Thursday, 22 October 2015

Our Adventures with a Recycled Tuff Tray

I love this Tuff Tray. Like, properly love. It saved my poor, abused carpet from more spills. It kept my crazy toddler's mess contained. Plus, it's made out of recycled plastic. SWOON.

We used it near-enough constantly. Indy is getting to the fiercely independent stage of wanting to feed himself. With the tray, no problem! Any spills were easily wipe-uppable, and no damage to my carpet.

Finger painting had always terrified me. We attempted it a couple of times on our dining room table, but things invariably got covered in the thick, staining goop. I was more than happy to strip Indy off and let him prod and poke the paint to his hearts content. I was able to just peeeeel it off the tray when it was dry. Obviously, after this activity, Indy himself was covered. I contemplated trying to take him upstairs and to stand perfectly still in the bathroom while I ran a bath, but realised that was silly talk. Find me a toddler who can stand still while covered in muck. (tip, you can't.) A flannel just wouldn't cut it, a baby wipe wouldn't cut it, visions of looping the hose into the house did flash across my mind (albeit very briefly) and then I had a flash of genius. Our old washing up bowl! It would fit into the tray, it would get him clean, he could play with the water and it would be fine! So, voila. A mini bath/water play.
Butter. Wouldn't. Melt.

I looked around for more ideas on what I could do with this magical tray. Then my mind flashed back to the kinetic play sand I had picked up at the pound shop. Indy had the HappyLands zoo set, and I thought it would be a great activity, to have the animals trampling in sand, mark making. I set up the blue and the stone coloured sand, and let him have at it. No sand got smooshed into my carpet, and it was so easy to put it all away afterwards!

In short, I really really recommend getting a tray. We used it in the garden when the grass was damp, we used it in the kitchen, we used it everywhere. It's perfect for when little hands get the colouring bug but can't quite stay on the pages. It's ideal for Play Doh and other slightly mucky activities. And snack times are super easy when you've got a lipped container for your child. Ha! The tray can be found here. Go get one!