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Start finish trays

Start finish trays are a useful aid to help children understand the beginning and end of an activity.

Preparing to use start finish trays

Ensure the environment is clear from distractions.The session will be more successful if the child feels comfortable in their environment.

Plan your activities and make sure that everything you need is in the trays.

Using start finish trays

Using start finish trays is an excellent way to introduce children to completing tasks. The trays help children to visually see what is expected of them making the learning experience less stressful.

  • place a green tray, with the start image, on the left. Place a red tray, with the finish image, to the right
  • place the activities you have chosen for the child in the green tray – choose your activities carefully to ensure they have a clear end point
  • once the child understands that if the activity is placed in the red tray it is finished, activities can become more open ended
  • start with one or two simple activities that you know the child will be interested in
  • the child works through the activities, selecting one from the green tray and placing it into the red tray when complete
  • consider starting the activity yourself to allow them to complete it more easily
  • support the child using hand over hand, if appropriate
  • as the child gets used to using start finish trays, you can introduce more, complex activities that last longer
  • give plenty of praise.

Helpful hints for using start finish trays.