This week the children at MonkeyMoos have had the chance to some amazing trays this week!!! Worthing created a dinosaur sensory themed tray to encourage the children to use all of their senses as well as teaching them some basic knowledge about dinosaurs. Highdown created a phonics themed tray to teach the older children about letters and sounds and the younger children to learn about their colours. And lastly Winklebury created their very own construction site to encourage the children to explore their interest more and to help start conversations between themselves.

Worthing’s dinosaur tuff tray

INTENT ~ For my tuff tray this week I created a dinosaur sensory themed tray, which the children love playing with. I wanted the children to use their senses; touch, smell and look to explore the different materials in the tray. I wanted the children to learn where dinosaurs used to live. I had a couple of keywords for the children to repeat; ROAR and STOMP. 

IMPLEMENTATION ~ I had created this tray by placing some green tissue paper on the bottom of the tray as the grass, with some hay in the middle of the tray making it into a nest. I then placed some wooden blocks into the tray as my walls for the dinosaurs to walk along, before scattering the dinosaurs around the tray. I later added some balls of ice which were the dinosaurs eggs that the babies could feel and hold in their hands. I placed the questions and key words around the tray too. 

IMPACT ~ The babies loved coming to explore our sensory dinosaur tray. They sat down and straight away used their hands to feel the ice dinosaur eggs. One of the babies picked up one of the ice eggs and began to use her mouth to feel and taste it. The babies picked up the hay and ice as well as a dinosaur, they used the dinosaur and pretended they were eating the hay and ice “Yum yum yum” they said. The babies copied me as I said “Roar” whilst moving the dinosaurs around the tray.

Highdown’s phonic and colour tuff tray

INTENT ~ The idea around this tuff tray was based on wanting to teach the children about letters and sounds whilst making it different, fun and interactive! It was also a learning opportunity the younger children, who may not be familiar with their letters, to learn and talk about their colours (as the fishes in the tray where made up of different colours). I wanted the children to focus and use their motor skills to use the tweezers to pick up the fishes and then add them to their bowl. The children could either talk about the colours or letters which they picked out.

IMPLEMENTATION ~ For this tray, I dyed two bags of rice blue to represent the sea, I then used different coloured fishes with different coloured letters to swim around in the ‘SEA’. To add to the realness of the tray, I used oats around the rice also gave the children a chance to explore different textures. Around the outside of the tray I added coloured bowls with tweezers for the children to catch their fish and then place them into their specific bowl.

IMPACT ~ The children really enjoyed learning their letters through this fun tuff tray! The older children challenged themselves to search each fish to find all the letters of their names and add them to their bowls. Then extended this by lining up the fish on the ‘SAND’ to correct spell out their name. Some children even challenged themselves to spell words like ‘MUMMY’ or their friends names. The younger children challenged themselves to see how many fishes they could catch by using the tweezers! Some children talked about the different coloured fishes they caught and other children decided to count how many fishes they caught!

Winklebury’s construction site tuff tray

INTENT ~ Over the last few weeks since the children have shown a big interest in the diggers and construction toys. we have been exploring all of the different construction toys we have and in group time we have been discussing all of the digger we see doing construction work outside of nursery. We chose to do the tray to help the children explore their interest more and to help start conversation between the children.

IMPLEMENTATION ~ When the children saw the tray they stated to talk about the diggers and what different materials the could see. The grown up explained what the tray was about before they played. Then the children all explored the tray. The tray was designed around construction and the children talked about what they was going to dig using the different vehicle. In the tray it had sand, mud, different cereals and some stones the children collected on a trip outside of the setting. 

IMPACT ~ The children loved this tray, they recognised it straight away. The children explored the whole tray, understood the way of the tray when playing and enjoyed all the different textures. They were exploring their different ways they could drive and dig using the vehicles. They all were encouraging their other peers to play that weren’t in the tray. Hearing the children speak to each other was so lovely. 


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