Tuff Spot Recycling Play

We recently bought a tuff spot. I’d seen lots of play posts using them, though I wasn’t entirely convinced of their use, to be honest. But, after seeing a few ideas that appealed to me, and attending a play session at Boo’s preschool where she played at a tuff spot for ages, I decided to go for it and order one. I got mine from Amazon and it arrived pretty quickly, so we were all set!

Now, I admit, when actually faced with an empty tuff spot in my kitchen, I was a little daunted! I’m not all that creative, so I decided to go for the recycling box and grabbed a few boxes and tubes from there, along with scattering some Happyland characters in and then the magic ingredient, split peas! I say magic, as they were both mesmerised by them!

tuff spot recycling play

And then I pretty much set the kids free to play. They were fascinated (as was the dog, as he kept sampling the split peas!)

tuff spot play

After Boo had played with the textures and noises, and of course tried tasting one, too, she disappeared off into an imaginary world with the people, and recycling items, creating shelters, boats, feeding animals and chattering away to herself.

tuff spot play 1

The thing that surprised me the most is how long it held Little Man’s attention. He’s not really one for sitting still for long, yet he did not move from this area for around half an hour – a record for him, I think.

tuff spot play 2

He dropped the split peas into boxes, down tubes and into a tub and discovered it made a great sound when he shook it. The enjoyment he got from moving them from box to box was lovely to see, especially as he hadn’t been very well that day, hence him still being in his PJs there. He played with the Happyland pieces, moving them about, making animal noises, and driving the car through it all, too.

It was lovely to watch the two of them playing together with this, as they were concentrating, learning and enjoying discovering it all together. There were a lot of frowns as they took it all in, and then a lot of giggling as they explored. It was a very happy half an hour for them, but also for me. I didn’t leave that tuff spot for a moment. I sat beside them and revelled in watching their imaginations take flight, and the smiles on their faces.

I am now pinning lots more ideas, and I’ve had a couple of my own, too, that I think they’ll enjoy, as I can see this one being a winner! Have you got one? Would love to hear more ideas.

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43 thoughts on “Tuff Spot Recycling Play”

  1. After speaking to you about these and seeing your post, I’m definitely thinking about it now. There are loads of potential uses, even with my older daughter as she does love to craft and it could double up as her crafting spot. Hmmmm 🙂

  2. wow look at how they are so into the play! I would have want one as my boy just loves to slump on the floor and play anything that he can get his hands on but this is still a bit pricey for me. But it is an awesome toy =) #magicmoments

  3. I keep seeing Tuff Spots everywhere too and thinking about buying one. It’s amazing how much fun your two had with something so simple! x

  4. These are brilliant, and hopefully keep all the mess contained in one place. We do lots of junk modelling – I always keep a bag of boxes, toilet rolls etc, and find it is one of the things Joe loves most of all.


  5. What a fabulous post Jocelyn. Sounds like they had a great time with the tuff spot and well done for getting those creative juices flowing! I always love the idea of these but we don’t have one yet. I think there’s a book of tuff spot ideas on amazon. Lovely post, thank you so much for sharing #whatsthestory

    1. It was lots of fun and they really enjoyed it. So easy to set up, too. I’d recommend them! Thanks for hosting x

  6. We love ours and have used it for all sorts! Shaving foam, cloud dough, coloured spaghetti, painting… And, we’ve used it for water play in the garden too 🙂 Haven’t had it out for awhile actually, been a bit busy, might be time to choose an activity for the 5yo’s day off on Friday!

    1. Sounds like so much fun! I’ve some messy play lined up for it next – so useful for that! And yes, good idea to put it outside, too – thanks 🙂

  7. I’m really impressed that you managed to create such a playzone so simply! I would have been running around trying to organise special paints or cornflour or a specific art activity or something but they clearly loved just playing with the boxes and split peas! Brilliant. #whatsthestory

    1. I know! Not over-planning really helped me on this one. Took me a couple of minutes, no mess, and they loved it!

  8. Oh you’ve totally inspired me to buy one. I thought I may have to have 2 for fear of them wrestling away from each other, but clearly there’s hope for sibling sharing! I’ve also been a bit scared of the thought of it being filled with shaving foam etc… Thanks for showing me the ways 😉

    1. Ha ha – delighted to show you the way! I’m often tentative with messy play and have to be in a fabulous mood with no cares about cleaning up – these moods are somewhat rare! So, yes, I advocate split peas 😉

    1. I’d been toying with getting one for ages, and so glad I did, because they were so happy with it! More play planned with it this week 🙂

    1. Ah yes, that part can be tricky! Ours lives behind the door in their playroom, so it’s relatively hidden and out the way!

  9. I’d love to get one of these, but we don’t have the space! And it’s more likely that my toddler will try to climb in 🙂 #whatsthestory

    1. Oh, climbing in is fine! Though actually, my son didn’t this time, which surprised me. I’m sure he will soon…!

  10. I really must get a tuff spot. I love the split peas, great to explore the textures and sounds (but more importantly super easy to tidy up afterwards)! #letkidsbekids

  11. That looks like great simple, fun exploratory, imaginary, creative play. I love the sound of the Tuff spot as Ive seen lots of other people use them, but as my kids are 4 and 6, I’m not sure how much use it would get, I think I’ve missed the boat with it 🙁
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

    1. It was just that. They both really enjoyed it, playing and enjoying in their own ways, and it was just so easy to sort for them. I really enjoyed watching them.

  12. what a fab idea! i so like the thought of these tuff spot .. although i felt like i would not know what to do with one lol

    thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments x

  13. Pingback: Easy & Affordable Kids Activities - The Reading Residence

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