I was at the dollar store the other day and saw a package of some cute pumpkin table scatter. I snatched it up without even thinking because I knew I could use it for all kinds of activities. So, today I’m going to show you the many wonderful ways you can use table scatter (also called vase fillers or math manipulatives).
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If you’ve never heard the term “table scatter”, it’s used to describe small objects that are meant to decorate a table. But, they are also great for toddler activities. Another word for them is “manipulatives”. If you think back to your Kindergarten days, you might remember those red counting bears. Those are math manipulatives shaped like bears.
As long as you have some small object, they are really quite versatile. You can get math manipulatives from an educational store, small erasers from an office supply store, or table scatter from the dollar store. Here are some ideas to get you started:
This page can be found in the Toddler Curriulum.
These pumpkins are sorted by color, but depending on the table scatter you use, you can sort by size, shape, type, etc.
For this toddler activity, make a letter, then have your toddler make his letter next to yours. You could also draw a letter on a piece of paper and put the table scatter over the drawing.
Manipulatives are perfect for clip cards!
This is repeatedly one of my toddler’s favorite activities. Just pour the table scatter from one bowl to another.
Use kid tweezers to put one pumpkin into each spot in the ice cube tray. This is great for one-to-one correspondence!
This particular do-a-dot page comes from my Toddler Curriculum, but you can use table scatter, or math manipulatives, on pretty much any do-a-dot page.
Let your toddler use their creativity, and come up with any type of game they choose!
Sensory Bin Treasure hunt
Another favorite activity with my toddler is searching for items in a sensory bin. Maybe it’s just because I call it a treasure hunt, but he loves this no matter what the objects are.
Parmesan cheese containers are great for fine motor practice! Putting an object (like table scatter) into the small opening requires a lot of hand-eye coordination.
Use an ice cream scoop, a melon baller, or a regular kitchen spoon. Your child will learn to control a spoon in no time.
Use a small broom to sweep table scatter into a taped off area.
Write numerals on a piece of paper. Use a sharpie to draw dots on table scatter. Match the object with the correct number of dots to the correct numeral.
Since I had pumpkins, I glued them onto a green paper with vines drawn on it. There are numerous possibilities depending on the type of manipulatives you have.
Use a pattern board or just make patterns on a table.
Math manipulatives are absolutely perfect for Montessori Counting!
If you ever wanted to buy some cute table scatter for your toddler, but didn’t know how to use them, then hesitate no longer. These 15 toddler activities teach counting, creativity, fine motor, and visual discrimination. If you don’t know where to buy table scatter, check Amazon, Oriental Trading, the Target dollar spot, the dollar store, Hobby Lobby, and Micheal’s. If you keep an eye out, especially during holidays, you’re sure to find a table scatter that your toddler loves.