Here in Wales we are all in lockdown once again and I know huge amounts of of the UK are also in heavily restricted and lockdown areas.
It’s not the Christmas anyone wanted.
However while you are stuck at home with your toddler how about some tuff tray ideas to keep you all entertained.
These are messy but at least you won’t have to worry about tidying up for visitors!!
Sand and sea
While we can’t go to the beach and it’s too rainy and cold anyway, why not bring it all indoors.
I used some sand, I used a blue scarf and blue painted stones for the seas. I also added some shells, a spade and an old playdough tub as a bucket.
The possibilities are endless.
You can add some dolls or some trucks and let your little one play however they want.
Does your little one love dinosaurs!?
This is such a fun tray to prepare and it ticks all the boxes for sensory and imaginative play.
I used cocoa powder for the mud, blue food colouring, water and some gelatine for the water, some kindling but you could just find sticks and some green scarfs and pebbles.
A stick over the water is very inviting as little people love bridges and paths to follow.
Pop in your dinosaurs and there you have it, a prehistoric adventure in your kitchen!
This is an easy one to set up.
Just have a dig around your cupboards to see what you have, I had some lentils that went out of date in 2018 so they were used!
Breakfast cereal, oats or any dry ingredients works well and mini shredded wheat make great pretend hay bales.
I also chopped a bit of grass up to make a field.
Add in a few animals, a tractor and a barn if you have one and hey presto an immediate farmyard.
This is another good one for using up out of date dry food!
Super easy to set up, this used lentils, rice, some mixed herbs, cheerios and oats.
I also popped some pebbles and some blocks on as well.
My toddler loves his diggers and dumpers so really enjoyed digging things up and transporting things around the tray.
Train track is fun for everyone.
I still love playing with it as an adult and the play is limitless.
I jazzed up a small bit of track by popping it on the tuff tray, adding a crane and some construction vehicles and then added a light sprinkling of flour.
This was my toddlers favourite set up and he has asked for it several times.
It is messy but flour is easy to vacuum up so try not to worry too much and just let your little one enjoy themselves.
Homemade stocking fillers
If you are in an area, like me, that has closed down all non essential shops just before Christmas you might be panicking about not having everything you need for Christmas day.
Here are a few suggestions of things you can make that is bound to be a hit with toddlers and preschoolers.
Playdough or Poodough!
I have always been a big fan of the playdough from imagination tree so here is the recipe:
2 cups plain flour (all purpose)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (baby oil and coconut oil work too)
1/2 cup salt.
2 tablespoons cream of tartar.
1 to 1.5 cups boiling water (adding in increments until it feels just right)
gel food colouring (optional)
few drops glycerine
For Christmas playdough try making red and green and you could always add some glitter too. Or alternatively you could add different scents, try adding mulled wine spices or peppermint.
If you have a toddler like mine you could try swapping 2 tablespoons of the flour for cocoa powder which makes the playdough smell delicious and also look like poo! Poo dough is an absolute favourite in this house.
Who doesn’t love slime!
Add glue and food coloring to bowl.
Squeeze the bottle of glue into a bowl
Mix in saline solution.
Add 1 1/2 Tablespoons saline solution and mix until combined
Knead the slime. Using your hands, knead the slime until it holds together and you can add glitter or even sequins for a sparkly effect.
Store slime in a plastic tub or glass jar.
Bake your own cookie in a jar
Your little ones probably love baking with you so this is a lovely gift which you and they can enjoy together.
Just pop the dry ingredients in to a jar and tie with a nice ribbon and add a handmade gift tag to explain what to do. Perfect!
I hope these offer you a few festive ideas and please feel free to share your own!
Have a wonderful Christmas funky fans! Happy holidays and much love.