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8 Outdoor Tuff Spot & Play Stand Ideas
Here at Little Hotdog Watson, we make hats to help you and your little ones get out and about in nature. Featuring a UPF rating of 50+, our hats will keep your little ones safe and happy outside! So if you're keeping your tuff spot out in the garden, a comfortable sun hat is essential! Check out our range of cool hats for children and adults here.
Originating as builder’s cement trays, these huge plastic trays have now become synonymous with containing messy play activities and holding creative prompts to help kids have fun. The idea being that you can set-up, sit back and watch them play while you enjoy a few moments peace (or catch-up on biz/life admin).
As well a tuff spot itself, many parents swear by a tuff spot stand to allow your child to stand-up as they play, and to keep contents from younger siblings or pets. But it’s not crucial and does requires extra storage space for an already hefty item.
Here’s a mix of outdoor tuff spot and play stand ideas whichever you choose:
1. Petal tea party
Pop out old cups saucers and teapots, or their own kids tea set, and sprinkle with flower cuttings and petals. Add water and let them mix, serve and pretend to sip their own petal tea.
2. Ocean play
Fill your tuff spot with water, add pebbles and plastic aquatic toys, and let their imagination run wild as they splash. When you start to see their attention dwindling, add a fishing net and a bucket for further fun.
3. Seaside in a tray
For another aquatic option, create a mini seaside in a tray with sand, water, boats, and shells (even better if you collected them together straight from the beach).
I love how simple tuff spot set-ups can be. Look at this one which simply involves leaves and plastic dinosaurs!
5. Nature dig
Help your kids to explore their senses and touch, feel and smell nature with this easy tuff spot prompt. Add leaves, herbs, twigs, rocks, and sand so they have a mix of textures – then leave alongside toy diggers. Watch as they scoop, build and get messy with a big smile on their face!
Don’t forget to keep your kids protected outdoors with our children's hats packed with smart design to keep them safe and comfy, whatever the weather. Shop our collection of hats for children and adults here!
6. Giant bubbles
For wow moments this Spring, try making giant bubbles with a tuff spot and a hula hoop. Fill with fairy liquid & water, dip in the hoop and then pull it up to reveal huge bubbles. If your child is feeling brave they can step in the try and have you pull a bubble up around them too!
7. Soapy splash
If you don’t want to make too much mess in your garden or courtyard, try this good clean sensory game – perfect for toddlers. Simply fill your tuff spot with bubbly water and toys and watch them enjoy.
8. Mini Garden
Don’t let a lack of garden stop your explorers from getting muddy and trying their hand at potting plants! Now you can have a contained space to set them up with their own mini garden with soil, pots, plants, sticks and gardening tools. Brilliant.
I first heard about Tuff Spots over in the Playhooray Community. A fab group run by friend and fellow small business owner Claire of PlayHOORAY! Definitely worth a join if you’re often looking for more play ideas for small children.
After growing up in the North-west of England, Emma’s love of travel and style saw her career move to London with a fashion + business degree, first working as a trend researcher then menswear buyer for some of the most famous stores in the UK.
In 2015, having had her first baby she moved to Norwich to explore a family life closer to beaches and the countryside. Becoming a parent she found herself in a world of kidswear that didn’t look good or perform for the type of fresh air fun as a family so she set about creating her own brand. Little Hotdog Watson was born in 2016. The summer and winter hats for kids and adults, jam-packed with innovative protective technology have gone on to win awards, grace the pages of magazines, like Vogue, Grazia, Independent, Mother and Baby and celebrities alike.
Emma had another daughter in 2019 and became a lecturer in Fashion and Business at Norwich University of the Arts. She continues to design hats at her dining room table and share her passion to help families get outside more and explore the world. Here is one of her favourite outside blogs; 15 games adults will love playing with kids
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