Here are my preschooler’s tray activities from our tree unit. I didn’t get too many action pictures this time. We’ve been busy trying to finish up our homeschool year strong. But I think there are enough pictures to give you a good idea of what Jet’s been up to.
Stick Size Sorting
(Idea from here)
Another use for a pile of sticks! My 4 year old worked on some early math skills with this stick size sorting tray. I started him off with fewer sticks and added more later to increase the challenge.
Leaf Rubbing Tray
Jet made leaf rubbings as long as he had paper. Having a brother or myself hold the paper down, and using triangular crayons, made this tray easier for him. I did have him do it solo a few times, but he got a little frustrated when the leaf moved around and his rubbing wasn’t perfect. We’ve done this as a group before, so my preschooler had high expectations for himself.
Button Tree Fine-Motor Activity
(Idea inspired by this blog post)
For this tray I threaded 3 pipe cleaners through an overturned colander and twisted them to make a tree onto which my little guy threaded buttons. Our tree got a bit wobbly with the weight of the buttons, so if you try this I’d recommend using a few more pipe cleaners for a stronger “trunk.”
Leaf Shadow Match Puzzle
This puzzle is part of a collection of file folder games that I keep on hand. This one is from A Teaching Mommy.
Leaf Art Tray
This art tray was a spin-off of a book activity that I’ll post about soon. Jet was free to do whatever he wanted here and I just love the cute leaf creations he made.
Tree Sequencing Cut & Paste Activity
This was a throwback activity for me. I did this same activity with my oldest son more than 5 years ago! My current preschooler did just as well with this simple cut & paste activity which basically consists of cutting progressively smaller triangles and then gluing them down from largest to smallest to make a tree. You can see a better picture of how to draw the cutting lines (from only a single sheet of construction paper) here in my original post. Jet was using spring assisted scissors here.
Seed Sorting Tray
(Idea from here)
Jet practiced sorting and used his fine-motor skills to operate the tweezers in this seed sorting tray. We had acorns, pine tree seeds, apple seeds, and I put beans into the fourth compartment because I didn’t have any other tree seeds handy. Jet also helped me find all these seeds and put the tray together. It was a great opportunity for observation and discussing some of the things we'd learned in our reading.
Leaf Patterning Tray
For this tray I put down 3 strips of tape and made patterns with fabric leaves for my preschooler to finish. The tape allowed me to easily change the patterns from day to day. I used fabric leaves because I didn’t want to confuse my little guy, but real leaves would have been so fun here. Real leaves and a scavenger hunt for the next leaf in the pattern? There’s an activity for another day!
Falling Leaves File Folder Game
This next activity isn’t a tray activity, but an actual game. You can play with 1 or 2 players, but reading is required so younger children may need help. This game provides a silly way to practice gross-motor skills, coordination, and balance. You can download it free from Your Therapy Source.
Don’t forget to check out our other tree activities:
Linking up this post at:
After School Activities, Inspire Me Monday, Practical Mondays Linkup, Literacy Musing Mondays, Thank Goodness It's Monday, Monday of Many Blessings, Montessori Monday, ABC Creative Learning