If you’re looking for fun, easy, tried-and-tested Maths Tuff Tray Ideas for your Preschool, eyfs setting, or beyond, then this post is for you!
I have included a good mix of Maths Tuff Tray Ideas that work for different ages and levels of math ability. Some of these Number Tuff Tray’s I did with my kids when they were in Preschool, and some of them I have done with them recently, at the ages of 5 and 7 years. Most of them can be adapted to suit age and stage of development.
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I used my Tuff Tray from Amazon to create these fun Maths Activities for my kids.
Although you can do all these activities on a table, or small tray, I did find that they worked best for us on the Tuff Tray. It allowed my kids to stand and move around the table, as well as stopping any bits and pieces falling off the side. Clean up was quick and easy too.
Counting and Colour Sorting Tuff Tray
This tuff tray idea works really well if your Preschoolers are just learning to count objects up to 10.
Simply grab a few coloured bowls or cups, some coloured pom poms, and some card.
Count how many pom poms of each colour you have and then write the corresponding number on a piece of card.
Your Preschoolers then sort the colours into the correct container (practicing their colour matching and fine motor skills). They then count how many of each colour they have and put the right number into the container with their pom poms.
When I did this with my daughter, I found it was a great little activity to set up for her while I got on with the dishes as she could do it independently. I then checked and helped her with any tricky ones at the end.
Shape Tuff Tray Ideas
This Shape Sorting Tuff Tray is an easy one to set up and mess-free!
It would work really well set up in a corner of the classroom for children to explore independently.
I simply set out 3 baskets, and a few handfuls of block shapes. Mostly, I used these Melissa & Doug Wooden Blocks from Amazon. I wrote the name of the shape, as well as drawing it, on the labels in the baskets, helping to improve their literacy too!
Coin Counting Tuff Tray
I created this one for my son, who is 7, to help him with his coin counting homework. It was a great way to make the subject that little bit more interesting for him. It also allowed him to work independently on the ‘challenges’ and then I could come and check them all once he had finished.
If you are teaching younger children, you could alter it slightly by having them sort all the coins of the same value into a bowl. For example, they could put all the 50p into one bowl and all the £1 into another. This would make a great introduction to money.
If you don’t already have little, coloured bowls like these, you can get them fairly cheaply off Amazon. I use mine all the time for activities with my kids, as well as for cake!
Lego Building Maths Tuff Tray Idea
Lego never seems to go out of popularity with little kids, so why not capitalise on this interest to help their learning?
This one is super simple and I prepared it in under 2 minutes.
It’s just a pile of Lego bricks in the middle, and some numbers around the edge of the Tuff Tray.
The aim is to build a tower using the number stated on the card. This one can grow with your kids, as you can challenge them to make bigger towers as you give them bigger numbers to count. A fab spot of fine motor skills practice here too!
If you don’t already have Lego at home, this Lego from Amazon is a good box to start off with. I have found playing with Lego to have huge benefits for my kids, from fine motor skills, to language, to imaginative play, to social skills.
Addition Tuff Tray Idea for Maths
I created this Addition Tuff Tray to help my 5 year old practice some simple maths.
Using the dominos for this means that she has things to count if she doesn’t know the answer straight away. Once she has added the two numbers on the domino card together, she simply matched them to the correct number around the edge of the tuff tray.
My daughter really enjoyed doing this activity independently and loved the ability to choose which to do first. It sure beats a boring worksheet, right?
Number Writing Practice on the Tuff Tray
To set up this Maths Tuff Tray, I sprinkled on a light covering of flour and then added number jigsaw pieces.
The idea of this one is to encourage your Preschoolers to start forming the numbers themselves.
They can choose a number and then copy it, by writing in the flour with their finger. This makes what could be a boring task, into a fun, sensory, play experience.
If you’re looking for a numbers puzzle for your little one, this one from Amazon is similar to the one I used.
Counting Tuff Tray Idea
I created this Counting Tuff Tray, by writing numbers in cupcake cases and then sprinkling Cheerios across the Tuff Tray. Nice and Simple! The idea is to simply count out the correct number of Cheerios to go into each cupcake case.
You could change it up by using pom poms, blueberries, bran flakes, pasta, or anything else you have to hand. All great for fine motor skills practice too.
My daughter really enjoyed this one, and once you finish the maths activity, you can add more baking items to the tray and play cake shops! I love the versatility!
Number Order Practice
If you’re working on number order with your Preschoolers in Maths right now, then this Tuff Tray idea would work well for you.
As easy as pie, they just pop the number puzzle pieces into the right order, on the sticky notes. I have cut out stars on the sticky notes so they can count the starts up to the right number too, if they get stuck.
Lego Figures Counting Tuff Tray for Maths
To create this Maths Tuff Tray, I made some Lego walls for the Lego people to stand on. Then I added some numbers in front of the walls and encouraged my daughter to put the correct number of Lego people on each wall.
The fancy wall at the back was made by my son, who kindly asked to help me with designing this one.
Tuff Tray Number Recognition Activity
Number recognition is an important first step for our little ones to take, before beginning to write the numbers for themselves. I created this Numbers Tuff Tray to help with that.
I wrote the numbers out in white paint, but you could also use a chalk pen on the Tuff Tray too. Both wash off easily. Then I added a few sheets of dot stickers and did an example to follow. I love that this one is self-explanatory. Great if you’re trying to get on with a job at the same time!
I hope you found my Maths Tuff Tray Ideas useful as you teach your little ones their numbers, counting, and addition. I continually add to this one as I come up with more ideas, so be sure to check back every so often if you need more inspiration.
If you liked them, feel free to share this post with your friends and colleagues and check out my other Tuff Tray Ideas!
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