I say this every time we post a new messy play blog or social media post; messy play is SO beneficial for children. Through messy play they learn about; textures; tastes; smells; colours; experimentation; the list goes on. Hopefully I can change some parents view points of messy play and show just how great it is! Early Years Resources also agree that messy play is amazing, that is why they sent us this mirrored tuff spot tray mat so we could you guys ideas on how to use one.
Shaving foam messy play
We love messy play with shaving foam because it’s just so easy to clean, it’s cheap and the kids love it! We’ve done the shaving foam messy play a couple of times with the mirrored tuff spot tray mat so I thought I would share pictures from both times.
This is from the first time we did shaving foam with the mirrored tuff spot tray mat.
This is a fab activity to practice some mark making. Shaving foam is so versatile and can be used many different ways, shaving foam is always our go-to messy play for a simple activity!
This is from the second time we used the mirrored tuff spot tray mat with shaving foam. This time we went into the garden!
We added food colouring this time and some crepe paper to brighten it up. The boys loved the addition of the crepe paper and Mylo had lots of fun mixing the food colouring in and experimenting with the colours.
Frozen flowers sensory play
The frozen flowers are one of my personal favourites for a sensory activity. Just look at how beautiful they are!
I filled a large bowl with warm water and got the paintbrushes and sponges out so we could melt them. It obviously helped that we had like 18 degree sun in the garden but the activity works well anyway.
The addition of the mirrored tuff spot tray mat worked wonders for the reflection of the ice and added an extra layer to the sensory experience for the boys.
I made these frozen flower sensory balls by putting flowers, petals, leaves and grass (that the boys helped me collect) inside a balloon. I then filled the balloons with water and stuck them in the freezer. That is literally it! Something so beautiful came from something so easy, can you believe it? I’m going to build on this one soon and try a few of my crafting skills out.
We havent done a frozen fruit tuff spot before but when I saw how well the sensory flowers turned out with the mat I just had to try more frozen tuff spots.
We have loads of frozen fruit in our freezer that we use to make smoothies so I could literally take them out of there and we were ready. If you don’t have any frozen fruit to hand then you can always cut up normal fruit and shove it in the freezer for a few hours!
The mirrored tray worked quite well with this activity because as the fruit started to melt, you could see its reflection and the juices running on the tray.
Zimpli Kids Snoball pack
Who says that you can’t have snow in the summer? This was a last minute thing when I realised that I had it in my craft cupboard (it’s like narnia in there, I’m not even joking). This heap of snow was made using the whole box of the snoball packs. All you do is mix the powder with water and hey presto! Easy peasy!
The boys had so much fun playing with this; it was a very strange consistency but it felt really nice! It was actually a perfect activity to do in the heat.
The snow just looked amazing against the mirrored tray! We added in the boys buckets and spades as well as all of their sand moulds and their gardening equipment. Because it was such a bright day, the reflection of the snow and the sun just beamed off the mirrored tray and made everything seem much brighter and fun! This is how great it looked:
Amazing right? And so quick to set up too, can’t get much better than that though can’t you.
Now this is an absolutely fantastic tuff spot, and anything goes! Rainbow rice is great as an addition to another tuff spot or as a focus in its own right. We kept this one simple and just added; plates, bowls, plastic cutlery and pans.
If you would like to make this into a fine motor activity then you can add tweezers and get the children to separate the colours, but tweezers only, no hands allowed!
To make rainbow rice you will need:
- Food colouring
1. Pour some rice into a container with a lid (this is for just 1 colour because we have to do them one at a time).
2. Put a teaspoon of vinegar the rice, close the container and give it a good shake.
3. Now put a couple of drops of food colouring into the container, close the lid and shake shake shake!
4. That’s 1 colour done, empty the rice onto a tray and leave it to dry (it shouldnt take too long) and move onto the next colour!
It’s another fab opportunity for some mark making too!
Reflective tuff spot
We love a good reflective tuff spot! This was the first thing that I thought of when we received the mirrored tuff tray mat. The reflective tuff spot doesn’t start when the tuff spot is ready, it starts by collecting everything to put into it. The boys obviously helped me find everything reflective and shiny in the house, so the activity started as a scavenger hunt!
In our reflective tuff spot we had:
- Cooking utensils
- Mirrored tuff spot tray mat
- Cookie cutters
- Foil from chocolate
- Foil banners (we used our birthday banners)
- Craft supplies (stars etc)
- Scrunched up tin foil
- Hair clips
- Cheese grater
Literally anything that we could find!
Whenever I do this activity, whether it’s in a childcare facility or at home with my boys, the kids go mad for it. Children are like magpies and anything shiny, sparkly or reflective always catches their attention.
How these tuff spots aid child development:
Sensory aspects – smell and texture and possibly taste (if you have children like mine)
Expressive arts – being able to create, explore and use their imagination
Mathematics – exploring colours, colour mixing, space and volumes
Personal, Social & Emotional – parallel playing, sharing and building relationships, communication and reading social cues, self esteem building, awareness of others feelings
So which one of these is your favourite?
We were sent this item in order to write this post. All opinions and images are that of my own.