Sunday, 13 January 2013

Leave-Behind Trays: Making It Easy

Over the Christmas break, my sister said that my post on leave-behind trays made her feel like an inadequate mom.  I felt really bad about this, because the point was actually to share how working moms can fulfill their need to be more hands-on through play.

If it didn't look easy then, I thought maybe it would be helpful to share some really simple things that work for me.

Get ready to be underwhelmed, sissie.

First: an irresistable invitation to draw with googly eyes.  Prep time: 3 minutes.
I used black paper and colored gel pencils only because I had those on hand.

Chalk version.
Next: setup puzzles to build up confidence and skill.  Prep time: 2 minutes depending on the puzzle.
We'll gradually build up to more and more pieces out of the puzzle frame
Next: a nice tip to use up all those workbooks we get as gifts: tear a page or two a day.  Makes it a lot more manageable to do.  Prep time: less than a minute.
Ladybug Girl loves these so much they only stay on our shelf for a day.
Last:  the easiest setup that works is leaving toys out as invitations.  Great way to use up the kind of birthday giveaways and craft gifts from classmates.  Prep time: almost none.
This only works with the accessible shelves set-up mentioned in my first post about leave-behind trays.  Otherwise these invitations get lost in the toy jumble.  For messier trays, yaya helps the clean up.

We usually do some trays together on the weekends for our regular floor time so I can see her 'at work'.  Having this image of Ladybug Girl's enjoyment to take with me during the long workdays at the office helps keep me motivated to keep the trays up:
She drew "Santa Claus" on a spare mirror.
After that I left behind a similar activity in a tray.
Easy-peasy and infinitely DIY-able and customizable.  Hope this sets the record straight, sissie.

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