A Week of Play – 7 Sensory & Small World Tray Ideas for Toddlers

A Week of Play – 7 Sensory & Small World Tray Ideas for Toddlers

With William still so dependent on me at just 7 weeks old, Florence is having to entertain herself quite a lot at the moment – especially when I’m feeding him. We have a pretty set routine in the mornings now but after lunch & nap time things can get s little fraught if there isn’t something in place to keep Florence busy so I’ve turned to our trusty tuff spot to create some small worlds & sensory play activities to bust the afternoon boredom.

Fairy Water Garden Tuff Spot

Nothing captures Florence’s attention like water play! I filled the tuff spot with water and added some happyland fairies, flower petals, leaves & stems along with some toy cups and saucers to use as boats and offer up the opportunity for pouring. I then added some waterbeads for an extra textural element and it wasn’t long before Florence decided to jump straight in herself.

Frog Pond Small World Tray

As this needed to be on a smaller scale, I used a round stainless steel tray instead of the tuff spot for this play. I added some water to the tray before sprinkling some Zimply Kids slime granules into it. This made for a really swamp like home for our plastic froggy friends! I also added some pebbles, a flower head & stems and a handful of googly eyes as tadpoles.

Flower Plot Tuff Spot

We had such fun with this and it lead into lots of other garden themed play too. I’ve written a whole post on this play here. All you need is some plant pots, some soil and some cut flowers! 

Seaside Small World Tray

Again, instead of the tuff spot, I used our round tray for this one. I made up some zimpli kids blue goo for the sea and used couscous for the sand. I hid someturtle pasta shapes (thank you Co-op) under the ‘sand’along with some cups that look a bit like buckets, some tiny spoons for spades and pebbles. We started on a turtle hunt by digging down through the couscous and then placing them along the shore. I later added some sea creature bath toys too.

Turtle Sands scooping tin

This little tin of couscous and turtle pasta shapes kept Florence amused for days! It’s basically the same as the above without the goo. She would scoop and pour to her hearts content and I often still bring this out for her to play with in her high chair while I cook tea or make William’s bottles.

Easter Egg Soup

We’ve had this plastic box full of waterbeads and plastic eggs out for well over a week and it’s one Florence just keeps on returning to. The high edges of the box keep the waterbeads contained a little more than the Tuff Spot would — those things can sure bounce! She has enjoyed scooping them, filling the eggs with them as well as mixing and simply letting them run through her hands.

On the farm

Florence loves going to the farm and has just recently started to really play independently with her little houses and figures so I put together this sensory small world tuff spot filled with animals. Each part of field has a different ‘floor’ made of either artificial grass, cereal or coffee beans adding a bunch of smells, colours & textures to explore. 

 Painty prints

This one got super messy but was great fun! I covered the tuff spot with paper & poured out three blobs of different coloured paint. I then added some dinosaurs, balls & shapes and showed her how to make prints across the paper. She made quite the masterpiece. (Top Tip – I always dress Florence in her all in one puddle suit to protect her clothes for this kind of play.)

And there we have it, 7 tuff spot and small world play ideas to fill your week with.

F O L L O W  M E :  Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Bloglovin / Pinterest



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *