. The rest of the activities are on the trays for two weeks. That means I go through two color games, but only one of all the other activities.)
Here is a link to the full post.
Color Game 10
Here is a link to the full post.
St. Patrick’s Day Tot Book
I read this book at least once during the time that these trays are out. If Smiley Man uses this tray while I am working with Little Bear, he can color the pictures or just look at the pictures as he turns the pages. I do not in any way expect Smiley Man to learn how to read by looking at this book. This book is simply for exposure to words and letters and concepts of print.
St. Patrick’s Day Tot Pack: St. Patrick’s Day Matching (pg. 18), Shape Tracing (pg. 19)
St. Patrick’s Day Touch and Feel Board Book
St. Patrick’s Day by Ann Rockwell
The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day by Natasha Wing
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover! by Lucille Colandro
There are five gold coins and an empty green top hat. When Smiley Man chooses this tray, I take about 2 minutes to hide all 5 coins. I hide them in pretty obvious places and Smiley Man often watches me while I hide them, but he still LOVES this tray. He just finds the coins and puts them into the hat.
I made our “pull cup” using a black cup from the dollar store and ribbon in all the colors of the rainbow also from the dollar store. I simply made some slits in the bottom of the cup using a very sharp knife. The slits are small, just barely big enough for the ribbon to fit through. There are six slits, one for each color of the rainbow. I cut each ribbon into a 12 inch piece, then pushed one end through a slit. Finally, I made a knot on the top and the bottom of the ribbon. I repeated with all the colors. To play this, start with all of the ribbon on the inside of the cup. Set the cup on the tray and have your toddler pull each ribbon until the knot on the bottom stops it. You’ll end up with a rainbow coming out of a pot of gold look. This is also a great activity to practice colors!