After two weeks of our trays I got a better feel for where the boys are at. I do still want to stay w/the same activity monthly but I wanted to adjust them to their level. In Mommy, Teach Me! there are extensions for all the trays. I picked the ones that Chris (5yo) could do in one minute and added to them. So here's how I changed them:
Sorting: Stayed the same for Zack because he will only complete the tray correctly if your reminding him. ("what color is that button?" "where should that color go?", etc) For Chris I added two more colors and tweezers.
Spooning: Here is the original tray. For Chris I changed his measuring cup to a spoon. Zack's stayed the same because he still doesn't complete this activity. He does it correctly though.
Scissors: Zack (3yo) has amazing gross motor skills well developed for his age however, his fine motor skills are not as developed. The suggested cut out strip for his age is a 2"x8". He could not do this. It's been two weeks with no improvement whatsoever. So I cut his strips into 1"x4" and today was the first day he was able to successfully complete his scissor tray and he was so happy about it! His strips will stay like this until he's developed those muscles and ready for the 2x8.
Chris (5yo) is the opposite - amazing fine motor and not developed gross motor. Just to give you an idea at 4 he completed a first grade level scissor workbook but still has a hard time riding a bike, hopping, skipping, etc. Needless to say, cutting the strips got boring quick. I changed out the textures w/bubble wrap, tissue, etc. Still he was ready to move on. I came up w/the idea of relating his scissor activity to MFW theme for that week. This week it is the sun. I plan on varying this like tomorrow he will have yellow and orange construction paper to cut into tiny pieces and make a sun mosaic, Wednesday he'll paint the sun, etc.
File Folders: The boys love their file folders and I change these weekly if they have mastered them well by the end of the week.
Basting: Well I was way off on the basting activity. This was hard for both of them. As I read the directions on basting more carefully I realized I had set the tray up wrong! Hey what can I say I'm a tray beginner ;) So after some evaluation I gave them both bigger bowls and FYI: do not buy the sponges you see in the first basting tray pic! They are from the dollar tree and do not work for soaking up water! I suggest the o-cel-o brand I bought at Wal-Mart for $2.78/6. For the basting activity you can cut one in half for two trays so I still have 5 left for whatever. These babies work the way sponges are supposed to.
Rice Pouring: This tray stayed the same for both boys.
An Awesome Tray Thing: Before we started our trays our 3yo spoke mainly one words and a handful of 2 - 3 word phrases. About 1 1/2 weeks into school (which for him is only the trays and art) he started speaking in sentences almost all the time! His vocabulary has expanded greatly for the short time as well. I'm not 100% sure if it's related to the trays or not but I can say that that is the only change in his day.