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.