Montessori Madness ~ Play Dough Trays

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Pixie struggles terribly with insomnia and its not unheard of for her to be up till 2 in the morning. She shares a bedroom with Fifi and to keep her from waking her during a bad sleeping period (which can last up to a month) I keep her with me in the living room. A few weeks ago, we decided to start her on a regimen of homeopathic remedies to help her sleep, its slow going, but she slept through for 2 nights in a row! I digress, I’ll post more on our (both Pixie and I struggle) battle with insomnia at a later stage. I saw this great post on Racheous Lovable Learning and just had to make a playdough tray for Pixie for bad nights.

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I added the following to her tray: Scented Playdough Cookie cutters Rolling pin Roller cutter Butter ball maker Bottle tops Later on that night I added: Metal tweezer tool (this is Papa’s, shhhhh, don’t tell 😉 ) Gem stones from the local gem stone mine’s scratch patch

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The Montessori tray method is working like a charm with her and this just kept her occupied till she was ready to lie down and fall asleep.

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Her excitement at discovering the bottle tops was palpable. It was amazing to watch her play quietly and contently for so long, uninterrupted. The playdough tray now features weekly in her activities.

Below you’ll find some of my favourite online playdough tray finds.

DIY Montessori Fine Motor Activities | Low to No Cost from Racheous
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Playdough is a cheap (with the myriad of incredible DIY recipes on the web, like this no-cook play dough) and the ultimate material for fine motor development. Think cutting, pinching, rolling, molding, poking, etc.

Playdough Playtrays for Playdates from Creative Playhouse
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Play trays are great, whether they are sensory, play based, creative or even a reading tray. It clearly shows what is available to play with; aiding focus, and helps contain any materials used.

Simple Alphabet Play Dough Activity Tray from Little Bins for Little Hands
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Finding fun, simple and practical ways to play with letters is a must for us. I love including sensory play and fine motor skills into all our activities whether it’s crafts, bins or learning activities like this play dough alphabet tray. Play dough is an awesome tool for all of these! I simply provided different materials for him to explore letters all using play dough as a base.

Play Dough Creation Station from Melissa & Dough
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This play dough creation station is super easy to set up and provides so many different play possibilities!

Play Dough Snow Bots from Stir the Wonder
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Inspiration stuck while Caden and I were watching our favorite show, Transformers Rescue Bots! In one episode it snows and the Rescue Bots have fun playing in the snow and Blades a Rescue Bot builds a snow bot! That is when I thought Caden would enjoy building his own snow bot using play dough!

Shell Activities for Kids from Fantastic Fun and Learning
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…we set up an invitation to play with coconut scented play dough, shells, glass beads, and small pieces of drift wood.

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To see more play dough tray ideas, click on my board below Follow Momma Jo’s board Playdough Trays on Pinterest.

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  • Thanks for the great ideas, Jo! I got some play dough for Nicky and I have some transport shaped cookie cutters but at this stage he was just making mounds and driving his truck around them. Shame, hope the sleep thing improves…

    • Thanks 🙂 Nicky seems to love an obstacle course. Try adding some bottle tops, corks, lids, stones, etc to his playdough and see what else he does with it. Pixie loves adding different textured goodies to her dough

  • Ursula Van Lelyveld

    My son had terrible insomnia around age 4, I started giving him Chamomile Tea as his bedtime drink and the problem was solved in a few days. Once his sleeping pattern was normal we no longer needed to give it to him every night. Love the playdough ideas

    • Pixie has a strict natural and homeopathic remedy routine at night to help her sleep. Lavender/chamomile oil drops for the bath (before dinner), Pegasus sleep ampeols (3 every half hour after dinner till bedtime), Rescue remedy in chamomile tea with dinner and Purity bedtime drink with rescue again at bedtime. If I don’t follow this routine, she doesn’t settle till very late.