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Montessori-Inspired Learning Trays

I've recently made it a priority to look at my products and re-evaluate what is working and what is not. One thing I want to focus on is working within my strengths. I love to teach and so that is where I am going to draw my motivation from. I have worked in both Montessori and Walker Learning environments to children aged 3-8 years of age.

We are now stocking Montessori-Inspired Learning Trays. We will have different options available in the coming weeks but I wanted to show you some of the activities you can do with your children using our trays.

One of the great things about Montessori is that it encourages independence in a child and our learning trays are made with kids in mind. They are made so that your child can easily grab the tray from a shelf and put it on a table or mat and start learning.

Depending on the age of your child you can set up different learning opportunities for them. For a very young child you could set up a practical life activity like spooning. You want to put 2 bowls, a scoop or spoon and also a sensory component like rice, beans, salt, lentils etc. Firstly you need to demonstrate to your child how to use the activity correctly and appropriately. Talk it through with them. And then allow them to explore and play.

Another activity could be just pouring the sensory component (rice, flour, beans etc) into the tray and giving your child something to explore it with, like a paintbrush or chopstick or even just their hands. Again depending on the age of your child, encourage them to make patterns, shapes, numbers or letters. Eventually they could even do their homework in these trays and write their spelling words in them.

I put on a bunch of stories demonstrating the different options of how these trays can be used. They are also saved in my highlights. 

It is important to demonstrate how to use the trays correctly and once they know how to use them, they will be able to play and learn independently. You could then set this up for your child to play with while you're making supper or trying to get some odd jobs done.

Another option is to put a sensory component into the tray, for example, green rice. And then put little animals or bugs and tongs into the tray and the learning tray then come alive for your child's imagination to run wild. 

The possibilities really are endless. The benefits are endless. 

Benefits of using learning trays:

- Language development - talking while playing with creatures and small world figures.

- Sensory development - playdough, rice, flour etc

- Fine motor development - writing, scooping, pouring

- Numeracy development - practice number formation. When they are scooping they are learning about more or less, how much can fit in a bowl etc.

- Encourages Independence - we want children to get the tray themselves and play independently.

- Practical life skills - scooping, spooning, pouring are all important and can be introduced at a very young age.

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