It’s time for everybody’s favourite competition, the tuff tray challenge! Who will win this weeks challenge? Winklebury have based their tuff tray around a favourite dinosaur story, rawrrr! Highdown created a cinema popcorn experience, delicious. And Worthing developed their Maths skills with their car inspired tuff tray. BUT WHO WILL WIN?


INTENT: I was reading the children “Three Little  Dinosaurs” which included the three dinosaurs watching their friend flying above a volcano. The children were very interested in what a volcano was and does. So I made the tuff tray to show and explain what a volcano does. 

IMPLEMENT: I used pasta and black shredded paper   on the outside to create different textures to help encourage conversation between the children. I used bicarbonate of soda and vinegar to create an eruption.                

IMPACT: The children were very intrigued to find out what would happen when we mixed the two together. After the reaction had happened the children played with the textures explaining what they felt like. 


INTENT: This weeks tuff tray was based around the nation day ‘Popcorn Day’. We wanted this tuff tray to be exciting, colourful and intriguing for the children and also wanted it to be interactive. Popcorn is a popular snack when visiting the cinema, so the idea was based around going to the cinema and eating popcorn for a yummy snack. We wanted the children to experience a fun snack time in a cosy, cinema like environment. We included tickets to make it a real life experience and a variety of role play foods to encourage talk about healthy eating.  

IMPLEMENT: For this tuff tray, we used rainbow ribbons to make it colourful and exciting for the children  on the top of the tray and then used blankets around the outside to create a dark, cinema like experience underneath the tray. We added lots of comfortable pillows inside the tray to create a that comfortable, cosy feeling when you to the cinema. On the front of the tray, we added a big sign to show cinema tickets, along with tickets placed on the front pillow for the children to collect on entry. This also shows the children that to visit a cinema in a real like situation, you would need to buy tickets! We provided popcorn for the children’s morning snack which they ate in the cosy cinema with a friend where they chatted away and talked about what the popcorn tasted like.

IMPACT: The children were super excited and intrigued in this tray. Most children on arrival to the nursery, asked an adult ‘What is in there?’ as they look a took inside the tuff tray. The adult kept the tuff tray a secret until snack time which built up the excitement for the children! During snack, the adult called over two children at a time and gave them a MonkeyMoo cinema ticket to enter in. The children crawled in, and then the adult handed them a cup full of popcorn. The children chatted away to each other and the adult in the cosy environment. Most of the children said ‘It’s so yummy!’. The adult asked lots of questions like ‘Is the popcorn sweet or salted?’ and ‘Do you like the cinema?’ Which encouraged lots of conversation. A few of the children even elaborated their own play from this and walked around holding a small bowl of popcorn to ask their friends ‘Popcorn for snack!’ 


INTENT: This weeks tuff tray was based on the children’s interest in cars and counting. I wanted the children to learn with me numbers from 1 to 5, counting with me. I also wanted the children to get a sensory experience out of the tray from different materials. I wanted the chidden to learn where different animal lived being he pond or the farm. I waned to expand the children’s vocabulary by learning some keywords; PARKING, CAR, SPACES AND NUMBERS.

IMPLEMENT: This tray was created by drawing out a road with a roundabout using white chalk pen. I then added a section of mud into one of the bottom corners, as our farm for the farm animals, I then added some different shades of blue tissues paper to the other corner to make our pond for the duck and fishes. In the top left hand corner I added a house, round and some people. I then also added some parking spaces around the tray with numbers in. 

IMPACT: This activity was lots of fun! The children came in happily and sat down next to the tray, looking around at the different things set out for them. The children chose a car each and began to push them around the track, saying “Beep beep!” as they moved from one side of the tray to the other. The children counted the parking spaces with me as I pointed to the different numbers in the spaces. The children then started to play with the animals in the mud, counting how many pigs there were and how many cows were there too. They used their hands to experience the sensory feeling of the mud and then used their hands to scrunch up the tissue paper. They picked up the people and placed them on the round about spinning them around. 


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