This may just look like an empty blue ice tray but if you stop and think about how it can be used to promote fine motor skills or sorting skills, the ideas are limitless.

By adding a basket of small, plastic objects – this ice tray becomes a tool for both play and developing new skills.

Today, the children are simply focused on putting pieces of fruit in the tray. No instructions are given. Instead, the children make up their own rules of play.

Through their play, the children are building fine motor muscle and control…

A little talking, sharing, comparing, patterning, and sorting is also going on…

And then there is spacial awareness and counting. How many of these little objects will fit into each square of the tray?

The teacher occasionally stops by and asks a casual question like, “Can you show me something purple?”

Notice that a little parallel play is happening too.

And then it is always fun to dump our trays back into the basket all by ourselves.

Wow, who knew an ice tray was actually a tool for so much learning?