We got our Tuff Spot at Christmas and have been using it most days. Ben plays with his Lego on it – which keeps it all in one place and means I’m much less likely to end up with Lego under my sofa! We’ve used it for creating a whole village with Happy Land people. We also regularly use it for play doh.
Yesterday we finally got round to using it for a great messy activity that I’ve been wanting to do for a while!
So what do you need? Not much really!
1. Tuff Spot (This is also know as a “builder’s tray” and I bought ours from Amazon for around £18)
2. Shaving foam (not gel!) – I used Tesco Value foam so its not a break the bank activity!
I squirted some of the foam at first to show them what to do – Ben very quickly got involved and basically squirted a whole can out into one big pile. Chloe found it a bit tricky to squirt hers so I ended up doing it for her – in fairness I was a bit worried she’d end up squirting it in her face!
I was keen to supervise but not really get involved to start with and just see what they did with it. Ben got straight in there pushing his hands into the foam and really experiencing the feeling of it on his hands – rubbing it around and up his arms. He discovered that it made a great noise when he dropped blobs of it back onto the tray and explored clapping his hands to when they were covered in foam. Chloe was a little nervous to start with but soon got involved.
They were both very excited by the experience. I told them not to worry about getting it on their clothes as we’d just get changed after – this really isn’t an activity to be worrying about keeping clean!! We managed to keep the foam on the tray for the most part but I can’t say we didn’t end up with plenty on the floor (and the sofa, some shoes, a toy pram . . .) Luckily it just wipes up easily so took me no time at all to give everything a quick wipe and the floor a wash down.
While they were playing I talked to them about what they were doing – how it felt, sounded etc. There’s certainly plenty of opportunities for developing language in this one.
(Apologies for the video being sideways!)
Once they had been playing with the foam for a while I suggested to Ben that he might like to try and write his name. This is a great activity for encouraging mark making as mistakes can so easily be wiped away! They both enjoyed drawing and making patterns.
When they finally decided they’d had enough I whisked them both upstairs for a cheeky mid afternoon bath – which I think was just as exciting as the activity itself (though Chloe was a bit confused and kept asking if they were having a story as she obviously thought it was bed time!)
Clearing up took all of 10 minutes to mop the floor, wipe the bits of foam off the sofa and rinse off the Tuff Spot. Perfect.
I’m already planning our next messy activity!
Lots of people have asked where our Tuff Spot came from so I thought I’d just add the link in for the one we bought – Tuff Spot from Amazon. This was the best price I found at the time but it’s worth shopping around!