Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Toddler Trays


...or how to organize your activities for young
children. If your activity is organized on a tray
it isolates the activity and gives it a time (work cycle) and space
control. The child takes down the materials to
a rug (which is another space control) and lays
out the materials, does the activity, replaces the
materials on the tray and then returns the tray
to the shelf or cubby. The teacher/parent
replaces consumable items and its ready to
do again the next time or for the next child.
An important step for the teacher/parent is
to either display the work or put it in a journal
so there is a record and accountability
for the work accomplished. Sometimes this
can come in the form of a photograph of
the completed activity placed in a work
journal. If it is a stamping activity or small
book or similar consumable, the item
should be saved and/or displayed.
Some great examples of trays are
at Tot Trays here:
She gives some good storage ideas
as well. I store my materials in plastic
stacking drawers from Rubbermaid.
They are in primary colors and fit nicely
above between the spaces of my
oak shelves and the ceiling. Of course
they could be stacked up in a closet
as well or on shelves or just stacked
one on top of another in a corner.
Rotating your trays and activities
is important. I like the idea of setting
out equipment that will fit on trays
with guided activities, viz the small
red and blue rods, or numbers and
counters or part of the pink tower (the smaller cubes).
Anything that can fit on the tray
and be carried safely will work...so
be creative!

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