Over the years I've written many posts about how we use our Montessori trays, from presenting snack to art materials. One of my most frequently asked questions is "Where can I get those Montessori trays?" Today I'm going to address that question!
Wooden trays are preferred as they are a natural, sustainable material although plastic trays are often used where water or moisture might be involved. Baskets are also a really lovely option but it depends on your activity and how you are going to present it. I recommend buying locally where possible, now I only buy Australian made trays. The links below are suggestions but do your own research too!
When thinking about trays ask yourself;
- Where was the tray made?
- What is the quality of the tray?
- Is the timber of the tray finished or unfinished? - If the tray has a lacquer or a varnish it will be easier to wipe spills and clean.
- What do I want to use the tray for?
- What size trays do I use most often? - This is a good question as you want to be able to use the tray over and over again, or for a popular size buy two or more trays.
- What size trays do I need to contain the materials for the activity? - This is important if you are presenting paper in the tray, you want the paper to sit flat and all the materials to fit comfortably.
- What size tray can my child carry? - This is really important when looking for trays for toddlers or early walkers.
- What size tray will fit on my shelves? - This is important for thin or small shelving or if you want to fit so many trays on the shelf.
- How high do I need the edges of the tray to be to contain the activity or for the child to carry safely without spilling? - Also a really important question for toddlers.
- Do I need a sorting tray or tray with dividers?
- What kind of handles do I need on the tray? Which kind of handles are best for my child?
- How many trays do I need?
USA: Amazon, Montessori Services, Montessori N' Such, Alison's Montessori, Montessori Images, Early School Materials, Michael Olaf, Bruins Montessori, Montessori 123, Juliana Group, Kid Advance Montessori.
South Africa: Kid-Ease.
Craft, kitchen and hardware stores often stock good and affordable wooden trays. Ikea is also a good place to look. You can read my previous post (which has many examples) on Montessori Trays and Baskets here. There are many Montessori stores worldwide, please feel free to leave a link to your favorite supplier of trays and their location (country) below.