Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Play Tray Find

Have you read my posts on using a play tray for activities? Hope so! I love using play trays both for work and at home with my preschool-age kids. They are great for kiddos with vision impairments because they provide a defined work space. It is usually one of the first things I recommend as an accommodation for working on ECC skills. Working on trays help our kids set up their work space, understand the boundaries/orientation/spatial aspects of their work space and can provide contrast or a focal point to help with working on a task.

I also use them at home with my kids at home to contain the little pieces to items like Polly Pocket or messy things like Play Doh play. We have them in different sizes, colors and even textures! I love to use metal cookie sheets with magnet play (buy small personal ones from Dollar Tree!).

Recently, on one of my many cruises into JoAnn Fabrics, I came across these trays in the summer seasonal section. I loved these particular trays! They were unique because they were much longer than the common tray that I usually find. Plus, they have this interesting texture on them that is good enough to notice but not too much that it is distracting. I bought two--one for each of my kids. I loved the red one because right away my CVI light went off. I also liked the edging on these because they had some curve to them.

The price of these trays are $7.99 (not bad at all!) but as with most things in the seasonal section at JoAnn's, they were on sale 50% off (even better!!). These particular trays are great because they are deep enough to provide a good boundary line. See picture above--I could roll that light up bounce ball back and force without it skipping too easily over the edge.

My kids were more than happy to help me with providing visuals for this post!
You can also get an idea of the length & width of them
(especially since they cover up most of my 3 1/2 year old son!)

There are work trays available from educational providers like APH. They produce a standard work tray in yellow or black. I like to cruise IKEA and Dollar Tree to find some that are commercially available. Remember, it's not about where you buy them, it's about their function. Get creative and look for some in different sizes or that are unique. You can also put some Dycem or grip liner (also available at Dollar Tree) on them to help with keeping things in place if you are teaching a DLS skill like cutting or a task in OT.

I will post later about some great skills you can do with standard work trays as well as some trays that are produced from APH. But until then, find your child a good work tray and have some fun!!

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