5 Tuff Spot Ideas

tuff spot ideased

Have you got a  Tuff Spot?  If you don’t then head down to B&Q and pick up a cement mixing tray, exactly the same thing for only £15 last time I checked!  You can use them indoors and out, we mainly use ours outdoor as we have limited indoor space and it gets stored beside the shed easily.  We’ve used our Tuff Spot for lots of different play ideas over the last couple of years and here are 5 of our favourite Tuff Spot ideas:


1.  Coloured Spaghetti:  Cook some spaghetti and separate it into different containers with some boiling water and food colouring to make colour baths, mix well and when cooled it’s ready to set out to play along with various pans and utensils.  We use gel food colouring for a really bright colour.  The boys loved this, but be warned you will have spaghetti all over your garden if your boys are like mine! Fortunately the birds are quite happy at eating up the bits I missed picking up!

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2.  Rice play:  I blogged about this recently, but had to include it here as it’s so simple to set up and both boys played with it for ages!  Read more about it here. For even more fun colour the rice.

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3.  Painting with Flowers:  This was from a while back, but O loved it so much I thought I would include it here.  I covered the bottom of the tray with paper (taped down) and lay out some flowers and herbs and a small plate of paint.  O used the flowers and herbs to paint the paper.  If you have some big flowers like Gerbera’s then they would make some pretty cool prints.

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4.  Conker and Water Play:  Simply a bowl of water, conkers and ice cube trays.  O loved tipping the conkers into the water and scooping them out, placing them into the holes in the ice cube tray and then repeating it over and over.  Another simple idea, but it looks much more appealing set out on the tray!

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5.  Feet Painting:  This one is good, but unfortunately a bit of a fail for me at the first attempt.  I put too much paint on the paper and A kept slipping and falling over!  So my tip to you is that you only put small amounts of paint dotted around the tray, not lots in a pile, that way they can make prints without slipping.  And yes they will get covered in paint, so try it on a warm day and have some water to play in after to clean up!

We have mainly used it for messy play, but I’m going to start setting up some small play fun with them soon as well, I have lots of ideas, so watch this space!

Let me know if you try any of these ideas!

 J x


Witty Hoots We Love Weekends


  1. April 28, 2015 / 7:04 am

    Love these ideas. Always looking for new crafty activities to try outside and at least the mess is contained with these.

    • April 28, 2015 / 12:55 pm

      Thank you, yes it’s great for containment (until the big one decides to move it and make a spaghetti cake under the climbing frame?!). 🙂 xx

  2. April 28, 2015 / 8:44 am

    Awesome ideas – I’ve been eyeing up these trays for a while and think we might have to get one! #Letkidsbekids

    • April 28, 2015 / 12:56 pm

      They are great and well worth the cost! 🙂 xx

  3. April 28, 2015 / 9:37 am

    Love the feet painting!! We had our tuff tray out as well this week. I love how versatile they are. #ToddlerApprovedTuesday

    • April 28, 2015 / 12:58 pm

      They are fab aren’t they (and if you ever need to mix cement, they’re great that for that too!!). The feet painting was lots of fun! 🙂 x

  4. April 28, 2015 / 10:32 am

    Oooh I really need to get a tuff spot for the summer even though T is a bit older I think we can still get some good use out of one. Some fab ideas here.

    Thanks for linking to #toddlerapprovedtuesday this week x

    • April 28, 2015 / 1:00 pm

      Thank you! T is the same age as O isn’t he? 3.5? O still loves using it for activities and will get another year or two of use from it I think. 🙂 xx

  5. April 28, 2015 / 11:42 am

    Wow, those are some amazing ideas for fun, learning, exploring play! My kids love the water play best. The paint looks amzing, and the spagetti too. So fun! 🙂

    • April 28, 2015 / 1:01 pm

      Thank you! Yes we love water play too, got another post coming up about that soon too! 🙂 xx

  6. April 28, 2015 / 8:12 pm

    How much do I wish we’d had a tuff spot when the girls were younger. We had a great time feet painting outside once and there are still purple paint marks on the patio (even though paint was washable). If we’d had a tuff spot… Some great activities. Especially love the coloured spaghetti! #ToddlerApprovedTuesday Over from http://www.cookwithtoddlers.com/community

    • April 28, 2015 / 8:51 pm

      Thanks! We love the spaghetti too, I just love bright colours all mixed together! 🙂 x

  7. April 28, 2015 / 8:41 pm

    what a fab idea! We used one at a playgroup and used cornflower which the girls loved and also porridge oats. We need to invest for the summer!

    • April 28, 2015 / 8:50 pm

      Ooh, yes, I’ve been meaning to buy some more cornflour to make oobleck, thanks for reminding me to try it out! 🙂 xx

  8. April 29, 2015 / 9:42 am

    Fab ideas. These trays are great, I wish I’d known about them when my children were younger. I love all these ideas for so much exploratory play.
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

    • April 29, 2015 / 10:56 am

      They are brilliant, we’ll hopefully get a lot more use out of ours! 🙂 xx

  9. April 29, 2015 / 12:17 pm

    We’ve tried some of these, too, and they are so much fun. My kids love it when the tuff spot comes out 🙂 x

    • April 29, 2015 / 7:42 pm

      Oh yes, there are frequent requests for it! 🙂 xx

  10. April 30, 2015 / 8:47 pm

    Great ideas, we’ve done most of them in some form 🙂 We love our tuff spot, although we haven’t used it much over the last few months… must start using it again (now that the weather is better!). #letkidsbekids

    • May 1, 2015 / 6:46 am

      Oh yes, much better now we have better wether to use it! 🙂 xx

  11. May 1, 2015 / 1:06 pm

    Popping over from #LetKidsBeKids

    It’s amazing just how many uses there are for a Tuff tray! I like the idea of painting with flowers. We also have sooo many conkers still hanging around from the Autumn!

    • May 1, 2015 / 1:19 pm

      Conkers would be great for rolling around in a box with paper and paint to make tracks! I love our Tuff tray too! 🙂 x

  12. May 1, 2015 / 7:29 pm

    Such great ideas – I will have to look for one of those at Home Depot here in the US. Thanks for sharing at #WeLoveWeekends!

    • May 1, 2015 / 9:06 pm

      Thank you, I’m sure the Tuff Spot is in the US somewhere! 🙂

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