Last week in Tot School Caden and I did a bug theme. I created several tot trays within the bug theme that work on fine motor skills, counting and creativity.
The first tray holds bug pop beads (affiliate link). Toys like these are great for working on fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and muscle strength. You could also use them to teach about patterns and the names of insects.
The second tray holds a simple foam puzzle featuring bugs and numbers. Puzzles are a fun way to work on fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. This puzzle can also be used to work on math skills, such as number order and counting. I picked this puzzle up at the Dollar Tree.
The third “tray” is really a puzzle. It is the magnetic bug puzzle made by Melissa & Doug (affiliate link). This is a fun puzzle because it has a magnetic “net” used to remove the puzzle pieces. This adds a bit of a challenge to working on hand-eye coordination. It can also be a fun way to practice naming the insects.
The fourth tray is a creative tray. In it I placed several foam bug stamps and two large stamp pads. Stamps work the fine motor muscles and hand-eye coordination. They also allow the child to be creative, choosing the stamps, colors and placement of the stamp on the paper. We used them with an easel which also works the gross motor muscles. I don’t remember where I found the stamps (I’ve had them for a while now) but you can probably find some at a craft store. The large stamp pads were found at the Dollar Tree.
The last tray is a simple sorting tray. I used an ice-cube tray, plastic tweezers from a bug kit found at the Dollar Tree, and ladybug erasers found at Oriental Trading Co. This tray is great for working the fine motor muscles! It can also be used to practice one to one correspondence and counting.
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