Skip to main content

Fall Theme Tot School

I love a good themed tot school, and this time of year there are plenty of themes to choose from. Instead of sticking with letters this week, we did a fall theme. I had a blast putting these trays together and it was one of those weeks where all the ideas came from stuff I already had which is always good for the budget! 

On our first tray was a tree I made with many different "fall colored" circles. Then, the tray included a basket with corresponding colored wooden beads. The goal was for Henry to fill up the tree with the beads to make a fall tree.


The color matching was easy for him, but the fine motor work turned out to be a little more difficult. The tree kept his interest for a long time as he tried to figure out how to keep the beads from rolling around. 



The second tray included two pitchers and some more fall colored wooden beads. It was a simple practical life tray that always gets a lot of use from Henry. These pitchers are still a tiny bit too heavy for him, but he did a TON better than the last time we used them.


The final main tray was a nature journal tray. Much like the nature walk we went on, this tray included color pencils, paper and a tray full of objects I found outside. The objects included leaves, seeds, nut shells, and sticks. The kids could then study the objects then draw what they saw. 


Other things included: 

Leaf Shape Matching: This was one of the activities we did last fall. The leaves each had a shape painted on it which could be matched to a sheet.



Leaf Transfer: Here, there was a small container full of small plastic leaves. Then, there was a plastic container (decorated with some fall napkins) with a slot on the top for the leaves to go into. This was super simple but was a huge hit! It's amazing how sometimes the simplest trays are the most popular.



1-to-1 Pumpkins: Another simple tray, yet a huge hit. There were exactly enough pumpkins to fit into each slot on the metal paint tray.



Oak vs. Maple Leaf Sorting: There were two cards -- one for Oak, one for Maple -- and a bunch of fabric leaves. The kids could then sort the leaves into types. This was kind of a bust, I didn't really notice Henry or any of the co-op kids using this one.


Felt Button Tree: Another tray from last year. This year, Henry was much more ready for this activity but still lacked the concentration to really get it done. Although, I did see some kids using it at the co-op, and my 4-year-old niece also enjoyed the tray for awhile. 


Overall it was a super fun first half of the week and I hope Henry continues to enjoy the trays for the rest of the time. 
Tot School
Montessori MondayFor the Kids Friday The Weekly Kids Co-Op at B-Inspired MamaTuesday TotsHip Homeschool Hop Button
signature

Comments

JDaniel4's Mom said…
I love all your tree activities! What great fun they all look like they would be.
Lindsay said…
This is me pouting in the corner and wishing we had real fall here, lol. These all look amazing! Love the button tree!
Anonymous said…
I love the fall tree printable with beads! I kind of want to just sit and match them all up myself! I too love when the easiest activities end up being the ones they spend so much time on.
Love all of these activities! Where did you get those great little pumpkins?
Great ideas! Love the little journal.
I love the amount of trays you have each week. It always reminds me that it's better to have a few good activities, then a ton of mediocre activities. Your trays always look so beautiful, too! :)
Unknown said…
Where I can I purchase these printables ;)
Anonymous said…
Beautiful work! Also interested in printables, please:)
Anonymous said…
Love the idea. Is there any way that we get the printables ?
Mollycadger said…
how can I get the printables?
Unknown said…
so beautiful! how can I get the printables?

Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2019

When you are interested in Montessori, it can be difficult to know exactly what types of products you should get for your home. Or which types of "Montessori" materials are really worth the price. There are no rules about types of products can use the name Montessori which can add to the confusion. Not to mention, every toy manufacturer slaps the word "educational" on the package for good measure!

2019 UPDATE: This post has been updated to include a variety of brands and new product finds! Just a reminder that no one child will be interested in all of this or needs all of this. These toys are just here to spark ideas and give you a feeling for some Montessori-friendly options available! 


So, with this post, I'm going to try to help with this confusion! Here's a list of Montessori-friendly toys and materials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. 


First, let's clarify that there is no such thing as a "Montessori toy." Montessori never created to…

Working from Home with Kids - A Montessori Schedule

One part of my life that I haven't talked a ton about here on The Kavanaugh Report is how I'm a work-from-home parent. Eight years ago I started to work at home while parenting full time. For the first several years, I worked as a legal writer while maintaining this space on the side. When Gus was born, I moved into working on sharing our Montessori life full time. It has blossomed into a full time career sharing content here, teaching courses, and now the podcast! Through it all, my kids have been home with me. 
This all seems more relevant to so many of us now that Covid-19 has closed schools and forced parents to stay at home and work while caring for children. I'm not going to lie - it's tough. It's hard to balance work and kids, especially when children are used to a completely different routine. But, it's not impossible! And, it can even be enjoyable. 

As I talk about in my podcast Shelf Help, we block our days into 3 hours groups. It helps me remain fle…

Which Open-Ended Toys are "Worth it?"

As a Montessori parent, I try to provide a mix of materials in our home to engage my kids! That work that will spark joy, concentration, and repetition. It's not always an easy task, as Maria Montessori said, "Life is mysterious...only the choice of life can choose the work that the child truly needs. Therefore, the teacher respects this mysterious process and knows to wait with faith." So, there does sometimes feel like there is a bit of trial and error when it comes to choosing materials that your children need. 

For us, the right balance is easier to find when I spend time deeply observing my children. Watching their interests, sitting on my hands if I have to, letting them struggle a little with things, and letting them get bored. And what I have personally found is that here at home, a combination of open ended materials and more structured work have been the right balance. Open ended toys wouldn't necessarily be found in a Montessori classroom, but they are perf…