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There are endless ways to use a Tuff spot tray, here are some fun ideas to extend the children’s sensory experience.

Used in school and home settings for over a decade, Active World Tuff Spot Trays offer a flexible contained space for open-ended play. 

The large size tuff spot tray (1m in diameter) and 8 sides encourage group play – there’s room for up to 6 children to play comfortably together.
The octagonal shaped tuff spot tray has raised sides that are perfect for containing sensory materials, messy play and small world scenes in one place. 

Great ways to use a Tuff Spot

There are endless ways to use a Tuff spot, here are some fun ideas to extend the children’s sensory experience.

Tuff spots are a great way for all children to explore a range of activities and materials at a low level.  Babies and preschool aged children can explore resources in the tray by lying or sitting on the floor to access the tray. Check out 10 great ways to use a #tuffspot

1.Food play

Using different types of food in the Tuff spot allows children to feel different textures. Baked beans, cooked spaghetti and mashed potato allow the children to experiment with different materials and experiment with mixing them together. Adding utensils enables the children who do not enjoy messy play to take part in the activity, whilst supporting their learning in using tools

2.Sensory play

Why not support the children in making their own gloop.
Mix the ingredients in the large #tuffspot tray and then let the children explore the texture of the gloop. There are many other sensory play ideas you could do using a tuff spot tray. Visit our Pinterest page for more ideas

tuff spot tray ideas

3.Animal world

Creating a small world area using your Tuff spot supports children’s imagination. Create mounds of earth using compost and pockets of water, adding sticks and leaves from the outside area to create a animal farm. Children will love stomping the small world of animals through the different areas

4.Building structures

This is a great idea for children that love building and creating structures. Add lots of different sized wooden blocks to the tray alongside some wet sand and spades. Allow the children to use the wet sand as cement to piece the blocks together and create buildings and structures. This will support the children’s creative development and their problem solving skills.

5.Ice cube play

Freeze some Arctic small world animals in a bowl of water and leave on the Tuff spot alongside some tools. Allow the children to chip away at the ice blocks to discover the hidden animals. The children will enjoy trying to melt the ice to see who is hiding whilst developing their problem solving skills. Another great activity is to provide children will different colours of paint and let them paint the ice cubes.
tuff spot tray


Add a range of small, hard materials such as pulses, pasta and rice to the Tuff spot and mix them together. Then offer some small sorting bowls and chunky tweezers allowing the children to sort the materials into the bowls using the tweezers. This activity will support children’s fine motor skills alongside their hand eye coordination.
Take a look at some great sorting ideas here

For more great ideas with images of peoples usage of Tuff Spot trays visit our social page


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