Tuff tray game suggestions
A Tuff tray is a large shallow bowl, with which you can offer (young) children loose materials to explore. The tuff tray is indispensable in challenging children at home, at school and in childcare. In this article I will give you some playing tips for the tuff tray.
1. Sort Tuff tray by color
Teaching your child to discover and sort colors is good for fine motor skills and gives your child insight into number and differences in color.
The idea behind offering a tuff tray is to provide your kids with some interesting shapes, colors, and textures to discover. A rainbow tuff tray filling lends itself perfectly to color sorting:
- Line up a set of colorful containers and see if you match the contents of your color and sensory filling in the tray with the same color or number! For example, you can use colored pasta, rice or water beads, and different colors of animals. Then let your child place the animals in the corresponding color trays. Add a number to the trays to let your child count numbers in the trays as well.
2. Themed Tuff tray (dino, space, farm, safari, ocean)
It is very nice to adjust the tuff tray to the theme that lives, think of Easter, dino theme or the underwater world. Here are a few examples.
- Dinosaur ice eggs
Freeze dinosaur play figures in blocks of ice and place them on a bed of straw. You might consider adding toy hammers or other products to get the dinosaurs out of the eggs. Another idea is to use water guns or sprays with warm water to melt the ice. A delicious tuff tray for hot summer weather!
- The space
As a game you can use shiny gray sensory materials and thus create a space theme. For example with spoons, aluminum foil and so on… this way you stimulate several senses at the same time.
A fun activity with the farm is that children can discover different textures of farm animals and colors and shapes. You can ask which animal likes to play in the mud and thus stimulate a child to let himself discover through open-ended play by going through the mud with, for example, a pig, and so on… you can also tell stories, for example, reenactIng Noah’s Ark and letting children discover this story for themselves, with their own open ending and imagination! For example, add corn and sand as a basic material.
- Safari In the tuff tray safari you can hide the wild animals by their camouflage and thus organize a search game. You can also use different natural materials such as stones, grass, water …
- Ocean: Use all your imagination and senses and add water to the tuff tray ocean.. who can make waves in the water by blowing with a straw? And what animals live in the ocean?
3. Sensory Tuff tray
By using various textures and materials as a basis, you challenge children to sensory play. A nice example is the use of play sand, shaving foam, water beads or crazy foam.
- Shaving cream: Can your child make drawings or letters in shaving cream? is it slippery? And add dyes to the shaving cream if necessary, for even more play and discovery fun!
- Play sand: Can your child write letters, make drawings or just bake delicious cakes with the play sand.
4. Educational Tuff tray
By offering materials, you can also offer educationally challenging play on the tuff tray. For example, you can learn to write letters with shaving cream. But there are also very interesting products on the website to learn how to make and recognize letters and words that you can integrate into the game. For example, hide wooden letters and numbers in the tuff tray, and the investigative learning can begin!
Below we list some useful educational materials that you can use in the tuff tray.
- Alphabet stones are ideal for introducing children to the letters in sensory play. Have your child search for the letters of his or her name in a sensory tray or tuff tray. Or let novice readers lay words with the letters themselves.
- Lace-up beads smarties
The smarties lace-up beads are colourful and appeal to young children. By stringing with the beads, the fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination and muscle strength are practiced, but also letter recognition and practice with first words.
5. Tuff tray water activities
For children, nothing is more beautiful to be busy with water and sand! Fill the tuff tray with a bottom of water and offer various materials for water play. For example, add sea animals , boats, stones to give it a beautiful theme.
Do you have a nice tip? Feel free to share it !