Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Friday 7 October 2022

Sensory Tray Play Ideas

Are you looking for ideas and activities for your tray play, tuff tray and sensory play? This blog post links to LOTS of sensory tray play activities for you to try. Simply scroll down, find the activity you like and click on the link to go to the full blog post with all of the information and resources needed.  Have a read of our complete guide to tuff trays if you need some more info first!

sensory tray play ideas

Life Cycle of a frog tuff tray

Perfect for pre-schoolers and primary aged children alike - this tuff tray activity demonstrates how to make frog spawn, tadpoles and a realistic looking frog pond for sensory play. Incorporates number play in a fun way.

life cycle of a frog and frog pond tuff tray

Honey Bees Tuff tray

Are you looking for fun ideas to celebrate national bee day, or to learn about the life cycle of a bee using all of the senses? This Honey Bee tuff tray blog post includes ideas to show how a bee grows and the different foods they produce. Includes information on books to help aid learning. 

Lifecycle of a bee and honey bee tuff tray activity

Sensory Coffee bean play tuff tray

This post explains both the physical gross motor skills and sensory benefits in using the resources and materials in this coffee bean tuff tray set up to stimulate learning. Included extension activities to continue the play over a number of days. 

Coffee bean sensory tuff tray and grinder

Ice cream role play tuff tray

The perfect summer sensory play - this post explains how to use different mediums to set up an ice cream role play tuff tray and area for your little ones to explore and play. Includes a recipe for ice cream playdough and ideas for alternative pretend ice cream too. 

ice cream role play tuff tray activity

Dinosaur island tuff tray

Great for for your little dinosaur lovers! This post not only includes ideas and inspiration for a dinosaur island tuff tray set up, it also has information on how to create a 'dinosaurs past and present' activity - including fossil hunting and how to make your own dinosaur dig with a video demo too. 

dinosaur island tuff tray activity

Afternoon tea Cafe tuff tray

One of our favourite role play set ups - an afternoon tea tuff tray! This was modelled on the famous Betty's Tea Rooms and includes information on how to make pretend role play versions of their food such as fondant fancies, fat rascals, sandwiches etc. Incorporates lots of language and also mathematical play. Video walk through included.

afternnoon tea role play food afternoon tea role play area

Mud Kitchen sensory play

A brilliant blog post looking at the benefits of using a mud kitchen in your outdoor area, the resources you could include and how you can use a mud kitchen to extend learning through play! Includes images, information and activity ideas.

mud kitchen ideas and accessories

Emotions provision area

Providing children with tangible resources to help regulate and understand abstract emotions and feelings can be incredibly helpful. Have a look at how this set up was used successfully in a Reception classroom and at hoe to direct children to a space for managing emotion and sorting out problems. Includes free printables.

Emotions area and feelings table

The Rainbow Fish sensory tuff tray ideas

Ideas and planning linked to the popular children's story book The Rainbow Fish. Includes links to resources, images, inspiration and a full planning sheet for a fish investigation activity. 

The Rainbow Fish sensory play activities and planning

Sensory potions tuff tray play

Making STEM and science fun! Encourage your little wizards to expore and investigate using fun potion and pipette  resources 

potion bottles and pippettes sensory play

Fairy mark making tuff tray

A fun mini set up for encouraging pre and emergent writers to mark make in a fun way linked to an interest around fairies! Includes images, info and resource suggestions. 

sensory fairy mark making tray play

19 tuff trays for open ended play

A blog post with a range of fun and open ended tuff tray set ups to stimulate learning, curiosity and wonder - includes images and information for lots of tray play ideas

a range of open ended tuff tray activity ideas

Open Plan sensory playroom set up

Are you looking for ideas of how to set up your area or playroom to allow for open ended, sensory play? Have a read of this post which explains the benefits aswell as providing lots of images and a video walk through.

open plan shelves in a sensory playroom

Mini Tray play shelves ideas

Perfect for those old fashioned school trays! These Gratnell Tray play set ups fit perfectly onto Ikea Kallax shelves, have inserts available for tinker trays and plenty of ideas for small scale tray play. Have a read of this post for some leaning through play ideas...

gratnells school trays activities on ikea kallax shelves

gratnells school trays activities on ikea kallax shelves

The snowman tuff tray ideas

Are you looking for fun Christmas tuff tray ideas? This tuff tray activity focuses on Raymond Briggs "The Snowman" story and includes instructions and resource ideas to recreate this yourself. Also links to our youtube video showing you how to create a snowman sensory stressball. 

The Snowman tuff tray activity with ice snowman and sensory jelly

Sensory homemade playdough

Are you looking for how to make some fab sensory homemade playdough? This Valentine's Day tuff tray activity includes a video demo and recipe 

valentines sensory tuff tray and playdough

Valentines day tray play

A mini version of our valentine's day tuff tray, this activity uses our favourite wooden tray table alongside valentine's themed resourced for open ended play.

valentines sensorywooden play tray

sensory playdough on the tuff tray with child walking on it

Indoor tray play ideas

Stuck inside due to illness or bad weather? This blog post includes over 60 play ideas for you to try out when you're stuck at home. 

60+ play ideas for when you're stuck at home

Role play food ideas

Want to make some realistic looking pretend food for your role play area or home corner? This blog post and youtube video shows you how

realistic Home made role play food

Technology tray play ideas

Wondering how to incorporate technology into your eyfs setting? You may be surprised to discover just what 'technology' actually includes! Have a read of this post for more info, and ideas.

technology resources in the EYFS

Fairy butterfly wings tutorial

A beautiful, sensory leaning opportunity for teaching symmetry with the end result being a perfect role play accessory! This post includes a how to video for making fairy butterfly wings using dried and pressed flowers.

fairy butterfly wings using dried and pressed flowers

Felt number hearts tray play idea

This post includes a tutorial on how ti make needle felted number hearts which can be incorporated into your tray play activities. 

needle felted rainbow hearts with numbers

Ikea Flisat desk idea

Are you wondering how best to set up and use your ikea flisat sensory desk? This post explains how to make the most of your tray play table without the need to drill or stick anything to your wall!

IKea flisat desk with skadis pegboard

Sensory play for developing language

Looking for ideas and advice for how to help babies and young children develop their speech and language? This post uses sensory play to introduce and explore new language

 green sensory toys and objects laid out on a green mat

Pumpkin decomposition tray play

Teach your little ones all about the life cycle of a pumpkin by watching the decomposition process after Halloween! 

Decomposing pumpkins over time

Sensory pouches tutorial

Baby safe sensory play using home made sensory pat mat pouches! Follow the link to the post above to learn how to make these quickly and easily yourself. 

DIY sensory pouches tutorial using laminate pouches

Sensory bottles tutorial

Sensory bottles are a great way to introduce sensory play to babies and toddlers safely. Learn how to make your own using different resources by clicking the link to the sensory bottles tutorial above.

glitter sensory bottles tutorial

Sensory play mat tutorial

Finding a fun and engaging playmat to help babies with tummy time can be challenging as the cost for small businesses to get every element CE/UKCA tested would be excessive. This blog post shows you how to make your own and which resources to use. 

 DIY sensory activity mat DIY sensory activity mat

Toddler activities roundup 1

A roundup of sensory activities aimed specifically at toddlers, with images and tried and tested info. 

EYFS toddler activities roundup

Toddler activities roundup 2

More tried and tested sensory activities aimed at toddlers and young children to help with learning through play. 

eyfs toddler learning through play ideas

Anticipation box activity

Perfect for the end of the day! The children place their items in the box secretly in the morning and we all 'anticipate' what could be in there before the big reveal at the end. This post explains how to use sensory information and questioning to aid learning opportunities relating to literacy and maths. 

anticipation box

outdoor play ideas

Want to know what outdoor play is so important? Looking for ways to make this more exciting? Have a read of this post. 

outdoor toys for learning through play

Rainbow Spaghetti

Rainbow spaghetti never fails to make for exciting sensory play for all ages. Learn the easiest, fail safe way of making vibrant rainbow spaghetti in this post. 

Rainbow spaghetti on a tuff tray

How can you support my blog?

If you have enjoyed reading my blog and would like to support me further, any of the following would be hugely appreciated: