Tuff spots, also known as builder’s
trays, are a perfect way to provide a range of sensory and exciting play
opportunities for young children. They are popular and ideal for use in
Early Years settings, crèches, playgroups and primary schools. Tuff
spots can also be purchased with different height stands making them
accessible to children of all ages. They are easy to set up and are
hardwearing and durable making them perfect for messy play and sensory
Tuff spots also provide the
opportunity for a group of children to engage together in shared play
developing communication and language through shared thinking and ideas.
Tuff spots which focus on small world play support children’s confidence
in constructing their own stories using available props.
There are so many ways to use a Tuff
Spot. Here are a few tried (and tested!) Tuff Spot ideas.
Construction site – sand, gravel, small boulders, small world
figures, construction vehicles.
Desert Islands- sand, green glitter, miniature logs, tree trunks,
small world figures, boats, palm trees.
‘Down in the Jungle’ – play sand, green split lentils, bark
chippings, small world figures and jungle animals
Making Fossils –Clay, dinosaurs, two tone gravel
Magnetic Word Building – magnetic letters, various word cards,
Water beads- selection of coloured water beads and water, add clear
numbered plastic pots to develop counting skills and number
‘Clean Mud’ – grated soap, shredded tissue paper, raspberry bubble
bath, pink food coloring, and water. Mix together and leave to set
over night. Children will adore the smell and texture of this clean
mud. Add some confetti hearts and shapes for a Valentine’s day
theme. Provide spatulas and scoops to develop hand eye coordination
and exploration of the textures.
Capacity and Number – green lentils, variety of measuring scoops and
Textures – pebbles, pasta, fabrics, ribbons, pipe cleaner, pine
cones, shells, sequins, bubble wrap, netting, foil, cotton wool and
felt. This activity will develop much language around different
textures and allow children to explore the feel of different
‘Let it Snow!’ Artificial snow, silver glitter, sequin snowflakes,
miniature decorative presents, train set and tunnel
Numbered Baubles- selection of baubles, number with a permanent
marker, ribbon, silver glitter. Ideal for developing addition,
subtraction, sequencing, counting and fine motor control through
threading the baubles onto the ribbon.
Mark Making – play sand, glitter, paintbrushes, number and letter
lines to support letter and number formation. Ideal to develop early
mark making through a fun and exciting medium.
‘Under the Sea’ – netting, blue voile fabric, green ribbons, shells,
small world sea creatures, green glitter.
‘Beach Combing’ – play sand, variety of shells, identification
cards, silver glitter.
‘Chick, Chick, Chick, Chick, Chicken’ - Hay, Easter eggs, miniature