Latest
Inspiration
EY Info
Tools
Premium Resources
TNL Jobs
About US
My TNL
Content Filters
Reset Filters
Inspiration
Inspiration
The latest and best ideas in early years
Early Years Info
Early Years Info
All about the sector, from A - Z
Tools
Tools
Tools, plans and resources to use everyday
Activity Plans
Activity Plans
Filter by EYFS area & children's ages
Interviews
Interviews
Hear from interesting sector colleagues
CPD
CPD
Up-skill, gain knowledge and develop
Health Matters
Health Matters
Looking after the physical and mental health of practitioners and children
Policy Packs
Policy Packs
Section for downloadable and updating TNL policies
Content Filters
Reset Filters
Inspiration
Inspiration
The latest and best ideas in early years
Early Years Info
Early Years Info
All about the sector, from A - Z
Tools
Tools
Tools, plans and resources to use everyday
Activity Plans
Activity Plans
Filter by EYFS area & children's ages
Interviews
Interviews
Hear from interesting sector colleagues
CPD
CPD
Up-skill, gain knowledge and develop
Health Matters
Health Matters
Looking after the physical and mental health of practitioners and children
Policy Packs
Policy Packs
Section for downloadable and updating TNL policies
Open Filters

‘Mini Tuff Spot’ Sensory Play

If social distancing is proving difficult with your Early Years, here’s a fun idea for some messy play that encourages a little more separation between them! It is best suited for younger children in small groups.

Follow our simple step-by-step guide to have a go at this sensory activity today:

What you will need:

  • Plastic, rectangular trays (you can find some here) – one per child
  • Bowls
  • Messy sensory play substances, such as shaving foam, cooked pasta, cold porridge, soapy water and water with ice cubes in
  • Towels

Preparing the activity:

  1. Set up each tray on a table with a chair, spaced around the room.
  2. Fill each tray with a variety of sensory substances.
  3. Place a towel at each tray for easier clean-up after the activity.
Photo by Bozhin Karaivanov on Unsplash

Doing the activity:

Seat each child at their own tray and let them go wild! This is a child-led activity, so give them the room to explore and play.

To enable creativity, feel free to set up your own tray to demonstrate some play techniques, such as sprinkling water on the shaving foam to see the effect it has, piling up the pasta or manipulating the porridge into different shapes.

Encourage your older Early Years to discuss what they are doing and how it feels. Is the soapy water warmer than the iced water? Can they squish the porridge through their fingers? Does the pasta feel slimy?

Tracking the activity:

8-20 months

Physical Development: Moving and Handling; “Enjoys the sensory experience of making marks in damp sand, paste or paint.”

Expressive arts and design: Exploring and using media and materials; “Explores and experiments with a range of media through sensory exploration, and using whole body.; Notices and is interested in the effects of making movements which leave marks.”

16-26 months

Physical Development: Moving and Handling; “Makes connections between their movement and the marks they make.”

Understanding the world: The world; “Explores objects by linking together different approaches: shaking, hitting, looking, feeling, tasting, mouthing, pulling, turning and poking.”

Expressive arts and design: Exploring and using media and materials; “Explores and experiments with a range of media through sensory exploration, and using whole body.; Notices and is interested in the effects of making movements which leave marks.”

22-36 months

Communication and Language: Speaking; “Uses language as a powerful means of widening contacts, sharing feelings, experiences and thoughts.; Uses gestures, sometimes with limited talk, e.g. reaches toward toy, saying ‘I have it’.”

Expressive arts and design: Exploring and using media and materials; “Experiments with blocks, colours and marks.”