Want a small world tuff tray idea you can put together in just 5 minutes?
Want outdoor tuff tray ideas for the summer months?
Want some realistic crocodile activities for preschoolers?
Then this is just the activity for you!
This Sensory Crocodile Swamp makes for a great Tuff Tray Sensory Play Activity that you can throw together in a matter of minutes but can provide hours of fun for little ones! It looks super realistic and is really going to spark your toddlers imagination!
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What You'll Need For Your Sensory Crocodile Swamp:
- Tuff Tray (or alternative) – I love how this works in the Tuff Tray as there’s lots of room to play, however this is easily replicated in a smaller tray just the same – if you don’t already have a Tuff Tray then you can get the same mini tuff tray that we use here on Amazon
- Play Sand – This forms the basis of your swamp and can be ordered from Amazon here also if you want to avoid carrying it home!
- Grass Cuttings – We pulled some chunks out of of our lawn (which is long overdue a fresh cut!) and grabbed some stray leaves from the garden for our greenery
- Water – we filled our tray using the hose pipe but you can just fill up a bucket ready to add in
- Cocoa Powder – This is for the muddy waters (smells amazing and also bubbles up a bit!) you could alternatively use some mud
- Pebbles – We have a collection of small pebbles and rocks we keep in the garden for painting and small world play – its helpful to always be keeping an eye out on your walks for suitable pebbles!
- Crocodiles – the star of the show! We used a set of stretchy crocodiles we had very similar to these:
They make for a realistic small world tuff tray sensory play set up and sit beautifully in the water ready to pounce!
And that is all you need! This sensory crocodile swamp is super easy to set up in under 5 minutes, but looks super realistic making it a great crocodile activities for preschoolers who love to use their imagination!
So let’s put it altogether…
How To Make A Sensory Crocodile Swamp For Your Tuff Tray In Just 5 Minutes
- Create an island – Using the play sand, create a mound in the center of your tuff tray (or your alternative) and compact a little with your hands, add extra smaller mound is you wish to create more ‘land’
- Water – If you are using a hose pipe then spray the sand with water to make it damp and a bit soggy and then fill the rest of the tray with water all around (enough so that the land is still visible)
- Cocoa Powder – Once you’ve put your water in, sprinkle some cocoa powder over the water and the edges of the sand – use the end of a spoon to mix in to create murky muddy water (the cocoa powder makes the water a little bubbly when mixed which adds to the swamp effect beautifully)
- Pebbles – Add clusters of pebbles near the edges (this isn’t essential so don’t worry if you don’t have any)
- Grass – Sprinkle grass, leaves and any other greenery across the tray (the beauty of this is there’s no particular way to do it – I’ve done this sensory tray twice now and it looked realistic both times)
- Crocodiles – and now all that’s left to o is add those crocodiles and get playing
Involving Little Ones In The Small World Tuff Tray Set Up
This tuff tray sensory play is so simple that you could even get the little ones to set it up with great benefits for them:
- Collecting grass cuttings with scissors is a great fine motor activity
- Scooping and sculpting the sand with hands is also a great sensory experience
- Creating small world play settings from scratch is great for the imagination
Whether you set up the sensory crocodile swamp as an invitation to play for your little ones, or you have them create the small world with you, both are great crocodile activities for preschoolers and toddlers alike which I’m sure they’ll love!
Sensory Swamp Alternatives
At Mum’s Creative Cupboard it’s all about making creative play super easy and accessible – so don’t worry if you don’t have the same things we’ve used for this particular activity – I always recommend that you adapt any activity to work with what you already have where you can!
So here are some alternatives that work just as well:
- No Crocodiles? Why not make a dinosaur swamp!
- No play sand? Use mud instead!
- No Cocoa powder? Swirl some mud into the water!
- No pebbles? Find some twigs or small branches!
- No Tuff Tray? Use a baking tray!
Creative play is as much about you the parent or carer getting creative as it is about encouraging your child to get creative! So get inspired ad have fun making your own toddler tuff tray sensory play swamp!
Tuff Tray Sensory Play Swamp Recap:
This is probably one of the easiest activities we’ve put together in the Tuff Tray, whilst being one of the most realistic looking which makes it the perfect small world Tuff tray activity! Here’s the recap:
- The Swamp Basics – Pile a mound of play sand in the middle of your tray and dampen slightly and fill the rest of the surrounding Tuff tray space with water (mix in cocoa powder to muddy the waters)
- The Swamp Extras – Add pebbles, Grass, Leaves and any greenery you like to make your swamp more realistic
- Small World Tuff Tray Ideas – Add your crocodiles, alligators, dinosaurs, or whatever you fancy having in your swamp (there’s nothing to stop your little ones having a swamp full of PJ masks characters if they want!)
And that’s really all there is to it! For more outdoor tuff tray ideas don’t forget to pin this idea for later below and follow me there for lots more activities ⇓
I’d love to see your swamps so please do let me know if you have a go in the comments below!
As always, have fun and don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter and have all new activities sent straight to your inbox!
Louisa | Mum’s Creative Cupboard x