When you visit a Montessori classroom, one of the distinct things you might notice is that many of the learning materials are stored on trays. This is to encourage the children to select activities independently and make it possible for them to transport the activity from a shelf to a rug or table to do their work.
Using trays at home is just as useful, and serves the same purpose in supporting our toddlers in choosing an activity, bringing it to a play area, and then putting the pieces back in the tray when they are done.
In fact, a tray can serve as a guide for the order we are trying to preserve on our toy shelf. If the tray is empty, even a very young child will be able to see what is missing.
SHOP FOR TRAY
A tray enables children to focus on the activity, rather than being distracted by locating the pieces and keeping them together.
Monti Kids families who have received Level 6 and Level 7 will have three trays at the end of the Monti Kids program.
The Monti Kids wooden tray is included with
Add two bowls to the tray along with a spoon, ladle, or child's medicine cup for scooping dry rice or beans
Cut up sponges of two or three colors into smaller squares. Offer colored paper for matching the squares to the same color.
Place scissors and strips of paper on the tray. Add an envelope or lines on the paper for more fine motor control challenges.
Use collections such as animals, vehicles, nature items such as pinecones, to use as a jumping off point to talk to your child about the names of the items and physical attributes such as color or texture where applicable.