Tuff Tray Challenge!!!


The children and staff have had great fun enjoying all the different tuff trays this week and the challenge between the nurseries was a hard one to decide as everyone did something different and looked like they enjoyed and got the most out of them.

I am happy to say after all the voting our winners are WINKLEBURY!!!

INTENT: To explore different life cycles, starting to look at the start of life and what happens next. To continue the interest of the children’s which is dinosaurs!
Implementation: children helped by making paper mache, we then colored in shaving foam and added straw as a nest for them. I then added a fry and wet textures to create a realistic dinosaur egg.
Impact; the children loved this tray. The acted out by role playing baby dinosaurs being born and covered in goo. They broke the egg shells and did lots of stomping and roaring! We talked about being a baby and what babies can or can’t do. The children all agreed that the baby dinosaurs were so small so they had to be careful.


My tuff tray was based around the children’s interest in cutting and moulding playdough, the pizza idea was so the children could express their cutting and moulding skills throughout the idea of them making a pizza in the ‘MonkeyMoos Pizzaria’. The intention was also so the children could communicate their like and dislikes about pizza toppings and see the similarities and differences between them and their friends.
Implementation –
For my tuff tray I spread flour on the base and wrote words in the flour like ‘cut, roll and bake’. I placed a variety of different utensils for the children to mould their pizza like; playdough cutters, a rolling pin and some wooden spoons. I then gathered different garnishes and toppings like cabbage,carrots,basil, ketchup and coriander. I hand painted a cardboard box to make into a pizza stove and another cardboard box to make a MonkeyMoos branded delivery box, I then placed a silver tin, some aprons and some oven gloved on top of the stove to interpret some role play.
The children were absolutely intrigued and excited by the tray, they all took part in flattening the playdough and spreading the ketchup evenly accross the surface. They all then began to add a fair amount of toppings and seasonings to the pizza, as they were adding on the toppings they discussed the different food they would add to their very own pizza. They used a wonderful amount of teamwork when lifting up the silver tin to place into the stove and then removing the pizza from the silver tin to place gently into the pizza box and deliver it as a team to one of their ‘hungry customers”. Throughout the process of making their pizza they discussed time limits for the pizza being in the oben, their likes and dislikes and sharing.


The intent is to develop a basic understanding of Understanding The World (UTW EYFS) , gain independence and responsibility. This will also see and understand the changes in the world as well as develop an understanding of a plant’s cycle of life. This will teach the children to care and look after things to see growth and see an impact.

I have set out a planting tuff tray with all the different recourses such as soil, seeds, watering cans, spray cans, spades, pots and soil pot holders. I also added step to step picture sheets which are numbered to help the children understand the order of things they need to do to complete the planting process.

Impact- The children have gained a sense of independence, as well as a basic understanding of the world. They now have a good understanding of the cycle of a plant’s life. This also helped the children with literacy as they used their fine motor skills and hand eye coordination to complete the steps. The children’s favourite part of the activity was definitely using the watering cans as they loved having independence as well as watching the water come out of the cans.



Our intent this week was for the babies to look at all the bright colours and the different textures I used to fill the tray. The children have shown a big interest in animals so we based the tray around learning new animal names and nosies they make. I also wanted the children to develop and become more independent with their hand eye co-ordination and fine motor skills by using the full hand motions or pinching fingers.


I used a wide range of resources to fill the tray with different textures and to separate the tray into different areas of where they animals might live. For examples Blue coloured rice for the water animals, Yellow oats for the ducks, colourful feathers for birds, Sand for the dessert animals, green pasta/ rice for the land animals and lentils for the colour of the tigers. I filled the tray with lots of animals from each section for the children to explore and learn new words and noises.


The babies really enjoyed this sensory tray because the bright colours caught their eyes and they all came straight over to get involved. They loved getting in the tray to be able to explore all the different textures between their toes and hands. We encourage the babies who can vocalise to learn lots of new words and repeat after use eg: Tiger, Duck and Shark!! We also encouraged the babies to make the noises of all the names. which they repeated after use, some of our cleaver babies already new them. Well done babies!!!!

The Babies spent along time exploring the tray and it was left out for the day for them to keep returning to explore a little more.

Leave a comment