13 Out Of This World Tuff Tray Space Ideas

For any intergalactic loving little ones, space themed sensory ideas and games are probably at the top of their most loved activities.

We’ve compiled some of the best tuff tray space ideas that will satisfy those intergalactic adventures whilst promoting communication, fine motor skills, creativity and more in your little ones.

Scroll down to find your next idea, and bookmark this post to refer back to when you need your next play idea!

13 Tuff Tray Space Ideas

1.Name The Planets

If you’re looking for an educating space idea that will help to promote communication, this is a real favorite of ours!

Lay out cards (they could be proper cards or hand drawn) with the names of the planets and add the planets in play dough form – you could get your little one to make these up!

Get them to match up the names of the planets, getting them to call each one out whilst matching it to the correct play dough figurine.

Instagram image credit: @the_little_adventurer_

2. Counting The Stars

Fo budding mathematicians, this is a great play idea. With a number focus, this tuff tray idea encourages your little one to put the stars into the correct order.

This promotes recognition whilst aiding those all important numerical skills too. Add an additional element of fun with stardust, and even playdough.

Instagram image credit: @missh_cp

3. Moon Rocks

A bit of building fun with maths chucked in for this space inspired play idea. Use moon rocks to complete the part whole models. Create the moon rocks by scrunching together some tin foil and add them to a little basket.

Get your little one to add the correct amount of moon rocks to each planet by combining the numbers correctly.

Instagram image credit: @ks1_team

4. Space Sensory Play

A fun idea for toddlers that will engage all the senses in this space exploration sensory play. Add words to the tuff tray that signify all the different sounds that can be heard in space and recreate those with different materials.

Use tin foil, tape, plastic bottles, glue sticks and more to create a fun sensory play idea.

Instagram image credit: @jess_eyfs

5. Space Mission

Take inspiration from the below and setup a space mission with astronauts and space themed figurines including all of the planets and a rocket ship.

Add star sequin confetti for a fun feel and set off your little one to create their own space role play.

Instagram image credit: @glitterinreception

6. Motorised Solar System

This motorised solar system is a creative and fun way to teach little ones how planets move around the sun. Add written messages to the tuff tray and accompany it with a book on space to extend the learning.

Instagram image credit: @homeschoolingtwoboys

7. Zoom To The Moon

Use the story book Zoom to the moon for the background behind this play idea. Add figurines and create moon like structures with tin foil – this is one of the easiest to create as most of us have tin foil lying around at home.

Create a backdrop on the tuff tray with sparkles or sequins for an intergalactic setup.

Instagram image credit: @_little.thinkers_

8. Exploring Magnets

Combine space exploration with magnets on the moon. This fun tuff tray idea is designed to help those fine motor skills in your little one.

Add marbles, magnets and space figurines, setup on a space themed piece of material or even blanket. Fun fancy dress outfits, optional!

Instagram image credit: @nurseryteachernortheast

9. Learning About Space

Toddlers and beyond will love this moon landing tuff tray setup. Create crumbly moon sand that will engage little one’s hands and senses, and add space figurines with their names.

This will encourage role play, communication and language learning.

Instagram image credit: @eyfsreceptionteacher2022

10. Moon Sand!

Anything that involves a sensory element will ignite fun and exploration, and moon sand is an absolute must to soften a moon landing from earth!

You can create moon sand easily with an 8 parts flour to 1 part oil mixture, it compacts but crumbles easily which makes it the perfect combination for moon sand.

Add star shaped cutters, figurines and the names of the planets to add an educational element to an out of this world setup.

Instagram image credit: @teachwithfi

11. Space Playdough

If you’re looking for an alternative to moon sand, space playdough is another great sensory idea. Create your own or opt for grey playdough and encourage little ones to create planet shaped figures.

Add another sensory element with hundreds and thousands!

Instagram image credit: @thedancing_nanny

12. Can You Build A Rocket?

If you have a space and construction mad little one, this might be their favorite tuff tray yet!

Lay out everything they need to create their own rocket ship, add figurines, a story book and write onto the tuff tray for further fun.

Instagram image credit: @playfulsenses.midulster

13. Space Experiment

Finally, space isn’t space without a fun science experiment, right?!

This sand and crazy foam activity doesn’t need to be perfect, but it will be a lot of fun. Get your little ones to experiment with mixing the solutions with the sand for a fun space explosion! We recommend the following items for this setup;

  • Sand with bicarb
  • Coloured water with vinegar
  • Pippetes
  • Syringes
  • Crazy foam
  • Alien shaped stars

You should always provide guidance with your little one when undertaking activities of this nature.

Instagram image credit: @eyfs_nursery_world_tuff_trays

Do you have any other fun space tuff tray ideas we should try? Please share them with the community in the comments below for our space loving little ones!

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Susan Sage
Susan Sage is a dedicated mother of two, whose journey through parenthood has fueled her passion for sharing knowledge and expertise with other parents. Her articles are a treasure trove of insights, offering practical advice, emotional support, and innovative ideas to help parents navigate the complexities of raising children in today's world.

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