It’s that time of the week again where the nurseries compete to be the winners of the Tuff Tray Challenge! This week, have seen 3 different tuff trays! Winklebury have been learning all about Elephants and their habitats as well as what their meals may look like, Highdown explored bugs and how many different legs bugs and insects have and Worthing explored different textures at the beach whilst exploring all things pirates! AHOY! But who will come out on top this week?

WINKLEBURY- Where does an elephant live?

INTENT: This week’s tuff tray was an Elephant themed tuff tray! I chose to do an elephant themed tuff tray as we recently celebrated National Elephant day! The children had so much fun with our elephant themed activities and were talking about elephants after Elephant Day had ended, so I based this tray off of the children’s shared interest and curiosity about elephants. This tray provided the children with the opportunity to learn more about elephants and their habitats, what foods they like to eat, and helped the children engage in a conversation about elephants and their different sizes and long trunks! One side of the side of learning about what elephants like to do, eat he tray was filled with grey pasta. This was to represent learning what elephants enjoy doing or eating. The other side was filled with brown rice. This side represented learning about elephant’s different habitats and lifestyles. We also had a food platter of the fruits elephants like and the children enjoyed tasting these fruits!

IMPLEMENT: The children enjoyed this elephant tuff tray! They loved saying hello to our boxy elephant friend! The children loved looking at the painted pasta, talking about how the colour of the pasta is similar to the elephant’s colour! They also enjoyed looking at the pictures of the elephants, talking about if they are big or small. We had a platter of fruits in the tray to provide the children with the opportunity to talk about the foods that elephants eat and then they all tasted some banana and carrots!

IMPACT: After playing in this tray, all the children were even more curious about elephants! They learnt about the foods that elephants can eat and where elephants live. The various resources used in this tray enabled the children to a fun earning opportunity! It also showed the children we can learn with touching and tasting different things. This tray engaged the children’s physical development, speech language and communication, personal social and emotional, and understanding the world development.

HIGHDOWN- How many legs does a ladybird have?

INTENT: This week our tuff tray was looking at different bugs and how many legs they all have. The tray was set up with different  pictures of bugs, these were butterflies, bumble Beas and ants, we also printed out pictures of flowers and printed out the numbers from one to six. This is to help the children to learn about different bug names, bug body parts, colours and numbers. 

IMPLEMENT: In this tray, we included different bugs, and flowers. We had, ants, bumble Beas, butterflies, flowers and numbers ranging from one to five. We also added different textures these ranged fro, the wood chips, dry brown leaves and fresh green leaves, blue see through foil and soil. We wanted to use different colours and different bugs so the children could learn the different bug names as well as the the different body parts for the bugs. We also wanted to talk about the different amount of legs and wings that the animals have, as they do not all have the same amount.

IMPACT: The children were interested in this tray as when they are running around the garden they are always on the hunt for bugs and insects around the garden. The children used their hands to feel the different textures in different areas of the tray whilst other used the tweezers to pinch and attempt to get the insects of their own choice. The children were very pleased with themselves when they got an insect and when they took a closer look they investigated the colours as well as using their counting skills to count how many legs each bug had. At the end the children ran around the garden and moved logs, leaves and objects to find real bugs and when they did they moved them back to the bug city.


INTENT: This week we have created a pirate themed tuff tray for the children to explore. We wanted the children to access a range of textures from using gelli bath, sand, stones and shells. We wanted the children to learn about pirates and what they do. We had keywords: AHOY, Pirate,  Treasure, Ship and Flag, so we could expand their vocabulary. The children like dressing up as pirate in the dressing up area so we thought we could do this tray on their interests with their friends. 

IMPLEMENT: The tray was half filled with blue gelli bath and then half filled with sand, we placed stones across the middle to keep it separated. We had a big wooden pirate ship that we placed into the gelli bath. We placed some shells in groups onto the sand, where we placed the treasure chest and the pirate flag. We placed the pirates   around the tray to make it inviting, by placing the pirate in the little boat into the ‘sea’. 

IMPACT: The children were very excited to come and play with the pirate tray. One of our children came in dressed as a pirate as he is interested with the pirate theme. The children liked coming to play with the pirates, moving them around the pirate ship. Some of the children said “AHOY!” as they moved their arm across and up their body, before picking up the pirates. They liked moving the pirates up the ladders to the crows nest, talking about whether the pirates were good or bad. There were pictures of pirates and a ship next to the boat which the children looked at, talking about ‘Pirates Of The Children’. They used their fingers to feel the sticky gelli bath and used descriptive words such as wet, sticky and slimy to tell the practitioners what it felt like. They moved the shells around in the sand, saying “its the beach” whilst moving the pirates through it. They loved playing with this. 


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