Preschool Classroom Area: Table Toys (Manipulatives)

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The table toy or manipulative area is usually one of the most popular area in a preschool classroom.


  • Small motor development and control (preparation for holding a pencil)
  • Concentration and completion of a task
  • Enhanced self-esteem and feeling of control and mastery
  • Concepts such as patterning, sequencing, matching, order

Supervision and Tips:

  • Encouragement in the event a child becomes frustrated
  • Children must put materials back onto shelf after finished
  • Facilitation of problem-solving in the event there is a conflict over materials

Suggested Toys and Materials:

  • Puzzles
  • Stacking Blocks
  • Lego / Duplos
  • Lacing Cards
  • Lacing and Stringing Beads
  • Tweezers and Tongs
  • Scissor Cutting Activities
  • Peg Boards
  • Rubber bands for Peg Boards
  • Hammering Block
  • Golf Tees / Scissors / Hammers for Playdough
  • Rolling Pins
  • Markers / Chalk / Crayons
  • Lacing Dolls
  • Lock and Key Sets
  • Zipping and Buttoning Boards
  • Weaving Boards
  • Small Paint Brushes
  • Squirt Bottles