Thursday, January 5, 2012

Favorite Things: Trays

A few years ago I purchased a set of trays from Discount School Supply. I had been stealing borrowing cafeteria trays from the church kitchen off and on for a while and decided that I needed my own trays.

Then I started reading Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning. Sherry and Donna regularly posted about making activities look attractive so I would occasionally use my trays to try and create enticing arrangements. (I've not yet reached the level of Sherry and Donna, though.)

But these trays have become some favorite tools in my classroom.

We use them to contain art supplies.

Or as part of a still-life display.

We use them to finger paint.

Or as a landing pad for other painting and stamping activities.

We use them for materials in the blocks center. (And other centers.)

And to hold games to play on the floor.

We used them recently in our "sand out of the box" experiment.

These trays have been great to have on hand. I can always pull them out to complete an activity. These have definitely become a favorite.

How do you use trays in your classroom?


  1. Love, love, love this idea.

    And I totally agree about presentation of activities in an attractive manner. Sometimes all it needs to give activities a new lease of life is a little tidying and rearrangement... and suddenly the kids are all over them again.

  2. I just recently started using trays in my program too - they are so handy to keep items tidy and for fast clean-up on multipurpose tables (i.e. when we clean up for snack or other activities).

    Last week I added felt to the bottom of a tray I was using for a memory match game - the cards stay in place on the felt don't slip around : ) Fabulous.

  3. What a great use of trays. I am now running a daycare from home and I think this would be great to use- because as you said- ... to give them their personal space. When doing activities such as the ones above, kids need their space.

    When I was in the classroom, I didn't utitilze trays as much as you have here... I will if I ever go back!

    New to your blog- following you now! Thanks.