The Many Uses of Target Trays in K!

target trays can hold things that need to dry

Last summer, I dragged my sister on quests to all the Targets in NH (and some in Maine) in order to find a class set of these trays.

target trays stack easily and don't take up lots of space

I really wanted 25, and we know how teachers get in the summer, right?

We tried ordering online from Bullseye's Playground, but they kept shipping the deeper trays by mistake!

But, after countless trips to every Target in our area, I finally found 25 and it was a quest that was totally worth it!
play doh, traystrays, Play Doh

trays for play doh

play doh center with trays for easy cleanup

In the beginning of the year we used them for play-doh. That helped to avoid the play-doh on Ms. Beakey's shoe problem that often occurs in K-1! 😛

trays for jigsaw puzzles

trays, jigsaw puzzles

The trays also worked really well with the Dollar Tree's tower puzzles too. No more lost pieces, and we could easily set it aside to finish later, if they needed to work on something else.

water coloring in Kindergarten

easy cleanup water color

clean up easy when painting in a tray

no more messes when water coloring

water color neatly

I think one of my favorite uses was for water coloring. We do this on Fridays, at least once a month. We start with a directed drawing, they outline it in sharpie and then they paint. 

However, this activity can get a little messy those first few months of school! 😬

painting neatly in Kindergarten

Especially when I am the only one cleaning up the spills. These trays were a lifesaver! They kept their water cup in the tray too, so  if someone did spill, I could just carry the entire tray to the sink. Plus, they only got their paper wet, not every paper on the table.

I use Canson's water color paper and Crayola's 24 set of water colors. Canson's paper is very thick, so if they do spill it is easy to wipe up without ruining their picture.

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By the time January rolled around, they could paint without the trays and clean up after themselves (my favorite time of year!)

drying rack in the classroom

They also make great drying racks when you are limited on storage space! 😂

trays for sand tracing

We also used them for our sand trays in reading groups, so they could practice writing their names, letters and sight words.

no mess shaving cream in the classroom

shaving cream in a tray

Shaving cream was another great use for these trays. I actually did not try this until the end of the year, but I will definitely use them for it this year - and probably a lot sooner.  It was easier to clean a tray rather than a table and - no more messes in each other's spaces!

So even though it took half the summer and countless trips to Target to find them -  sorry Kris! - it was a quest that was definitely worth it!

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