Dinosaur Tuff Tray

Hello all,

I am a huge fan of using tuff trays to engage children, particularly in small world role-play. Today I am going to share the tuff tray we set up this week.



I have used basic resources that you are likely to already have in the cupboard to show that you do not need hundreds of resources and you do not need to spend a fortune to set up an inviting play area.

In our Tuff Tray we used

  • Flour
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Oats
  • Dinosaurs, dinosaur bones, trees and rocks
  • Paint brushes

When using food items, please consider allergies and use alternative resources when necessary. Alternative resource ideas – sand, water, shaving foam, soil, leaves, grass, pebbles, gloop or slime.

I buried dinosaur bones under the flour and oats and set out paint brushes so the boys could ‘excavate’ the bones. The boys absolutely loved this activity.


As they found the bones of different dinosaurs, we discussed the names of the dinosaurs, whether they were meat eaters (carnivores) or plant eaters (herbivores) and the size of the bones.


Mikey ended his play after 20 minutes due to heading off to cubs but Olly extended his play further by choosing to add soldiers to the tray, creating and acting out the story of ‘Jurassic Park’ for a further 45 minutes.

The tray is still very inviting. For the past three days, Olly has chosen to go back to the tuff tray as soon as he came home from school. He has added extra resources each day. Today he chose to add real plants to the tray.

I aim to share one tuff tray idea every week or two. Check back next week for a mini beast tuff tray :o)

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