Messy Play Trays

Messy Play Trays

We all know the benefits of messy play trays, but it can often be difficult to find the space to set them up, to store them, to clean them out and to fill them with something that all the children can access, use and enjoy. 

With all of this in mind, I went on the hunt for some messy play trays that would meet the criteria of overcoming all the above problems. It took a lot of searching but I finally discovered these fantastic inflatable play trays.

The inside of the tray is roughly A3 in size which makes them perfect for individual play tray set ups or even for pair work. This could be seen as having some Montessori influences and means inspiration for tray set ups could be found by researching this area further.

Their size means you can set a variety of trays up based on various different interests and next steps. This also allows the children to go between different activities showing various levels of engagement and active learning as they are free to make the most of the enabling environment you have created with the trays and set ups.

The fact that they are inflatable makes them fantastically easy to store as you can simply let them down and fold them up or leave them flat. The inflatable aspect is also a bonus when it comes to cleaning the trays out after messy play because you can let them down and pop them in a bowl of hot soapy water to wash them out. Definitely something which can’t be done with larger tuff trays. 

These trays whilst great for messy play are also a brilliant way to keep resources contained and to save on so much mess being created. As early years practitioners we know mess isnt always a bad thing but containing certain activities such as beads for threading, pegs and peg boards or puzzle pieces is highly beneficial for the children. It means they can fully engage in the activity and know they have all the resources they need right in front of them, and they aren't being lost on the floor or accidentally tipped over.

I have had a brilliant time creating some individual play trays with these trays and they have been so beneficial to the children who have used them.