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Dinosaur Slime Small World Tuff Tray

Dinosaur Slime Small World Tuff Tray

Considering how much my children have loved dinosaurs - this is the first time I have created a small world in a tuff tray with this theme. As I was putting it together - I couldn't quite believe I'd not done one before. This was inspired by a new product that was gifted to us by Zimpli Kids. I shall reveal all about the product used at the end of this post. 

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We had been out all day. We got back and the kids were sitting finishing their tea. I went outside to start putting this tray together. I love when you get the surge of creativity. When you gather all your materials and watch them come together to make an irresistible small world to play with!

I purchased this Tuff Tray around 4 years ago. We use it all the time! Here are some of the activities we have used the Tuff Tray for:

I actually had a fail with this activity. I wanted to colour the water that I had planned to put inside the tray - green. I grabbed some children's paint and hoped that by squirting it into the water - it would dilute down and give me a lovely greeny coloured swamp. That didn't happen and after this experiment I can conclude that ready made children's paint isn't an effective way to colour water. I swilled the tray and started again.

On to Plan B -

The drinks trays came to use again. I got the black drinks trays from Home Bargains as as part of their BBQ range for around £4-5. I got them last year but they are being sold again this year. The white one which is larger was £12.99 from Home Bargains.

Here are the trays being used in more activities -
Mouse Paint 
Ice Cream Shop
Frozen Heart Sensory Play

I placed them on the tray and using some dried foods, beans, pasta and flour - this is what was created:

Dinosaur Slime Small World Tuff Tray

We did some work with Schleich a while ago. We were sent the dinosaurs pictures to review which we did here - Dinosaur Review.

The children have played with them so much, but this is the first time we have created a small world to this scale for them to really come to life! Don't they look great! 
There are 4 different areas to this tray all with very different sensory experiences for the children to explore and play with. Lets take a look at each section:

Dinosaur Slime Small World Tuff Tray

In this tray the base was pasta and pinto beans. I had dotted around some foliage, numbers, spoons, nets and other natural materials to explore such as wooden blocks and hay.

Placed inside this tray was the Dimetrodon, with a large distinctive sail on its back - used to help regulate heat. The figure has a movable jaw which is excellent for altering the expressions during play. It stands superbly which is an important feature while the children position and play with their toys.

Dinosaur Slime Small World Tuff Tray

The base to this tray was coloured salt. I have used this salt previous in a Space Themed Tuff Tray. I have stored the salt for some time now in air tight containers. It was a great base that was perfect for exploring mark making. 

The Animantarx dinosaur sat in this tray. A dinosaur that was around 3 metres in length! Only one skeleton has ever been found and was the first dinosaur to be discovered by technology alone.
This figure by Schleich is a sturdy with detailed armour. The prehistoric age had creatures that lived on land, the air and in the vast oceans too.

I scattered some flowers in the tray along with more leaves and rocks. There was a spoon for some scooping along with some numbers. We are now starting to do some activities based on what quantity looks like now the boys know all their numbers to 11. 

Dinosaur Slime Small World Tuff Tray

I scattered some flour in the tray to allow for another mark making experience. I think it looked particularly inviting with the Tuff Tray mirror underneath.

We have used the tray lots and has no signs of wear. They can be really pricey but I would say that they are worth the money as they add another dimension to play.

Dinosaur Slime Small World Tuff Tray

The final area was a new texture for the children. We were kindly sent some sensory packs from Zimpli Kids. We have used their gelibaff products a few times and really rate them. This was our first experience with the slime - WOW! 

This pack was the dinosaur edition where you get two dinosaur figures inside too. I filled the tray around half way and added all of the pack. On reflection I only needed to use half of the pack for this amount of water. It goes such a long way! You definitely need to place in so much and give it a few minutes to dissolve. What might seem like not enough initially will be plenty if you just hold on 5 minutes or so. 

Here are some more Dinosaur play set ups on the blog you may have missed:

Dinosaur Slime Small World Tuff Tray

The children were like magnets to the slime - what a suprize that was (not!). It was mesmerising and they challenged one another to get the largest amount of slime stretched out and up in the air!

It was thick, oozy - the perfect texture for a dinosaur world! It was fabulous and something that I couldn't just sit back and watch - I took the children up on their offer to join in! It was satisfying and calming and smelt divine!

Lets see this activity in action:

Dinosaur Slime Small World Tuff Tray

The flour also proved to be a hit, with lots of gross motor movements as the boys stood there swishing their hands around in the powder! It looked great with the reflection of the blue sky above. I shall remember this for another set up in the future!

Dinosaur Slime Small World Tuff Tray

The children enjoyed sinking their hand prints down into the coloured salt and observing the marks their hands made. 

The dinosaur theme stayed alive for around 15 minutes. Once they came to playing in the salt tray this is when their imaginations started to go off - this is my most favourite time. 

Yes I've presented them an activity that is linked to dinosaurs based on what they have enjoyed playing with - but them changing their minds and creating something completely different is where the magic happens. This is where creativity is ignited and where we get an insight into the minds of our children

Dinosaur Slime Small World Tuff Tray

They then started to scoop out the materials onto the tray to create a big cake. This change in activity has happened a couple of times now so my next activity will be an opportunity to make their own 'cakes'. 

They sprinkled decorations on top and stood the pasta swirls up for the candles! Such great ideas!

Dinosaur Slime Small World Tuff Tray

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Mark Making with Kinetic Sand    Plastic Easter Egg Art Ideas    Space Themed Sensory Play Small World

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