Weekly Tuff Tray Challenge!


This week the children at MonkeyMoos have had the chance to explore some more amazing trays!!! All three trays this week were amazing and very inviting and the children were able to learn new and different things. Highdown created a Witches Cauldron themed around Halloween as it has been Halloween this week and also themed around ‘Room on the broom’ book. Worthing created Halloween and bonfire tuff tray to encourage the toddlers to explore and for them to be able to expand their knowledge. Winklebury have created a dinosaur swamp which was themed around the children’s interest which is currently dinosaurs and sensory play to encourage the children to explore and use their imitation skills.

Who will be this weeks winners…………

Witches Cauldron Tuff Tray

INTENT ~ The intent of my “Witches Cauldron Tuff Tray” was to get the children into the theme of Halloween and get them to understand the book “Room on the broom.” I wanted the children to recognise the passage from the book where all the animals had thrown something into the cauldron. I also wanted the children to recognise the different colours and textures being used.

IMPLEMENTATION ~ I had used leaves from the garden for the base of the tuff tray to create an “outside” theme I had also used a silver tin and placed it into the tuff tray to represent the cauldron. I had gathered sensory bottles filled with different colours and textures and placed them into the silver tin. I had then filled different sized bowls up with milkshake powder, biscuit crumbs, taco shells and mud. The silver tin was surrounded by different types of mixing spoons to encourage all children to get involved.

IMPACT ~ The children were all engaged in the Tuff tray they wanted to jump right in and start enjoying the activity. The children had recognised the colours and even the different textures, they all waited their turn to add something into the tin whilst saying a magic word to create a spell. When all ingredients were added to the tin they had all used their imaginations to come up with a name for their potion, they stirred the potion thoroughly and in sync with each other they even wanted to add more ingredients but overall the children had a fantastic time in the tuff tray

Halloween & Bonfire Tuff Tray

INTENT ~ For the tuff tray this week I decided to create a tray based on Halloween and bonfire night for the toddlers to enjoy and explore. I created this tuff tray because I wanted the toddlers to expand their knowledge on two very special days this week as well as exploring how to stay safe on bonfire night this weekend. 

IMPLEMENTATION ~ To create this tray, for the base I added grass and lots of leaves, and little pumpkins and acorns to represent the autumnal season, I then painted a fire on the tray and used brown pipe cleaners as logs to make a camp fire. I then scattered marshmallows on cocktail sticks around the fire for the children to model roasting them. I added cut out people to watch the firework display and made fireworks out of pipe cleaners, sprinkles and glitter to light up the dark sky. I also added a fire safety poster for the toddlers to look at together.  

IMPACT ~ The Toddlers absolutely loved exploring this tuff tray, they loved having the opportunity to talk about what they did for Halloween, we also talked about bonfire night and how to stay safe around fire works. The toddlers learnt lots of new key words to describe the fire works like “bang!!” And “pop!!” they also enjoyed making different sounds like “whosssshhhh” and using their hands to pretend they were fire works. One of the children really enjoyed telling me about the pumpkins they carved with their parents and how they celebrated halloween. The toddlers especially enjoyed tasting the marshmallows and pretending they were “hot” after they tasted them.  

Dinosaur Tuff Tray

INTENT ~ This week’s tuff tray was based around the children’s shared interest of sensory play and small word toys and of course dinosaurs! All of our children love sensory play and getting messy as well as dinosaurs. so I created a sensory tray for the children to play and explore in!. The tray invited the children to come and play in it and encouraged the older children to socialise and talk about their interests. 

IMPLEMENTATION ~ In this tray we used hot chocolate powder, water and shaving foam. We combined the hot chocolate powder with the shaving foam to make it turn brown to look like mud. Then we added it to the tray and added water to make it look wetter. Once we had laid out the shaving foam and water we added the dinosaurs and bowls filled with shaving foam. 

IMPACT ~ The children really enjoyed playing in this tray, they were exploring the sensory textures and telling the grown ups all about it. They were all really engaged in play and enjoyed using their imaginations to further their play! A few children were pretending to stomp the dinosaurs and the children were also amazing at sharing the dinosaurs with each other and taking turns in having a dinosaur of their chose which really encouraged their PSE development which is a next step for a few of them!. Overall the children had so much fun getting messy and enjoyed this group interaction with each other. 

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