Tuff trays are a really good way of getting children involved and devolving their learning. Tuff trays can help to develop a child’s gross and fine motor skills, their maths and English, social skills and many more. They allow the child to play and explore whilst learning.
If you’re not sure what a tuff tray is then it’s basically a big black tray in which children can stand around and play on. Many childcare settings use them for sand and water play, sensory play and intellectual play.
Tuff trays don’t need to be complicated, children can enjoy the simplest forms of play if they’re interested.
I’m going to be posting a lot more of the tuff trays that I create in my setting, so you can gain some ideas that they could put into practise.
I haven’t actually had my tuff tray for long, but weekly I like to change my theme in order to keep the children engaged. I also like to link it to previous learning in order to further their knowledge.
Last week the children learnt about recognising numbers to three. In the class we focused slightly on Goldilocks and the three bears.
The children loved the books and the short videos we showed them on Goldilocks and the three bears so I made it my tuff tray theme.
The aim for the children was to make porridge. To do this I used oats and water. The children were able to pour as much water and oats as they wanted into their bowls and to mix it all together. I also added pots of glitter, beads and coloured sand to prolong the activity. The children thoroughly enjoyed mixing and adding more things into their own porridge.
I had also painted bears onto rocks as wells as making golidilocks out of popsicle sticks so that if the children did begin to get bored there was another aspect they could explore.
I found 3 different sized chairs from a doll house set. I also made a big, medium and small bed out of popscle sticks and fabric.
The children were very engaged and spent a long time playing at the tuff tray.
They also remembered the story and decided who was making mummy bears porridge etc.
You don’t need to paint rocks and make things for the children to enjoy it, if you wanted to you could just have the porridge making.
I hope you liked this tuff tray idea and I would love to see your creations!