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Polar Animals- Tuff Tray Activity

December 13, 2017Jenny

With all the snow and ice around this week, it seemed fitting to create our own tuff tray activity with polar animals!

There are so many ways of putting this together; foam soap, porridge oats and rice all make good ‘snow’, but we had some cotton wool so used that this time. We borrowed this excellent book from the library to start us off and used the images and text inside to talk about what life was like at the North and South Poles.

From talking, we came up with some words which we would like on the tray. Little wanted cold, ice and frozen. Big was keen on ambush, predator, stalk and hunt!

Tuff Trays are so versatile (see here, here, and here) and can be used for so many different types of activity. Sometimes it is nice to ‘frame’ an activity, even one like this which is not particularly messy, so the printed words and cotton wool balls don’t go flying all over the room, but stay in one place.

As well as the snow and ice, we added blue paper for the sea and green for the land. We had a good chat about animals which live in or near the arctic circle and migrate out of it to avoid the winter. The book, by Simon Holland, was a great help with exploring this and we used it to learn about different animals together.

We talked about how penguins and polar bears would not meet in real life (penguins being from Antarctica, and Polar Bears from the Arctic) but because this was a ‘Polar Animals’ activity they were allowed on the tray together, just this time! 😉

We really loved exploring this theme together; once we got into it, I left the kids to play on their own. Inevitably this led to a ‘hunting’ session of the predators and prey, but they are learning all the time, and enjoyed storytelling with the different animals developing characters as they talked to each other.

If you would like to set up an activity like this, a tuff tray is certainly not essential; any box can become a ‘sensory bin’ where children can dig for different artefacts related to a theme. You could also easily use the animals and make a story sack or basket to go along with this book, too, even adding a couple of fiction books with penguins and polar bears in to extend it further. If you did decide to get a tray, this affiliate link through to amazon is similar to the one we have and we do use it a lot, for all sorts of activities:

Have you set up a ‘winter’ themed activity this year? I’d love to see your ideas- just tag Rabbit Ideas on social media.

*Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links to products similar to ones we have used. If you purchase though the links, I may receive a small percentage of the profits to support the running of this blog. This will not affect the cost of the products to the buyer. 

*Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links to products similar to ones we have used. If you purchase though the links, I may receive a small percentage of the profits to support the running of this blog. This will not affect the cost of the products to the buyer. 

The ladybirds' adventures

Comments (3)

  • Claire @ The Ladybirds’ adventures

    December 17, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    What a great idea for tuff tray. We don’t use ours enough. Thanks for joining #bloggerpinparty

    1. Jenny Rumney

      December 20, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      Yes, it is easy to forget about it; maybe you’ll get chance over Crimbo to get it out a couple of times. 🙂

  • Helena

    December 24, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Love these sensory play ideas. I feel I really should be doing it with my girls. #bloggerpinparty

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