19 Fun Sensory Spring Tuff Tray Ideas for kids

Tuff tray sensory play is the perfect antidote for bored preschoolers! Tuff trays can pretty much be transformed into a whole host of new activities as the seasons and weeks pass by, so you’ll always have new play ideas for your little ones.

Spring is all about new beginnings, animals and the start of better weather, so you can get those tuff trays outside for some messier play too.

If you’re looking for some fun ideas for your kids next tuff tray activity, take inspiration from these 19 fun ideas that kids will love.

19 Fun Sensory Spring Tuff tray Ideas for kids

1.The Perfect Spring Tuff Tray!

Spring into the new season with the most perfect tuff tray setup for your little ones! Recreate a similar setup by introducing different bowls to feature different items.

Add some sensory fun but including bits like fluffy pom pots, hay, real flowers and foliage that they can get stuck into.

Instagram image credit: @_little.thinkers_

2. Have Fun With Flour

Sensory play is always the best play, and little ones will absolutely delight at this tuff tray idea, baking with flour!

If you have a large tuff tray, you can add more elements to this, it will definitely help to contain the mess too! Have a setup with plenty of flour in the middle, you can then spread out various implements around the tuff tray for different types of play.

Include sieves to help with their fine motor skills, things for toppings, flour cake making and little jugs of water so they can throw some messy play in there too!

Instagram image credit: @peques_detania

3. Potting Time!

Spring is the perfect time to get potting for summer. Those little fingers will be green in no time!

Add some soil to the centre of the tuff tray, depending on the age of the child you could swap this for something child friendly to eat such as cocoa powder.

Position a selection of little plant pots, child spades and rakes so they can pot and move the soil about. We love the addition of the dried flowers and leaves which can be added into their pots too.

Instagram image credit: @reflexodaaula

4. Arctic Splash

It’s kinda more of a winter tuff tray idea, but we love this one so much and your child will have endless amounts of fun with their arctic friends on this one.

Fill a tuff tray with some water and simply freeze. Let it defrost slightly before letting your little one have fun with the penguins. You can refreeze every time your little one wants to have another play. You can recreate this in smaller tub trays, refrigerator size dependent, of course!

Instagram image credit: @joys.of.learning

5. Sensory Play Dough Fun

This tuff tray is great for sensory play, the play dough promotes fine motor skills, counting and more. It is the perfect basis for learning!

Get them to squidge the play dough down to fit into specific templates (they don’t just have to be toadstool shaped!).

Instagram image credit: @creative_mama_che

6. Fill The Shapes

Fill your tuff tray with plenty of hundreds of thousands (this is just one idea, you could use other things too like chickpeas or lentils). Add a selection of items to create a little village, they’ll enjoy both sensory and role play with this setup.

Add some shapes that need to be filled. It will promote hand eye coordination getting your little one to fill up the spades and fill the shapes.

Instagram image credit: @jodiewilliamschildminding

7. Gruffalo Inspired Tuff Tray

If you have a fan of the Gruffalo, this might be their favorite tuff tray yet!

Take inspiration from the below and add some saucepans and pots and fill with a selection of items. Your little one will love stirring, and making oat crumble to fill the cake cases.

Instagram image credit: @childquoteoftheday

8. Planting and Harvesting

There’s no better time than planting and harvesting than Spring or Autumn. This setup has been created with air-dry clay for the mini fruit and veggies. It is a colored, soft and foamy clay that is so easy for little hands to manipulate.

For the base of the tray, inspiremyplay suggest the below to make this easy cloud dough;

  • 1 cup of cocoa powder
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup of oil
Instagram image credit: @inspiremyplay

9. Fun At The Seaside

Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside! Create two halves in your tuff tray, add sand to one side and a play dough or water mix in the other side.

Get your little one to match the right sea animals to each section, they can also have some fun at building with the sand and even combining the two different elements.

Instagram image credit: @jodiewilliamschildminding

10. Animal Sorting

This game is the perfect way to develop hand eye co-ordination and fine motor skills. Fill your tuff tray with some straw and add a selection of different colored pots, tongs and animals.

Your little one has to match the right colored animals to their correct pot. It will definitely keep them busy and their minds occupied for an hour or two!

Instagram image credit: @playdayswithjess

11. Cake Baking Time

We all have a little one who loves getting busy in the kitchen! Create an easy way for your little one to get involved from the start. Weigh all your measurements out in advance and divide into separate containers.

It’s then up to your little one to start mixing, they will absolutely love this, and certainly the fruits of their labor too!

Instagram image credit: @playroom_on_the_hill

12. Construction Play Tray

If you have a little one obsessed with construction, trucks and diggers, this one is for them!

Fill your tuff tray with lentils and chickpeas. These items are cost effective and can be reused again. Add their little diggers and they will have so much fun moving around the chickpeas.

Just a disclaimer, to always keep an eye on your little one when small items like this are involved.

Instagram image credit: @hellomamalife

13. Dirty Toys?!

This might be the best one yet! For slightly older preschoolers, fill your tuff tray up outside with soapy water, add the dirty toys and a few cloths.

Let your little one get stuck in by getting them to clean all the toys! It’s a win win all round!

Instagram image credit: @katys_book_shelf

14. Underwater Fun

Another water based activity that is ideal for that nice Spring weather. Fill a tuff tray with water and add some food coloring to give the illusion of green, blue water.

Add a whole host of their sea life creatures and toys and don’t forget to add a small fishing net so your little one can have hours of fun ahead of them.

Instagram image credit: @eyfs_displays_and_tuff_trays

15. Spring Cutting

A great idea to help your kids practice their cutting! Setup a station with some vases with flowers, scissors and staplers.

They will have plenty of Spring fun cutting and making patterns with the flowers, testing their cutting and crafting skills.

Instagram image credit: @earlyyearsemily_

16. Seaside Collecting

Sea themed tuff trays are a huge hit with preschoolers. Add a selection of items to do with the sea and get them to group the items together before they can have endless fun with sealife role play.

Instagram image credit: @keepingthecraziesbusy

17. Pancake Station!

Obsessed! We think this may be one of the best we have seen, and so much fun for Pancake day and beyond.

Get them involved by laying out a number of different sections, from getting them to combine ingredients, to a batter section and a flipping section. This requires parental guidance if you want to create pancakes that you will be eating afterwards…

Instagram image credit: @jodiewilliamschildminding

18. Building Site

We love this Spring inspired building site, if only they looked this colorful! Get those diggers in on the action, building blocks, eggs and cones.

Your little one will have fun navigating the obstacles, loading up the diggers and moving everything around the tuff tray.

Instagram image credit: @mummysminimonster

19. Pink Theme Love Tuff Tray

Creating themed or specific color themed tuff trays is a great way to get your little one learning about colors.

This Valentine’s inspired tray could be used throughout the year. Feature both hard, soft and wet foods for extra sensory joy!

What do you think of these Spring tuff tray ideas? We’d love to hear if you have any others to recommend, do let us know in the comments below!

Instagram image credit: @lifewithlittle_eandtj
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Bjarni Baby

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