Tot Trays: Christmas

Looking for simple activities for your toddler to do during the holidays? Christmas themed Tot Trays are a fun and simple way to provide toddlers with daily learning activities. Most of these activities focus on fine motor skills and early math.

Christmas themed Tot Trays are a fun and simple way to provide toddlers with daily learning activities. Most of these activities focus on fine motor skills and early math.

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There are an assortment of Christmas themed tot trays that can be found throughout the internet. I did a quick scan of Pinterest and a search of Google and selected a few to make for Caden. I plan on keeping these trays out through the holidays.

Tot tray number one is a Christmas Tree Pattern Matching game from the Christmas Tot Pack by Carisa of 1+1+1=1. This tray can be more complex with multiple trees to match, but I chose to simplify it and only have one tree for each pattern to match. You could also use cups to sort the  trees. But for the sake of simplicity I printed and laminated the “game board” (and taped it to the bottom of the tray in hopes that it won’t get tossed or trashed ;)) and cut and laminated the matching trees.

The second tot tray is really a magnet board (dry erase board). The goal of this tray is to match up the pompoms with the correctly color light bulb and to work on color recognition and the names of colors. I taped (again so Caden cannot trash it) the colored lights print out from Tons of Fun  and added a small cup of magnetic pompoms, two of each color. I decided to not put all the magnetic pompoms out (like I have before) because I end up crawling all over the room collecting them after Caden dumps them out, so I’m saving myself some work.

The third tot tray is a color sorting tray. I placed a bowl full of red and green pompoms in the middle and a red and green cup. The idea here is to sort the colored pompoms into the correct colored cup. I am starting to work with Caden on recognizing and naming colors, hence the many color activities. These trays also work on hand-eye coordination.

To further emphasize color, I have set up a red bin with objects found around the house. The bin has red balls, blocks, legos, clothes pins, pompoms and some other recognizable red objects.

I have also set up a tot tray at Caden’s small table (or the play dough station as I like to call it).

On the table I have included a tray with a jar or play dough and a gingerbread man play dough mat which I printed for free from twinkl.

I have also included a tin pail with a variety of Christmas-y cookie cutters and a container of brown play dough left over from Thanksgiving.

Caden and I tried to add some ginger root spice and cinnamon to create a gingerbread scent but the doughy smell was too powerful and I cannot smell any of the spices we added. I will have to try again later.

Caden hasn’t seen these trays yet since he spent the day with Grandma so I could get set up. I hope he will like them. Check back at the end of the week to see his reaction.

Great products for tot trays:

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99 fine motor ideas for ages 1 to 5

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8 thoughts on “Tot Trays: Christmas”

  1. Deb Chitwood says:

    Your trays are wonderful … so creative and appealing! Thanks for linking up with Montessori Monday. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page and pinned it to my Kids’ Christmas Activities Board at

    1. Samantha says:

      Thank you so much, Deb!

  2. Candy says:

    Hi Love your ideas but where do I get lightbulb printout? Your preschool friend, Candy

    1. Samantha says:

      hmm, Thought I linked to the print out, guess I forgot. Sorry about that! Here is the link:

  3. Victoria says:

    Do you have a copy of the lightbulb page? Thanks!

  4. shaya says:

    hello, do you set all the trays in one day or introduce trays day by day as you go through the them? I mean if you have 10 trays for one theme do you put them all at one day and introduce them to your child?

    1. Samantha says:

      It really depends on the age of the child. For a young toddler I would only set out a few at a time. For an older child you could set out more and let them choose which one they want to play with. There really are no rules for using trays. You can do it however you want.

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