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Small World Tuff Trays For Kids


Please note: This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.

We have been really enjoying Tuff Tray activities here at Learning and Exploring Through Play and today we have Joanne joining us sharing several Small World Tuff Trays she has been busy enjoying with her children.

Small worlds are great for hands on learning. They give the opportunity to be creative, to act out familiar and well loved stories and situations. They are also great fun to enjoy alone or with a group of peers.


Welcome Joanne.....

Hello, my name is Joanne and I am a childminder from Cheshire.

I have been childminding for just over 2 years. I have two daughters aged 5 and 7 and after working in retail merchandising for over 12 years I really wanted a change. 

Childminding just felt like a natural career change for me. I have always had a house full of children , lots of anti natal friends with babies. I did the course through Trafford council and have never looked back. 

I have always had good imagination and love arts and crafts so when I first heard of Tuff Trays early last year I was quite excited. My first tray was my farm yard one and so many people liked it and made comments about it that I thought I would start my own page on Facebook to share more of my Tuff Tray set ups.

Today I am here to share with you some of the Small World Tuff Trays I have created over the last few months:


The Zoo



The zoo tuff tray had lots of cereal as the base so the children could feed the animals and some of the children enjoyed having a taste too. We talked about what the different animals liked and what they enjoyed eating. They loved the water the penguins were in!

Wooden Blocks (UK/US)
Zoo Animals (UK/US)
Penguins (UK/US)
Leaves (UK/US)

The Nativity


I used happy land figures for the nativity tuff tray and used felt to make costumes for them.
My local pet shop provided me with some hay and wood shavings. We used wooden blocks and added animals. I created a stable using a cardboard box and added a star. This is great hands on learning for the children and brought alive the Christmas story for them.

Wooden Blocks (UK/US)
Farm Animals (UK/US)
Saw Dust (UK/US)
Hay (UK/US)

Butterflies and Insects - Bugs and Minibeasts
The children really enjoy playing outside in the garden and as part of a Minibeast topic this was a perfect opportunity to set up a Bug Tuff Tray. We spoke about where the insects live and what they like to eat and do. I used a range of nature items including bark, grass, flowers, twigs and pine cones to help bring this tray alive.

Butterflies (UK/US)
Pine Cones (UK/US)
Flowers (UK/US)
Insects (UK/US)

Noah's Ark 
 My Noah's ark tuff tray was such fun as we used the book to tell the story and act out the story. I will be doing some more tuff trays along side popular children's books in the next couple of months. I have some fantastic ideas in mind for them.

Noah's Ark (UK/US)
Noah and the Ark Book (UK/US)

Pirates
For my pirate tuff tray I collected a lot of old beads of my Nana for the treasure. We even played a game of hide and seek treasure with real chocolate coins which the children loved.

Pirate Ship (UK/US)
Sand (UK/US)
Gems/Beads (UK/US)
Sea Creatures (UK/US)

The Farm 
The farm one is my ultimate favorite the kids loved thats they had real mud and sand to put the animals in. The duck pond was a hit and they liked the prickly feel of the grass. 
Lots of different textures to feel and explore.

Leaves (UK/US)
Farm Animals (UK/US)


I love the look on the childrens faces when a new tuff tray is introduced and ready to play with! We have had so much fun and I think it's fair to say I am a tuff tray addict!

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