Tuff Tray Challenge.


It’s the teams favourite time of the week… competition time! The teams across all of our sites compete to win the best tuff tray of the week award! This week we had dinosaurs who were stuck and needed to be cut out of the tuff tray! We had a fun fair themed hook-a-duck game. And we explored x-rays in our funny bones themed tuff tray. But who was this weeks winners?


INTENT: This week’s tuff tray is based on dinosaurs as the children have enjoyed small world play and dinosaurs is a big part of their small world play.It was also away to help develop their fine motor skills as the children had to use scissors to help the dinosaurs get out of the string. The children are very interested in using scissors and the small world so this is why we did this type of tuff tray.

IMPLEMENT: We used lots of different sensory feels to make this tray a little more interesting for the children we used shaving foam, cornflower, rice and crushed cornflakes. We then added different size and types of dinosaurs and added string all around the tray. We added scissors for them to cut the string. 

IMPACT: The children were very eager to take part in this tray. The children stood around nearby while we were setting it up. To start it off before they took part in the tray, We discussed what they could see and what they wanted to play with first. The children enjoyed all areas of this tray and especially the sensory part. They also enjoyed using the scissors to cut the string and helped show each other how to hold the scissors.


INTENT: This tuff tray was based around the nation day ‘Rubber Ducky Day’. We wanted this tuff tray to be fun, colourful and exciting for the children! The aim of the tuff tray was for the children to be able to listen and understand instructions whilst concentrating on the activity and also having lots of fun! The children also had the opportunity to win a candy cane if they were successful in hooking a duck. This showed the children they it they keep trying at something, it can be rewarding! The use of the different colours grabbed the attention of the children and led them to become excited and intrigued. We also incorporated maths into this tuff tray but encouraging the children to match the numbers on the bottom of the duck to the number next to their prize. 

IMPLEMENT: For this tuff tray, we used colourful ribbon as a base to the tray to grasp the children’s attention and get them excited for the activity. We used the paint to dye a bag full of oat a dark blue colour to represent the water, this also provided a different texture for the children to explore. We included 7 ducks with a number at the bottom from 1-7 to encourage children to identify their numbers and try to match them together with the prize numbers. We used our imagination by tying some string around two long magnets to create the rods in which we used to fish the ducks out of the water. On one side of the water we included candy canes for the children to win a yummy prize to take home after using their skills to get the duck out the water!

IMPACT: The children absolutely loved this tuff tray! As every child arrived to MonkeyMoos, they were all excited to eager to take part in the carnival inspired activity! Each child listened intently to the adult explaining the activity and showed amazing focus and concentration when trying to hook the duck. Some children even cheered on their friends and encouraged them when hooking the duck. The children challenged their mathematical skills by being able to recognised the numbers on the bottom of the ducks and match them to the prize numbers. The children were extremely excited after winning their prize, they bounced around the nursery telling all their friends and the adults ‘I won a candy cane! I won a candy cane!’ The children continued to talk about this throughout the day and even came back to do the activity again just for fun! 


INTENT: This weeks tuff tray was based on the national day which was National pharmacy day! This inspired me to create a literacy tuff tray about the book Funny bones! This activity will encourage the children’s ability to story tell as well as provide role play opportunities by becoming pharmacists and doctors! This activity will include matching activities by matching each body part to the skeletons body. This further encourages the children’s understanding of different body parts and encourages their sense of self and what similarities/differences relate to them.

IMPLEMENT: This tray was created by adding the book Funny bones to read whilst the children explore the tuff tray. I then added Skelton x-ray pictures to create different parts of the Skelton from the book. I then added a Skelton body puzzle with body parts of a Skelton for the children to piece together.  Following this I then added lots of stars around the tray to create the image from the book. This also provided a counting opportunity to count each star.

IMPACT: This activity was a huge success as the children were keen and excited to get involved in the tray! The children approached the tray and initially showed interest in the x-ray body parts. The children tried guessing what each body part was and held it on their bodies! We then spoke about what we look like and what similarities/differences we have to others. We then read the story and pointed out each type of Skelton we could see and then matched them to the ones in the tray. Following on from this we then loved doing the Skelton body puzzle to piece each body part together!


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