What are some Montessori trays that my toddler can do that will teach shapes?
We have been doing Montessori trays for 9 months now and I love them. My toddler is learning so much and it’s so easy to adapt different ideas to match whatever theme we are currently working on. Triangle week was fun to put together and the toddler school activities were fun for Smiley Man. Here they are:
Shape Game for Triangles: Find the Shape
I printed off the table size printable from our Find the Shape game. Check out the original post for instructions on how to play.
Decorate a Triangle: Colored Rice
Get the printable from this post about Teaching Shapes by Decorating Shapes.
This tot tray for toddlers has two small glass bowls. One bowl is filled with green triangle pattern blocks. Smiley Man has to pour the pattern blocks from one bowl to the other and then back again. Smiley Man got a little frustrated with our last few pouring activities because the things he was pouring kept spilling. I guessed that he just needed larger objects to pour and I was right! He loved this pouring activity because the pieces didn’t spill as easily and they were easy for him to pick up. This tray was a definite success.
I made some simple number cards for this tray. I would share the printable, except I really didn’t like how the cards turned out (they were just the wrong size) and I deleted the printable before I had a chance to save it. Anyway, to do this activity, Smiley Man put one triangle on a number as he said that number. Then, he put a triangle on the next number as he said that number, etc. (Example: he put a pattern block triangle on the 1 and said “one.” He put a pattern block triangle on the 2 and said “two.” He put a pattern block triangle on the 3 and said “three.”) We only did four numbers and Smiley definitely needed help remembering the number that came next, but this was a great way to start learning counting.
This tray had a piece of white paper, several paper triangles, a paintbrush, and some homemade mod podge. The idea was for Smiley Man to make a collage with the paper triangles and to practice gluing using a paintbrush and mod podge. He LOVED this tray! I had to teach him how to use the paintbrush and mod podge, but once he got it, he loved it. I did have to keep an eye on him during this activity though to make sure he didn’t overdo the glue. :)
This tray had several pipe cleaner pieces that Smiley Man could use to make triangles. This was actually much harder for Smiley than I realized it would be. I ended up making two sides of the triangle and I let Smiley Man put the last piece on. He also had fun just playing with the pieces and making his own pictures. Even though this was hard for Smiley Man, it was a really great way to teach what a triangle is. This tray probably would have been perfect if Smiley was just a bit older.
As always, Smiley Man really enjoyed his Learning Notebook printables. It’s still a little weird to me how much he loves coloring, just because Little Bear always hated it. This was a very successful week with tot school, but honestly, I am getting a little tired out having to change Smiley Man’s trays every week. I might go back to changing them every 2 weeks in October. I haven’t decided for sure yet, so stay tuned to find out.