Tuff Spot Learning

18th Mar 2015
Tuff Spot Learning

A tool that began life in a builder’s yard has become one of the Early Years profession’s favourite resources.  Tuff spots were originally used in the construction industry as mixing trays but have recently been adopted by nurseries as a multipurpose resource.  The trays are simple, cheap, practical and versatile.  Messy play, sand and water activities, arts and crafts, small world scenes and creating displays are just a few of the many tuff spot activities on offer.

Sarah Scandle, Nursery Manager at Kids 1st Hexham, agrees that tuff spots are extremely versatile as they can be used with any topic:  “Our pre-school topic this term is birds so we put leaves, twigs and mud into the tray so the children could make their own nests,” said Sarah, “whereas the Seahorse children have created a jungle scene in their tuff spot to tie in with their jungle topic.”  Kids 1st Hexham has a dedicated Tuff Spots Champion, Nursery Nurse, Jade Metcalfe, to ensure the trays are used to their full potential

The babies at Kids 1st Low Fell have been enjoying a messy play session in their tuff spot.  Giggles and squeals of delight filled the air as the youngsters enjoyed throwing the flour around and pouring it over each other.  Amy Hedley-Trott, Nursery Manager at Kids 1st Low Fell, likes that the resource can be used with all age groups: “The trays can be left flat on the floor allowing babies and smaller children to crawl into the learning environment or put onto a stand or table to better suit older children.”

If parents would like to have their own tuff spot to use at home they can by picked up from DIY stores for around £18.  Sarah Scandle also recommends smaller alternatives for home use: “a plastic dinner tray is great for enjoying tuff spot activities with your own children.