Tuff trays messy play ideas
We asked the team at our Babblebrooke nursery in Loughborough to tell us their top 10 messy play tuff tray ideas, here is what they said:
1. Potion mixing
2. Babies’ beach tuff trays
Add a little sand and water in the tuff tray for babies to feel like they are at the beach- keep the tuff tray low level on the floor so they can crawl in and out as they please.
3. Exploring artists
Our preschool children love to learn about the work of different artists, we use our tuff trays to set up examples of the art so children can recreate them.
4. Ice sculptures
We freeze various items in blocks of water and allow our child to investigate what’s in the ice using a range of tools. We used tweezers and magnifying glasses. To add a new element we added tea light candles into the ice blocks and it started a whole discussion about melting!
5. Cooking tuff trays
We provide a variety of ingredients and allow the children to create their own ‘meals’, for example making playdough and then allowing them to add different toppings. Provide children with rolling pins and other mark-making accessories for them to manipulate the playdough.
6. Good old fashioned playdough
We add different enhancements to our play dough such as stories and then link the playdough around that story such as Owl Babies- our children then used the dough to make the owl’s eggs.
These are great for exploring – whether they are being used to mix a potion or filling and emptying between containers. Depending on the interest, you can add a variety of tools or equipment to support the play. Here we used the Rose Gold Measuring Spoons and role play pots and pans.
8. Tuff trays bug hunt
Our children love a good bug hunt, so we often set up tuff tray invitations to encourage their curiosities around this. Our children love searching through sticky mud to find different insects… it’s also a bonus when they find a real worm or spider!
9. Small world tuff tray
10. Making tracks
Our children like exploring marks – we use a variety of vehicles such as diggers, cars, trains etc. to make marks. This can be changed and adapted using a variety of materials from paint to mud to cornflour. Tuff trays are perfect for this kind of active messy play for a group of children to gather around.
We hope everyone enjoyed reading about the fun messy activities we use in our tuff trays!
Thank you to Babblebrooke Day Nursery in Loughborough for sharing your ideas.
Visit our tuff trays page to find a wide selection of trays and accessories: