Tuff Tray Challenge


What a great week we have had! The children have been so busy exploring all the wonderful tuff trays which the teams have been setting up for them. Highdown were last weeks winners, could they win again with their Gingerbread Day themed tuff tray? Or will Winklebury win with their Incy Wincy Spider Tuff tray? Worthing have been Walking in a Winter Wonderland with their winter inspired tuff tray. What a great week! BUT there can only be one winner… the votes are in…


INTENT: This weeks tuff tray was based on the children interest of spiders. At the moment children have been intrigued to learn and play with spiders so this is why we choose to do the tray on the song “incy wincy spider”. Whilst the children were playing with the tray they enjoyed finding spiders and singing the song. This gave the children the opportunity to extend their interest in another way for them to play.

IMPLEMENT: For this tray we used different textures to represent the song. The rice was representing the drain pipe that the spider climbs up. We made the rice black. The penne pasta was coated in blue paint to represent the rain falling down and the sunshine was used by yellow paper cut in to a circle. In the tray we also had grass and pretend spiders and the song printed out. 

IMPACT: When the tray was completed. We then let the children enjoy and explore the tray with adult being there engaging with them and singing the song. The children were so excited to play with the spiders and explore the whole tray. They also enjoyed singing the song over and over again. 


INTENT: This weeks tuff tray was based around the national day, Gingerbread Cookie Day! We wanted the children to explore the tray by getting messy, creating cookies using different ingredients and using all their senses. We also wanted to allow the children the opportunity to learn about the Gingerbread man story and use some of the language in the story which relates to the tray. We wanted the children to use their imagination when decorating their own gingerbread cookies or take it that step further to make their own cookies with playdough and the provided ingredients! 

IMPLEMENT: In the tray, we used lots of different forms of ginger for the children to explore, for example, cookies, ginger pureè, ginger spice and ginger sticks. We used ginger cookies for the children to smell and decorate and ginger smelling playdough for the children to create whatever ginger food that wanted to! We added two baking trays, one with a gingerbread man and the other with the functions of a oven to give a real life aspect to the tray, along with a saucepan and rolling pins. To include literacy, we added key words around the tray and The Gingerbread Man story for the children to potentially learn new language. To make the tray exciting we covered the base in flour and ginger spice to allow the children to get messy whilst playing. 

IMPACT: The children absolutely loved this tray and were extremely excited to get stuck in an explore all aspects. The children were eager to smell all the different types of ginger in the tray. Some children said ‘It smells like chocolate!’ While other children would tell the adult ‘I don’t know!’ as if it was a new smell to them. A few of the children were more interested in the textures of the ginger in the tray, some children told an adult ‘It feels hard’ whilst others said ‘It feels like cream’ Most of the children used the ingredients to create their very own cookies with different emotions on them! They used the ginger purée to draw on happy faces, excited faces and sad faces! A few of the children took a different approach than usual to the play dough, they used the ends of their rolling pins to mould and squash the play dough into the bottom of the saucepan before added the cookies on top and using the rolling pin to bash them into crumbs. The children used their fingers to crumble up the ginger sticks and add them to their saucepans as well as sprinkling in flour and ginger spice.  


INTENT: The tray we created this week was a Winter Wonderland. We wanted the children to learn lots of words related to winter, including Ice, Snow and Cold. We also wanted the children to get a sensory experience out of the tray, using their hands and mouths. We also wanted the children to learn about the different animals that lives in the artic. 

IMPLEMENT: We created the winter wonderland tray by placing blue tissue paper down as the sea/ice. Then we used some white tissue paper as the snow. We also screwed some white tissue paper up and made them into snow balls and placed them around the tray with different animals spread out. We then made an ice berg out of foil, and placed some penguins on top of it. To the side of the tray we made an igloo out of ice cubes for the animals to sit in. We also placed some ice over the blue tissue to make it like ice bergs sticking out of the sea. 

IMPACT: The children absolutely loved exploring our wonderful icy winter wonderland tray. We used our hands to explore and feel the ice cubes, before using our mouths to taste them “Like water” they said, as the ice cubes started to melt onto their hands. One of the children said “I like water and ice”. We also asked “What do penguins do?” They replied “Like this” and waddled their bodies side to side. We then started to move the animals round the tray, over the ice and onto the foil iceberg. They enjoyed using the screwed up white tissue paper as snowballs throwing them across the tray, pretending to have a snowball fight. 


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