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Pirate Themed Tuff Tray


Pirate Themed Tuff Tray


It's a very miserable May day today. I am sitting down with a brew and sharing with you a wonderful Pirate themed tuff tray created by the lovely Sue Baxter. Sue Baxter joins us often here on Learning and Exploring Through Play, and shares the fabulous play set ups she has carefully planned for the children. The activities link to topics, personal interests of the children, celebrations - you name it! 
Sue is an outstanding rated childminder and after seeing her play invitations she sets up for the children daily - its clear to see why!


Pirate Themed Tuff Tray


We had free flow today, as we do most days. I had the doors open wide and activities set up both indoors and out. I have recently upcycled an old pirate ship that the children have adored. So developing on this and some of the skills the children have been working on I came up with some pirate themed tuff trays. It's always great to deliver activities to the children linked to personal interests. Their appreciation and engagement never stops warming my heart.

This was our outdoor Tuff Tray.


Pirate Themed Tuff Tray


Lots of treasures filled the tray including gold and silver coins, gems, painted gold rocks, beads, bones, numbers and labels I printed from Twinkl.
These items can encourage creating patterns, counting, discussing texture and history. Counting out specific quantities according to the numbers found. Not forgetting imaginative play of course!


Pirate Themed Tuff Tray


I added containers and little scoop spoons we had saved from ice creams. The children really enjoyed digging out the sand and working at filling the containers.
This gave the opportunity for mathematical language - were the containers full, half full or empty?
Some children placed gems and coins inside and covered them over with sand to hide them!


Pirate Themed Tuff Tray


Pirate Treasure with a twist that even my 16 year old couldn't resist. The sand I included for this set up was Kinetic Sand. It is an unusual media to work with. I observed the children sitting there scooping it up in their hands and watching and feeling it seep from their hands - over and over again. 
Have you ever used Kinetic sand before? Its definitely something to add to your to do list if not, the children LOVE it!


Pirate Themed Tuff Tray


This was our indoor tray that housed the Pirate Ship.


Pirate Themed Tuff Tray


I had boxes filled with treasures, labelled cards, golden numbers, lots of books to read that I collected from our book area. It's amazing how many books you have that link to topics. It's a really great way to introduce new stories to the children.


Pirate Themed Tuff Tray


Our Pirate Ship! I really enjoyed the up cycle of this. It transformed brilliantly! The children have loved it and continue to do so! It was originally from ELC however after the up cycle looks much different now.


Pirate Themed Tuff Tray


It wouldn't be a pirate themed activity set up without maps! I made them looked old and worn by spilling tea and coffee down onto them. I remember doing this technique at school many years ago, so it was good to try it again.
The children may enjoy exploring this technique too! It will no doubt be something we explore in the near future.


Pirate Themed Tuff Tray


The children really enjoyed the telescope and have been taking it outdoors too, seeing what they can find in the distance!


Pirate Themed Tuff Tray


The Trees and alligators were part of other play sets I sourced from the play room.


Pirate Themed Tuff Tray


In addition to the Tuff Trays we have also been enjoying a gross motor balancing game -


Pirate Themed Tuff Tray


Walk the Plank!
It's a topic that has continued to go on and on in our setting. The children are really enjoying the topic and keep returning to it, which is lovely to see.

To think this topic stemmed from me taking the old, tired ship out of the shed and the children keen to investigate is quite remarkable.
It just goes to show once again - work with the children, follow their interests and good will come from it.

Pirate Themed Tuff Tray



Thank you so much to Sue Baxter for sharing her wonderful Pirate Themed activities! You always have so much fun and we really look forward to seeing the activities you enjoy with the children! We have already been lucky enough to see activities she has shared with the children for Duck Week, Easter, Pancake Day, St Davids DaySpring and we have more coming! 

What topics are your children enjoying at the moment? We would love to see what you have been busy doing!



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Amy Louise
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