Tuff Tray Challenge.


This weeks tuff trays are all super different, they all look engaging and exciting and the children go involved in all. Winklebury explored different food groups with a sensory tuff tray. Highdown took a trip to the funky show with their circus inspired tuff tray. And Worthing celebrated Taco Tuesday with a food based tuff tray. WHO WILL BE THIS WEEKS WINNERS?


INTENT: This weeks tuff tray we wanted the children to explore different foods while not worrying about the messy side of things. And they certainly did just that! I used different foods , props and utensils which would be familiar to the children. This was an opportunity for the children to express themselves through real food play and to make as much mess as they wanted.

IMPLEMENT: This was a great opportunity for the children to show us what they knew about foods, how to prep foods, what their favourite foods were and what delicious meals they would make if they had the kitchen to themselves. The children were given 3 plates, RED YELLOW and BLUE, each plate fitted each Childs dietary requirement . Amazingly they chose their own colours plate to which they would have at meal times !! Once plates were chosen , they got stuck in mixing beans, pouring flour, cracking eggs, making wraps , crunching noodles and just having the best time! The children then made their very own signature dish which they said they would like for their dinner at home.

IMPACT: So how does it feel to be a grown up?? We asked the children how it felt to be in control of all these lovely foods? To be able to wear an apron so they could make as much mess as they wanted? And they all agreed that it was awesome ! The children showed amazing initiative, imagination and understanding of different types of foods, It was so lovely to see the children having so much fun , making so much mess while being let loose in the kitchen!! 


INTENT: This weeks tuff tray was inspired by ‘GET FUNKY’ day. We also factored in the children’s interests whilst planning for this funky day. A current interest amongst a group of three year olds is glitter, glitter, glitter everywhere! They have been adding glitter and sequins to every creation. I planned for them to be able to have bags of sequins they could throw everywhere at the ‘Get Funky’ show, giving them the chance to be free with the sequins. We also included musical instruments as we have some children who are interested in making loud, booming noises! The intention behind doing the show and having the musical instruments was so the children could explore and create sounds as loud as they wanted to! 

IMPLEMENT: We implemented this tuff tray by firstly thinking about how to make it appear engaging. How could we get the children excited by the tuff tray? COLOUR! We created a circus themed entrance that the children would need to look through the ribbons to see the tuff tray- they could also access alongside the outside of the tuff tray but the tuff tray was put against a wall with a main circus entrance. We added musical instruments which were from the role play area but we also included items so that the children could create their own to support any role play opportunities. There was of course, sequins and glitter everywhere. To create a ‘show’ theme we had them in gift bags which every child received on arrival to the activity. We also included juggling balls- we didn’t have any balls to hand so we created these with tin foil and made them into balls. This was so the children could also learn a new skill through the tuff tray. 

IMPACT: The first impact which was noticed was the excitement the children had. We had many ‘wow’ comments which shows that the first impression gave the children awe and wonder. The children were super gentle with the tuff tray and hula hoop as they explored, without any prompting, which demonstrated that the children thought the tuff tray was special. The marshmallows which were included in the tuff tray became different props for the children’s role play: musical instruments for some, microphones for others, or just a yummy snack for other children. The impact of this was the children using their imagination to create role play scenarios it also encouraged social interaction as children who had created similar role play items then played together. Because we had placed the tuff tray in a corner of the room, rather than the middle of the room, it wasn’t as busy at one time which impacted the children because they could really explore individually without having their personal space invaded by other children. The children were asking to take home the gift bags for family members which prompted conversations about why we gift people and special people in our lives. The children then went onto create their own gift bags for their family members along with special stickers too. 


INTENT: We created the tuff tray for our national taco day. We aimed for the children to learn more about the culture and history of the tray. Our intent was for the children to expand their knowledge and experiences of making a taco.  We wanted the children to learn what different fillings you can put into them to make them taste delicious and get their senses excited. For the children to expand their vocabulary by learning new words e.g guacamole, salad, sour cream, taco, wrap, sides and fillings.

IMPLEMENT: To make sure that the tuff tray was inclusive of all the children made our taco tuff tray meat free. On the base of the tray we sprinkled flour over the bottom. We then sprinkled the salad all over the tray. We placed a pile of canned tomatoes in the corner of the tray. Not so far away we then had a pile of refined beans. We placed the tortilla wraps in a flower like pattern. On the wraps we placed the meat free meat made from cooked pasta and paint. We sprinted kidney beans and butter beans all over the tray. We dolloped guacamole over most of the tray. We then added grated cheese all over the top of the tray. We placed pictures of tacos around the tray.

IMPACT: The children got theIr hands involved in all the different textures and where excited to make their very own taco. The children looked at all the different pictures we had provided which included the different fillings and sides which we would eat if we where to have tacos for dinner. They got to feel the different textures and ingredients on the tray and smelt all the different smells which where very enticing. The children learnt a wide range of new vocabulary eg: “taco, guacamole and sour cream.” The children had so much fun and wanted to go home and eat tacos for dinner. YUMMY!!!!

This weeks winner of the tuff tray is… YAS from Worthing with her fabulous Taco Tuesday tuff tray!

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