Tuff Tray Play

11 Story Themed Tuff Tray Ideas

If you’re ever stuck for play ideas, then stories are a great starting point. Your toddler’s favourite story can be brought to life through play and might even spark a further interest in reading!

This compilation of 11 Story Themed Tuff Tray Ideas shows how bringing stories to life through play doesn’t have to be complicated! It can be if you want it to be, but sometimes simple is best (especially if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands!)

Each idea is linked to the original source and I’d encourage you to take a look at the websites they have come from as there are lot’s of instructions for you to follow if you want some guidance.

Story based Tuff Tray Ideas for Toddlers

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Whether you want your story themed tuff tray ideas to be fully fledged small world set ups, or you just want to pick out an element of the story for your little toddler to explore – all these ideas are great inspiration!

Tuff Spot Based on Julia Donaldson Books

Julia Donaldson is one of our favourite authors and so we are kicking off with this amazing selection of Julia Donaldson Tuff Tray Ideas!

  1. Stick Man Tuff Tray – Rainy Day Mum
    Diving the tray up to create different parts of the stickman story, this is really easy to recreate and also gives opportunity for your toddlers to get out in nature and be involved n the process of setting up the tuff tray. We had a go at making our own Stick Men recently and you can find them here – Stick Man Storytelling.

  2. Tiddler Tuff Spot – At Home With Jules
    If you’ve never tried colouring rice for sensory play then you must – it’s so much fun creating different colours and using this as part of your playtime. I love this tray for its simplicity, but it beautifully captures the story of Tiddler too.

  3. Gruffalo Tuff Tray – Daisykins Nursery
    This is definitely a more complex set up but it’s a feast for the eyes! With a simple sensory base, they have created a wonderful forest feel for this Gruffalo Tuff Tray!

  4. Superworm – Mum’s Creative Cupboard
    We created this as part of a muddy play collection and it was so much fun. We made pipe cleaner worms and ‘hid’ them in the soil – this make for a great fine motor skills activity for little ones.

Food based Story Themed Tuff Trays

These next few tuff tray ideas for play are mostly food-based, with food being an element in the story. 

  1. Gingerbread Man Tuff Spot – Mum’s Creative Cupboard
    This tuff tray is super simple to set up and has the added sensory feature of a lovely ginger smell, you can find all the details on the post.

  2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar – At Home With Jules
    This Hungry Ctaerpillar Tuff Spot looks so inviting – and with play food and printed characters, you don’t need an awful lot to put it together!

  3. Giraffes Can’t Dance – Let’s get Messy
    Again another simple sensory base and other food elements to create a fun interpretation of the story ‘Giraffe’s Can’t Dance’

  4. Super Tato – Honey Pot’s Nursery
    This is another favourite in our house and I just love how the food has come to life with some eye masks and string to bind the vegetables!

Story Set Up Tuff Trays

These final tuff trays really set up the story for little ones to walk through. Each one has more of a sequence and can be used to act out the story too.

  1. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Sensory Tuff Tray – Mum’s Creative Cupboard
    We had so much fun putting this one together, as I got the kids to help me. We collected most things from the garden and had fun going through each part of the story as we did.

  2. The Three Little Pigs – Clued In With Kids
    This classic story is divided into sections beautifully in this tuff tray, and you’ll also see in the post that they use Duplo to represent bricks so cleverly! If you would like to have a go at making your own characters for this Tuff Tray Idea, then check out this post: Toilet Paper Roll 3 Little Pigs Craft

  3. Owl Babies Tuff Spot – Adventures with Adam
    And finally, this beautiful Owl Baby set up along with storybook creates a beautiful setting for reading.

    (You can purchase a Grass Tuff Tray Mat here on the website:
    Tuff Tray Mats)

I hope you enjoyed this quick tour of our Story Themed Tuff Tray Ideas, and have some inspiration for your next Tuff Tray set up!

If you have a Tuff Tray that you’d like to be added to this post feel free to drop me an email with a photo and link to your post here ⇒ louisa@mumscreativecupboard.com

Have a great week!

Louisa | Mum’s Creative Cupboard x