Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Preschool Tray Activities

This was purchased through Discount School Supply..."mobile art rack".  Works perfect for what we need it for! 
So, as been mentioned, we are taking the tray route with T.  This allows him to work independently, for the most part.  It went very well the first day and then he began to get picky.  This week we started fresh and I taken the attitude with him that the time after our group lesson and before we have snack and get outside is "school time" for him.  His "school work" is to go from the top tray to the bottom tray.  So, that keeps him busy in the kitchen, at the table, so he is not distraction to the older students and he's also there where I can interact with him a bit more.  He did great these last two days!  It's not a big deal if he doesn't do everything on the cart.  I just move up what he didn't do to the top for the next day.  :-) 
For my own sake...we are doing activities that are not "new".  :-)  A lot of neat ideas on Pinterest but I really don't have time to prep for another child.  I'm giving myself a month or so.  And it's just fine for him since he was too young to remember doing any of the preschool work we did in years past so they are "new" to him.  We are not following a specific theme either.  Each day we work on something in the alphabet (his name at the moment), something with shapes, colors, numbers, fine motor/puzzle, writing explorations, art and sensory.  Unfortunately, I was unable to slip in picture taking very much that first week...and I didn't do very good in the 2nd week, especially with T. but now that things are evening out, perhaps I'll get more.  :-)
These are great for preschoolers who are working on number recognition.  The goal was to put a chip on the numeral that match the large numeral.  Using magnetic chips add a well-liked component and they can wave the magnetic wand over top to "erase" their boards.  I know I have uploaded pictures of children doing this because it's often a favorite for the children and as the teacher it's a great activity...but I'm not sure if I ever uploaded the actual document so here it is...Spotting Numbers.
Love the idea of these shapes.  Very strong magnetic surface.  You can purchase them at Lakeshore Learning, Jumbo Magnetic Design Shapes.  They have a nice stand-up magnetic dry-erase board just for the shapes but we lack space so we just use our fridge. :-)  The only downfall is that the colored paper on top peels off easily.  :-(  So not so durable.  We've had these for quite awhile but they've only held up as they have because they were never put out for "free choice".  It was always a planned activity...so less "abuse".  However, they have had them in the local libraries and you can soon see that they aren't so visually appealing after much use. They are such a favorite with the kiddos though!  Great for teaching shapes, colors, add an art component and for older students, beginning fractions.
Here's an activity that did not go as planned!  I should have predicted it though.  :-)
I had a plastic shape sorter that I got from a garage sale that cracked soon after I got it.  So I've had the shapes hanging around here because I couldn't part with something that could be used for some odd activity.  :-)  Then I thought, playdough, these have all textured prints of the shape on the top.  We'll make prints on playdough.  Hmmm, yes.  Well, it turned into "measurement" activity.  Ha!  How much playdough can we shove inside this shape?  Yes, they were hollow.  That would have been really cool if the playdough came out in the shape but, it didn't...and it just made more work for me on a day I really really really didn't need more work.  :-P  Oh well, even after how many years working with toddlers/preschoolers...I still "live and learn".  LOL  However, we will do this again, when I can be there to "explore" with him.  The textures are pretty cool!
And finally!  I took the time to start up a new blog for my school-agers...
I find blogging a great way to evaluate how the day/week/month went.  It allows me to go through snapshots I've taken and really, in essence, it's a stress reliever.  :-)  So as busy as I am, I do hope to post in both places at least once a week.



  1. I love this cart! I didn't know they sold it. I think I might use some of my upcoming grant money for one! Then I would use it for storing wet art or maybe tray activities...maybe I need two! : ) You always have such great activities. I don't know how you keep up.

  2. Would work well for 9x12 construction paper but not anything larger. :-) Moves around really easy, and there are locks for the wheels. I wondered about durability when I was putting it together but it's holding up very well!