Monday, September 26, 2011

backyard therapy: Trevy (montessori-ish) Trays


I draw a lot of inspiration from other blogger mommies.  A LOT. 



When I ran across the idea of Tot Trays I immediately knew I needed to get something similar-ish going for Trevy.  I add the ish because…well…Trevy is Trevy and because he’s Trevy we have to be creative in how we implement such a system.



For one thing…I could never (or at least not in the near future) have his trays out on the lower shelves where his curious little fingers could get into them without supervision.  While in many ways Trevy has grown into an easier to manage place…he still needs 100% supervision 100% of the time to keep him safe. 



My goal (I repeat GOAL) is to go through all of our trays each day.  The reality is…most days we’re lucky to work through 3 in a row.  And weekends are just that.  Weekends!  But I figure if we keep plugging along eventually it’ll become a routine. 



I set a timer for two minutes (sometimes five if Trevy seems to be extra interested) and we work on ONE tray until the timer beeps.  When the timer beeps we put that tray on the bottom…and take the top tray to play with.  And of course I always have my super cute sidekick peer model Bristel to help us out!  



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For awhile I had the trays (which I bought at Target for $1.99 each) up on a high shelf.  But when they started falling off…I moved them to a closet!



So what exactly’s on these Trevy Trays? 


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Speech Tray:  flash cards of words we’re working on and little kazoos to wake up those mouth muscles.


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Color Match Tray:  Match the clothes pins to the color square.  A great fine motor activity.


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Puzzle Tray:  I keep forgetting to add batteries.  I think if the animals make sounds it’ll hold his attention longer.


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Dress the Bears Tray:  I have these cute little felt bears (Betty Lukens) that have little matching clothes.  Right now we’re just working on putting the clothes on appropriate body parts.  But in the future we can work on what to wear in what weather.  I actually super love felt for learning activities! 


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Coloring Book Tray:  it is what it is.  Smile 


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Make My Name Tray:  I have magnetic letters already spelled out.  The goal is for him to use the foam letters spell his name.  Most of the time this activity is more about keeping sensory seeking him from EATING his name.  lol


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Lacing Tray:  I found the cute little Mitt and Ball printables here.  Print and use a hole puncher to add as many lace points as you’d like.  Bristel laced the Mitt.  Trevy can lace a hole or two. 


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Brown Bear File Folder Color Match Game:  I use M&Ms to match with Brown Bear cut outs.  Click me to print your own. 


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Brown Bear Book Tray:  The idea is to read the book and have him match the picture (velcro on back) to the page in the book. 






  1. I think I need to model after you with the timer idea, but to keep ME, not my son, on track. My youngest, too often, gets the shaft as I attend to his older siblings, housework, etc. I have to get into a habit of spending more focused time with him.

  2. Wonderful activities! Thank you for sharing.
    Discovering Montessori

  3. about made coffee come out my nose!Oh the mental image was just too cute!

    I don't know what the age gap is between yours...but my daughter actually LOVES to be peer model for Trevy. And many of their skils overlap anyway. Maybe you could have a couple trays that work for both of them? With you oldest in the role of peer model though. Again...I don't know! But just thought I'd toss it out there...because when I first started the trays it was supposed to be with Trevy only but his sister LOVED being my "helper" so much that it works. :)


  4. Thank you SO much for the Discovering Montessori link! Now to pull my little eyes away so the big kids and I can get to work! ;)


  5. I like it! Thanks for sharing. I found you though Montessori Monday as well- my blogs are and I also am following you on pinterest now (LOVE that site!)

  6. Thanks, Heidi! Following you back!


  7. I'm glad to see you're using activity trays with Trevor! And I'm glad you're linking up with Montessori Monday! I'll love to see how your work progresses. Have you tried the Montessori technique of having Trevor work with each activity tray as long as he's interested before moving on to the next tray? I'm wondering if that would work for him as well. I'm following you here and on Pinterest! Deb @

  8. Hi,

    Found your site via Montessori Monday. Love your sense of humour.

    I read about Trevy's diagnosis and struggle via your link. I have worked with children with Infantile Spasm before and it is heartbreaking to break the bad news. I can only imagine the pain to be million times worse at the receiving end. You are BRAVE, and parents like you deserve medals.

    When I was pregnant with my child, I prayed to God every night to forgive all my wrongdoings and I will never ever take another sip of alcohol if I have a normal child. I am not alchoholic but I was partying a lot before i realised I was 8 weeks pregnant. Not a day goes by without my gratitude.

    I pray you find strength and patience in Trevy. I am a believer in Hope too :) Will be following your blog.