Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dont Blame the Teacher: Preschool Trays

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Preschool Activity Trays

If you have little ones at home, whether you are homeschooling them or not, this post is for you!
Math: Measurement
Supplies
A container of rice, a bowl (or 2), a measuring cup, a scoop, and cards with printed measurements

How it's Done
Child selects a measurement card, matches the number on the measuring cup, then uses the scoop to fill the cup with rice to that unit. Then the rice is transferred to the bowl, where they can work on a second measurement.

Math: Order/Sequencing
We found these amazing nesting dolls at a Chinese market. Look how tiny the smallest is! This is a great activity for young children, and I love that it is self-correcting. If you can snag a set for yourself, you won't regret it. I've bought them online in the past.


Language: Reading
Supplies
Cards in a rainbow of colors with the colors written on them, and matching white cards with each of the same colors printed.

How it's Done
Child first sets out all of the colored cards. Next, they pick up one "white" card at a time, and match the color on the card with the "colored" card as they say the name.


 
Math: Counting & Number Recognition
Supplies
A cup of chocolate chips, and 10 Cookies cut from construction paper
Write one number on each (1-10), and add a "dots" to each cookie to represent the number of chocolate chips found in that cookie

How it's Done
Child sets out each cookie and adds the appropriate number of chocolate chips to each. If your child is able, you can also ask them to lay the cookies out in numerical order. Children better with their numbers might not need the "dots" added to the cookies at all.


 

Math: Patterning
Supplies
Strips of paper, a container separating various colors of small paper squares, and a glue stick

How it's Done
Child uses the colored squares to create a simple pattern on the paper strip.



 
Math: Counting & Number Recognition
Supplies
A strip of card with groupings of pictures to represent the numbers 1-10, 10 clothespins with the numbers 1-10 printed on them

How it's Done
Child pins the clothespin onto the corresponding group of pictures


Fine Motor Skills
Supplies
Paper with large shapes traced on them (such as circles, squares, and diamonds), and a pair of scissors

How it's Done
Child cuts the shapes trying to work along the lines.


Language: Letter Recognition
Supplies
A Container, Small pieces of paper with the letters of the alphabet written on them, and 3 pieces with the word "BANG"

How to Play
Taking turns, each child (or child and parent) pulls a card from the container and reads the letter. They place the letter in their pile, and the next person draws a card. If the word "BANG" is drawn, that person must put all of their cards back into the bucket. The person with the most cards at the end of the game wins.

Practical Life Skills
Supplies
Wash clothes or other small, simple items for a child to fold.

How it's Done
Child folds the items on the tray.


 
Science: Classification, Hypothesizing, Experimenting, Analyzing
Supplies
A container of water, two containers (one marked "floats" and the other "sinks"), and an assortment of items for the experiment

How it's Done
Ask your child to first make a guess as to what items will float and what will sink by placing them in the appropriate container. Then, test them out! Ask your child if they had made the right guess. If not, your child can place the item in the correct container.


 
Math: Money
Supplies
A piece of card that you have traced the various coins on, writing the coins value on each, and a cup full of coins

How it's Done
Child uses the coins to match the appropriate coin with it's value/place on the card.


 
Language: Letter Recognition & Alphabetical Order
Supplies
A strip of card with the alphabet written on it, and 26 clothespins with the letters of the alphabet written on them

How it's Done
Child matches the letter on each clothespin with the corresponding letter on the alphabet card, and pins it into place.


Fine Motor Skills
Supplies
Chopsticks (We have kiddie chopsticks to start with), two bowls, and a handful of peanuts in the shells

How it's Done
Child practices using chopsticks by picking up the peanuts in one bowl and transferring them to the other.


 
Language: Letter Recognition
Supplies
A clear plastic bottle, rice, alphabet letters, a print out of the alphabet, and a marker

How it's Done
Child searches for the letters of the alphabet in the bottle. When a letter is located, the child locates the letter on their alphabet print out, and marks it off. The goal is for the child to find all of the letters on their list.

 
Math & Language: Number & Letter Formation / Handwriting
Supplies
A book with clear plastic page covers, printouts of number and alphabet tracers, and a dry erase pen

How it's Done
Child is able to draw on the plastic page covers to trace their numbers and letters, and later wipe the pages clean to work again.


 
Language: Writing
Supplies
Stationary, envelopes, address cards, a special pen, and stickers (stamps would be great too!)

How it's Done
Child has all of the things they need to write a special letter to someone special. They write the letter, put it into an envelope, seal it, add an address (and a stamp) and decorate it with a sticker or two.


Science: Sorting / Classification
Supplies
Two containers, one labeled "soft" and the other "hard", and a collection of small items from around the house.

How it's Done
Child goes through the assortment of items and sorts them into the containers.


 
Language: Writing / Letter Formation
Supplies
Chalkboard, chalk, a paintbrush or Q-tips, a small cup of water

How it's Done
Ahead of time, and adult writes some simple words, or the letters of the alphabet on the chalkboard. The child then takes a wet brush or Q-tip and traces over the lines of the letters to "erase" them.


Fine Motor Skills
Lacing cards with string, or a lacing kit like this one shown, are a great activity for young children to practice using their fine motor skills. I was so excited when I found this little kit!



Fine Motor Skills
Supplies
Wrapping paper, tape, scissors, gift tags, ribbons (optional), pen (not pictured)

How it's Done
Give your child all the supplies they need to wrap their own gifts. Allow your child to collect small items from around the home and wrap them up. Add a bow if you have some handy, and have them attach a tag with a name on it.

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