We love our Treasure Tray activities (see our first one and our Christmas themed one) and this weekend I decided it was time for an Easter Themed tray. We were kindly sent a lot of lovely Easter craft materials from Baker Ross, so I knew that our now bumper craft supplies would be perfect for this activity. This is what we did:
We spread the shredded paper over the bottom of the tray and then added coloured feathers, large pipe cleaners, mini nests, sponge shapes and plastic fillable eggs. I wanted the tray to be colourful and busy, and a sensory experience for the eyes first and foremost.
We filled each of the eggs with different objects: some were filled with feathers, some with the paper, some with salt dough beads, some with salt dough stars and some with submersible lights. I wanted each egg to be a surprise when The Toddler opened them.
The Toddler loved opening the eggs and quickly found the most enjoyable activity to be filling them up again! She practised her fine motor skills by picking up the beads and carefully collecting them inside the egg shells, counting as she went: “One, Two, Tee, Two…” She also loved hiding the stars under the shredded paper and finding them again, exclaiming: “Star! Look, Mummy! I found a star!” Her vocabulary during this activity was wonderful! She also enjoyed hiding the lights under the shredded paper and then trying to blow them out!
The lights were a favourite of The Preschooler too. He loved holding the eggs in his hands and insisted they were magic. Then he carefully cracked the eggs, making ‘magic soup’!
The Toddler found the Treasure Tray to be a lovely, gentle sensory experience. She loved poking her feet into the paper shreds and feeling it under her fingers too. The feathers made her giggle as she picked them up and brushed them over her toes. She explored the sponges by pressing them with her fingers and even used them to wash her face!
We also took the opportunity to practise some colour matching. I asked The Preschooler to collect as many yellow and green items as he could, and make separate piles for them. After a moment or two The Toddler joined in! We practised saying the colour names, then we went through other items on the tray, naming their colours and comparing them to our coloured piles. I can’t be sure, but I think that The Toddler understood a lot more than she let on! The Preschooler matched beads to pipe cleaners and practised his fine motor skills too, by threading them.
It wasn’t long before The Preschooler discovered he could manipulate the pipe cleaners to make shapes and patterns, and then numbers. He spent absolutely ages on this self imposed tasks, making a number line to ten and lots of different shapes too. I then showed him how to make words with his pipe cleaners. I made the word ‘mum’, which he read aloud easily. I then made the word ‘top’, which again he read easily. He then re-arranged the letters to make the word ‘pot’! Clever boy!