Montessori Monday Pond Trays

Montessori Monday

Frog Pond Trays

We are studying frogs and ponds this month.  For Montessori Monday I
wanted to do a post about our trays.  I get quite a few questions and
comments on where I get my items and how I set up my classroom.  I am
going to give you some tips on how to set up interesting trays in your
 classroom and at home. 
This is a duck dropper work, the child squeezes the dropper to fill up the blue water and then fills up every duck on the tray.  This builds fine motor skills and hand eye coordination.

Let me start off by saying that I was a preschool, Kindergarten teacher
 and mom all before I got my Montessori certification and became a
Montessori teacher.  The way I set up my school and homeschool reflects
 both backgrounds and I believe I have combined the best of both worlds. 

This is a pom pom transfer extension.  They have to use the tongs to transfer pom poms to the matching color frogs.  This is a build fine motor and math skills.
 First I start with a theme,  for example this month our theme is pond life. 
 Every month I go to the thrift store, target and the dollar store to
 constantly look for interesting trays and containers that can be used on
 work trays.  After each holiday and season I shop all the SALES!!  I
 have built up items over the years and now I have an abundance of things
 to choose from every month.  At the beginning of each year I make a
 scope and sequence to lay out what I want the kids to learn for homeschool
 and preschool.  I break it down into months.  Every month when I write my
lesson plans I use this as a guide and I fill out each individual child’s lesson
 plan to target those goals.  Here is where the fun part comes in!!  I
 search my items to look for works.  For example if I have kids who need
to work on operating a dropper I will look for fun ways to reinforce this
 skill with theme based items.  Every month when I put out the new works
 the kids are always waiting in anticipation to see what will be next and
 even if it is reinforcing the same skill it is packaged in a new way thus
making it more exciting! 
These are some of our language trays.  The first one is the 4 little speckled frogs.  They use the felt pieces to retell the song and story.  This reinforces language skills, counting, subtraction and sorting.
Next is draw and label a frog and sort the frog life cycle.

Here are some of our math trays, Lily pad addition using frog counters, frog sort and classify, frog counting with counters, frog patterns

Here are a few of our Practical life trays,
  frog egg transfer using small Styrofoam balls, operating a dropper duck pond, build a turtle with wiki sticks and our sewing basket.

 Some items that I always keep in stock to use are:

theme ice cube trays and silicone baking trays, Silicone shape baking cups, Colored trays, Theme erasers, Small
 plastic toys such as frogs, Water beads, Suction cup bath shapes, Marbles, Dollar store items for sensory box,
 Different colored and scented play dough , Theme based counters and letters, Theme
 based shape books made on the cricut, Crinkle paper, Medicine droppers, Various scoops and tongs from
Montessori Services, Theme based foam or felt shapes from Oriental Trading, Wiki Sticks , Pom Poms, Colored
noodles, Pipe cleaners, Letter and number beads
With these basic items you can make hundreds of fun work trays and change them often to keep it
fun and exciting!!
What new works did you make this week???


I am linking up with living montessori now and what's on the tray wednesday

Montessori Monday <


  1. You say you write a weekly lesson plan. Have you considered publishing your plans for people to utilize for a fee? I've been looking for a plan to follow for when my daughter turns four, and I like a lot of your ideas...

    1. Katie, thank you for your comment. Yes, I almost posted my lesson plan and my scope and sequence. I will work on that tonight! :)