Creating Crazy Tuff Trays

by - 06:00:00

Ever since I started my career in child care I've wanted a Tuff Tray, until now I have never had the space to use one, so I've finally ordered one and it's here!

There are so many activities to do and I want to do them all now, so with roughly 20 weeks until the new year I thought I would share my top 20 ideas for Tuff Trays, my plan is for 1 a week leading up to the new year, I'm excited to get started! Recently we have done a lot of Gardening, cornflour, bird projects and Painting so I'm going to leave these out for a while, however I will repeat water play because of how much Kairi loves it!

1. The beach/deserted island. Sand piled in the middle and water all around, possibly a few animals scatter around, some toy trees and fabric for beach towels, I'm going to leave a few tools like spades at the side so the girls can explore the wet and dry sand and add some salt to the water for a more realistic effect!

2. Ice painting! I can't wait to try this while it's still hot. Freezer water mixed with a little paint in ice cute trays, after 2 hours poke in a 'handle' (like a tooth pick) and leave over night. Line the tray with paper and grab your new paints (for Naminé I won't be using the tooth picks as she's too young). Get ready for some awesome pictures! (If you have painters tape you can tape off a picture of their name first ready to peel back later!)

3. Pizza/ice cream - yum! Line your tray with baking paper and lay out all your ready chopped ingredients in bowls, add dough (or pre-made bases) spoons and tools and create an awesome dinner. If you doing ice cream, just out out ice cream, spoons, sprinkles, cuts, sauce, toppings, cones and a scoop, enjoy your tasty snack!

4. Washing up/Bathing dolls (I bet Kairi will love this one) fill the tray with water and bubble bath. Place in dolls or cups/plates etc, sponges, dish clothes and some kind of 'washing liquid' (I'll just use the girls bath stuff)

5. Space! I'll be lining the tray with tin foil and adding wooden aliens and lots of junk. (Which I'm already collecting!) We will be doing junk model building homes for our space creatures!

6. Fairys, wizards and Magic! As we already have tinker bell and friends I'm planning to do this more on  the fairy side of things! I'll make a small 'pond' area and grab twigs, pine cones, plants and leaves. We will have lots of glitter and make miniature wants from the twigs!

7. Potions and lots of them! We're going to follow on theme from the week before. I'm starting to collect lots of bottles now, so we will have plenty when we need them. We will have tubs of paint, glitter, soil, rice, pasta, spaghetti, flour, jelly, sand, water and lots of tools like spoons and pens (to label!)

8. Dinosaurs. I'm going to separate the tray in 2 parts (sand and soil) with a river (blue water) running through them. I'll add a few plants, rocks and  lots of different dinosaurs. In one corner I'm going to attempt to build a volcano which I will fill with spaghetti juice or red jelly!

9. Work site. I'll use 3 textures in separate areas (sand, cereal and dirt) which I will add bricks, stones a few people and diggers too. I'm going to find a square shaped cutter and make up some glue to create our own bricks and cement to make our buildings.

10. Music week. Finally a week that's slightly less messy! I'll be dividing the week into 2 categories; the instruments we already own and junk to make instruments from. For the 2nd part I'll be using cereal boxes, elastic bands, bottles and water.

11. Halloween/spooky play! Jelly shapes, glow in the dark paint/objects, making a spiders web across the tray, conker rolling and bits for pumpkin carving.

12. Water play/washing clothes/ boats. Tubes for flowing water through, cups, spoons, ladles, pots, pans, or plastic boats (or make our own from yogurt pots!). This one doesn't need much prep as Kairi will just want to sit straight in it! If your 'washing clothes' use different fabrics (dolls clothes are fab) and put some bubbles in. Make a washing line and leave out pegs.

13. Ice breaking. The day before start freezing toys in ice, layer by layer (making the colour of the water change slightly each time, a big ice cream tub works well). On the day out the block onto the tray with lots of tools to dig at it. Some salt to poor on it and warmer water.

14. Farm. Use blocks to make fences and separate 'areas' of the farm. Add a pond and in each area a different texture (chocolate scented soil, rice, pasta, hay, grass and add pots of cereal for food. I'll be using the happy land animals and farm house and add a farmer too.

15. Under the sea. I'll be filling the whole tray with colored salt water and adding a small layer of bubbles on the top. I'll add different fish and I'll create some 'jelly' fish the night before. I'll use some shells and put some sand on the bottom. For the finishing touches I'll add some big whales, sharks and dolphins and put a few birds on a piece of floating wood.

16. Road. I'm going to use Washi tape to draw roads on the tray and add cards of different sizes. I'll create a bus stop and add a few houses in the town part. I'll also put a long road towards one side which is next to a field of animals.

17. Waterballs. I'm going to add lots of different color water balls and pots to sort them into. A few tools so they can be mixed, squished and rolled, I'll also leave some water near buy which can be added.

18. Christmas (yay finally!). This will be a tray full of free branches, tinsel, baubles and glitter. The girls can create their own decorations for the tree.

19. Nativity. I'll add lots of hay and a stable, a few people and animals. I'll put in mini 'gifts' to be unwrapped and use some essential oils.

20. Winter wonderland/frozen. I'll line the base with tin foil and use metal shape cutters, gingerbread men, 'snow', shaving foam, cotton will balls, glass pebbles, ice and water, miniature trees and lots of silver, glitter, essential oils and snowflakes.

Things you will need to prepare; happy land (or alternative toy houses, people and animals), dinosaur, fish, cotton wool (and balls), elastic bands, pine ones, conkers, tin foil, flour, rice, pasta, spaghetti, food coloring, paint, glue, scissors, shaving foam, soap/liquid soap, sponges, cloths, water beads, essential oils, sand, bubbles, ice, pizza ingredients (or ice cream), ice, leaves, grass, glass pebbles, animals, fish, cars, diggers, hay or pet sawdust and bedding, string, cereal, shells, stones, soil, pebbles, rocks, plants, fairies, wands, twigs, sticks, flowers and pegs.

Look for our updates to see which activity we have done and how we set it up. I'll be adding lots of pictures and instructions of before, during and after to the blog and linking it from and to this page.
What are you looking forward to most? Is there anything you are going to try or other options you think I should do?

Love Kairi, Naminé and mummy x

You May Also Like