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Handa's Suprize

Handa's Suprize Tuff Tray - Exploring Culture with Preschoolers

Have you read the story Handa's Suprize? It is such a charming tale that encourages positive relationships. Handa's Suprize has been named one of the best culturally diverse picture books in the UK. Wrote by Eileen Brown this is the story of Handa, who's part of the Luo tribe in South West Kenya. Handa goes out of her way to create a fruit basket full of different fruits for her friend, Akeyo. She carries the fruit all the way to her friends village, contemplating which fruit will be her friends favourite. Unknowingly to her, along the way different animals are pinching the fruit from the basket. As she reaches her friends village it is Handa who gets the suprize. 

The text in this story is perfect for the 4-7 year old age bracket the book is aimed at. It's a story you can't help but love. It brings awareness to children of different culture. It gives a great base for venturing into many different activities including fruit tasting, talking about friendships (PSED), counting and reconising numbers to name a few.

Today we are very lucky to have Sue Baxter joining us sharing a wonderful Handa's Suprize Tuff Tray she has created for the children to explore. 

We recently read the story Handa's Suprize and the children adored the tale. They listened eagerly and continued to talk about the story afterwards. It is such a great introduction to talking about different animals, different countries, cultures, flags, fruit tasting, counting - I wanted to work with their interests and develop play opportunities for them to learn as they played. 
As you have seen - we do lots of different activities in our Tuff Trays. I love setting them up because the children get so much enjoyment out of them. Through careful observation it also gives me an insight into their development. Its this information that I gain that aids me to plan future activities.

Handa's Suprize Tuff Tray - Exploring Culture with Preschoolers

I gathered a selection of fruit together that we have in our play kitchen. I printed a selection of labelled cards from Twinkl. It was rather fun to have a fruit influence. It lead us to fruit tasting, slicing up real fruits and talking about how they looked, felt, smelt and tasted.

Handa's Suprize Tuff Tray - Exploring Culture with Preschoolers

The various trees I had dotted around the tray were from different small world sets we own. I have brought pretty much all the animals from charity shops and the ostrich was purchased from Amazon.

The wooden brown trees were the ones used in our Easter Tray. I just repainted it brown and used orange pom poms to represent the tangerines.

Handa's Suprize Tuff Tray - Exploring Culture with Preschoolers

The fruit baskets my husband purchased from our trip to Jamaica. They are pretty delicate so although I added them to the play set up I had to explain to the children they were items that would need care when looking at them. The children were great and took pride in sharing with me how careful they were being with the baskets.

If we sit and explain these concepts to children it can be very valuable. Its a life skill learning about materials and how some require more care than others. Don't be afraid to offer these experiences to the children, under supervision of course!

Handa's Suprize Tuff Tray - Exploring Culture with Preschoolers

I painted my own peg dolls to go along with the story using Acrylic Paints. Peg dolls are so great and help to encourage imaginative play and bringing stories and scenarios alive

Handa's Suprize Tuff Tray - Exploring Culture with Preschoolers

The backdrop image was also printed from Twinkl and helped bring the stories alive.

Handa's Suprize Tuff Tray - Exploring Culture with Preschoolers

We have various instruments to explore and we played along listening to African Music which the children really enjoyed! They have asked for the music we listened to to be played again too. It's always so lovely when children really absorb the activities I plan for them. It shows they have been really engaged and what I have offered is well suited to their interests and abilities.

If you are thinking of reading this wonderful story to the children, you may find it useful to share the animation with them too: 


Thank you to Sue for sharing another beautiful set up with us! I always love her creative mindset and how she goes out of her way day in day out to provide such rich learning experiences for the children.

If you enjoyed this activity you may also like some of Sue's other activities she has been busy sharing with us including - EasterPancake DayPiratesBirdsSt Davids DayDucks and Spring,

Thank you for sharing such wonderful inspiration Sue <3!

Handa's Suprize Tuff Tray - Exploring Culture with Preschoolers

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