Maths: Tuff problems

Written by: Hilary White, teacher, based in Somerset
1 November 2018

For young children, mathematical learning and development is all about the concepts of quantity, space and distance. At this early stage, the hands on exploration of these concepts is of key importance – and a Tuff Tray makes the perfect resource.

Tuff Trays are an important resource at Cypress Primary School Nursery, in Croydon
Tuff Trays are an important resource at Cypress Primary School Nursery, in Croydon

Tuff Trays are just the right height for children to stand at, enabling them to see what they are doing as they manipulate the items they are exploring. The waterproof surface and raised sides are great for containing water and other ‘flowing’ substances (exploring capacity), and the large, flat, single-colour space is useful for heuristic play (counting and sorting). Wheeled toy vehicles offer a fun way of exploring distance and measure – and using vehicles within the Tuff Tray limits both the distances they travel and the lengths to be measured. Try the following activities with your children and make the most of the Tuff Tray to support their mathematical development.         

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