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Soapy Mark Making Tuff Tray

Soapy Mark Making Tuff Tray

I want to share with you a wonderful, quick and easy set up today that doesn't cost a penny. You can use materials you already have at home!

With young children around, convenience is often essential to keeping the day as stress free as possible. This activity took me just 2 minutes to gather the materials, the set up was done by two 2  year olds along with the clean up!

Oh and the bonus? It kept two very busy boys with usually fleeting attention busy and engaged for over 40 minutes!

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Soapy Mark Making Tuff Tray

I used our Tuff Tray to complete this activity today. A tuff tray (also know as a builders tray) are a much loved item in early years settings these days, across the UK.

They are sturdy and with a good frame underneath provide an accessible surface for young children. They are great for containing activities and they come in all different colours. We use ours all the time and come highly recommended by us.

You can see them here on Amazon - Tuff Tray and Stand.

I also used our drinking tray that I purchased from Home Sense a couple of years ago for around £12. Inside I added some shallow water, some scourers and a couple of paint brushes. 

Soapy Mark Making Tuff Tray

I added some fairy liquid (dish soap) to the tray. Just to give you an idea of the amount I used I have popped a photo here for reference. Depending on the quality of the soap used you may need to add a little more. 

The sponges were already soaking in the water and I invited the boys to come and wash the tray for me. They love anything like this, so I knew they would be more than willing to come over and help.

I was looking forward to observing their excitement when they discovered what would happen by them scrubbing at the surface with the liquid and having wet sponges.

Soapy Mark Making Tuff Tray

They were so excited when the black surface started to transform into a mass of soapy white bubbles! They kept calling me making sure I was watching them. It was so sweet. 

I was eager to step in and show them that they could mark make in the bubbles but I resisted the temptation as its so important to give children the space and opportunity to discover things for themselves. 

Soapy Mark Making Tuff Tray

It wasn't long before their little fingers reached out to feel the bubbles and this is when the mark making fun began.

They were fascinated by this cause and effect and kept rushing back to their sponges to cover up their marks. 

Soapy Mark Making Tuff Tray

They really enjoyed using the paint brushes too. I would highly recommend adding them to a set up like this as not all children enjoy exploring sensory medias with their hands. 

I knew they would enjoy this activity but I was amazed at how long they stayed engaged here for.

Soapy Mark Making Tuff Tray

They then started to experiment with the sponges. They dipped them in the water before pulling them out and squeezing the water and bubbles out of it.

Great activity for building up the muscles in the fingers.

Lets take a look at the Soapy Tuff Tray in Action:

Soapy Mark Making Tuff Tray

There was lots of back and forth but I never had to add any more liquid to the activity. There was more than enough and it continued to lather up each time just as it had done in the first instance.

Soapy Mark Making Tuff Tray

Once the boys had had enough, I loved how they were also willing to help with the clean up. Very little mess with this set up. It was quickly washed away with a little water from a garden hose pipe. 

Soapy Mark Making Tuff Tray

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