Tuff Tray Challenge.


Three very different tuff trays this week. Winklebury celebrated National Emergency Services Day with a colourful tuff tray. Highdown became their own story makers and Worthing made some delicious rice puddings. But there can only be one winner?


INTENT: This week’s tuff tray was based on one of our National Days this week – Emergency Services Day! The idea behind this tray was to teach the children about emergency services and how they help us in different ways. It was also to teach the children that these people are very much appreciated for what they do for us. 

IMPLEMENT: In this tuff tray, I included blue pasta, red noodles, green shredded wheat and yellow rice. The blue pasta and yellow rice was to represent police colours. The red noodles and yellow rice was to represent the fire environment colours. The green shredded wheat and the yellow rice was to represent the ambulance/paramedic colours. I created three departments for the three different emergency services. I made a fire department, a police station and a hospital. All three departments were made out of boxes and painted. I included pictures of police men/women, fire fighters and paramedics. I used different items in the tray so the children had a variety of sensory items in the tray. 

IMPACT: The children was very intrigued and interested when I was putting the tray together. Once the tray was completed, the children were really eager to take part in it. When they were playing in the tuff tray, they were all asking questions about emergency services and what they do. The children absolutely loved this tray. They enjoyed feeling the different sensory sections. They also loved moving the police car and ambulance around the tray. This tray encouraged the children to ask questions and have conversations about emergency services to their grown-up. 


INTENT: This weeks tuff tray was inspired by our interest in stories and some children next steps which is to create their own stories. The activity will focus around imagination and language and will develop the children literacy skills. Our children all have different interests so the story tuff tray included a variety of small world items. 

IMPLEMENT: The tuff tray was created using may sensory items as the base. This included: oats, pasta, flour, icing sugar and crazy soap. This engaged the children straight away, and even during the set up. There was a range of story characters and small world characters for the children to create a story with. There was a range of small world characters because the children all have different interests so we wanted to include these interests in the tray to help support their story making. There was dinosaurs, farm yard animals, trains and a train track, and some small dolls too. 

IMPACT: The first thing the children noticed was the blue crazy soap. The children were slightly hesitant to touch it because of its colour. The language which was heard was based around familiar stories such as the recent interest of ‘The Gingerbread Man’ and also ‘Monkey Puzzle.’ The children used language such as ‘You cant’t catch me’ and ‘I want my Mum.’ The younger children were holding the characters in both hands and moving them along, with some familiar words used. The older children then extended the play by acting out their own stories in the garden.


INTENT: This week we celebrated back to school pudding by making our own rice pudding! We wanted to introduce cooking to with the children. We wanted the children to see step by step how it was made and talk through the process. We wanted to extend the children’s knowledge on weight, sizing and capacity. For the children to enhance their language skills and expand on their vocabulary, by using cooking terms. We wanted the children feel a sense of achievement with they’re finished product for the children to play.

IMPLEMENT: We split this weeks tuff tray into two parts, the first part was measuring out the ingredients and creating the mixture ready to cook. We placed all of the equipment and ingredients on the tray with a picture of the end result. We set up a scale, a measuring jug filled with milk, the rice, a sugar, a mixing bowl and a recipe book. Everything we needed to make mixture all ready to be cooked in the pan. The second part- The children had the cooked rice pudding, bowls, spoons and baby dolls. To encourage the children to get their hands messy and explore the texture of the pudding as well as sharing our the mixture. 

IMPACT: The children were very intrigued when they saw the first part of the tray filled with the ingredients. They excitedly began to ask lots of questions. Once the practitioner has explained what they were going to be doing the children couldn’t contain their eagerness. The children recognised some of the ingredients they saw and told the practitioners how they are used “Rice for curry” one child said. The children were so patient while waiting for their turn to measure out and weigh the ingredients on the scales. Some of the children recognised the numbers on the digital pad. The children then poured the ingredients into the mixing bowl and stored the mixture together. The practitioners and children discussed how the mixture will be cooked and what the end outcome will be. The children copied some of the language that the practitioner used such as “ingredients” and “grams”.  The second group of children were very keen to see what is in the tray. They sat down around the tray and began using their spoons to spoon out the rice pudding into the bowls. The children then shared out the bowls to their friends. The children began feeling the mixture with their hands. They describe it as “cold’, “sticky” and “lumpy”. The looked at some of the bowls and decided which bowl had the bigger amount of rice pudding in. The children started lining them up in size order. The children wanted to take their babies to school and feed them “like at lunchtime” The children had lots of fun scooping up the rice pudding and feeding it to their babies. The children also enjoyed tasting it themselves “yummy”!! 

This weeks winners are… HIGHDOWN!

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