What on earth is a tough tray?
They go by a few names.. tough tray, tough spot, cement tray. Ultimately it’s a large octagonal tray that you can put things in. The beauty of them is that they contain the products, yet they’re shallow enough that babies can crawl in and out of them. They’re also shallow enough that children aren’t going to hurt themselves if they fall out. Tough trays are also super easy to store as they will stand up and slide behind things like sheds and garages (unlike the usual sand pits and paddling pools that take up half of the garden!)
What can you put in them?
Honestly? Anything!! Water, sand, soil, slime… anything your little ones want to play in can go in a tough tray. I like to use mine as a container for some small world play too. I pop a little farm scene in there with farm animals or even cars and chalk on some race tracks and you have a lovely little contained setting for some imaginative play. My pink tough tray is regularly home to my little girl’s Peppa pig figurines or my little boys Paw Patrol pups. For some reason the tough tray just makes it so much more exciting and interesting to them. If the toys were just put on the carpet or a table they just wouldn’t have the same excitement.
I love to use my trays as an area for a specific craft activity too. I use mine to set up playdoh activities, finger painting, card making or even maths activities such as sorting toys by colour or size. Using the trays in this way enables children to keep activities separate and helps them to distinguish different areas.
And of course, my trays are regularly out at home too. I love them in the back garden as sand and water trays. They’re slimline so you don’t need too much product in them; half a bag of sand fills them up perfectly. They are great for indoor activities such as playdoh – children can sit in the tray rather than sitting on the floor and getting it stuck to everything!
Everyone needs a tough tray!
So, if I’ve managed to convince you that your home or garden needs a tough tray, here’s a good place to buy one…
To book yourself onto a messy play class where you can road test a tough tray for yourself, check out this link to find your nearest class!