Farm Tuff Tray - Learning and Development

by - 07:00:00

As a family we love to explore and learn. The great outdoors is so much fun, but sometimes you just want to stay in and not have to drag the kids and 15 bags of stuff out with you. I know that many parents don't want the effort of setting up an activity but would love their children to be able to take part, so I set up a farm at our local toddler group to let the children explore.
Farm Tuff Tray Play

You will need:

A plastic plate (preferably blue)
Small World farm building, people (farmers), tractor, animals, foliage and fences.
Lasagna sheets
Animal bedding
cotton wool
cornflour, flour or cereal
Soil, Dirt or Compost
Food (fake or real)
Tuff Tray or Mini Paddling Pool

Setting Up

After setting up many farm Tuff Trays in the past, I've found the easiest way to start is by placing the farm building at the top edge of the tray. From here you can add a fence each side and then use the lasagne sheets as a 'road' for the tractor.

Next fill in the empty spaces. I used cornflour, animal bedding, lentils and cotton wool for each individual area. I wanted somewhere for the animals to sleep, eat and roam. Pop the plate in and fill with water to create your pond and then put down any trees, bushes or other 'stationary' items such as the tunnel.

Finally it's time for some life! I added cows, pigs, sheep, ducks, horses, ducklings, dogs, cats, hens and of course 2 farmers and their tractor.

Farm Tuff Tray

For the second tray I covered it with Compost and then 'planted' the food. For this activity I just used the play food we had available but if I had the time I would have gone out and brought mini tomatoes, radishes, brussel sprouts, mini carrots and other small vegetables to 'plant'.

Farm Tuff Tray Planting Vegetables

Learning Areas:

Keywords: Plant, Grow, Soft, Wet, Slimy, Fluffy, Rough, Smooth, Vegetable, Farmyard
Areas of development:
Personal Social & Emotional Development - Making relationships
Physical Development - Moving and Handling
Communication & Language - Speaking + Understanding
Maths - Number
Knowledge and Understanding the world - The World
Early Learning Goals
They make observations of animals and plants explain why some things occur and talk about changes.
Children count numbers 1-20.
They answer 'how' and 'why' questions.
They develop  their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.
Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements.
Children play cooperatively, taking turns with others.
They take account of one another's ideas about how to organise their activity.

Farm Tuff Tray Planting Vegetables

You May Also Like


  1. Love a tuff tray! Some lovely ideas here :) will share : ) Emma x


Thank you for taking time to read my post, I try to reply to every comment but sometimes this is not possibly (nappies first, chat later!) if you need a fast response from me check out my Facebook page or tweet me @mummieswaiting.
Jade x