Posted on November 19, 2020
Book Review: 50 Fantastic Ideas for Tuff Tray Mathematics by Sally Wright.
So I’m hoping that you get this feeling too? That feeling that a new book you’ve been expecting arrives and it’s just brimming with inspiration. Today I got that feeling when Sally Wright’s latest edition to the “50” series, 50 Fantastic Ideas for Tuff Tray Mathematics.
Now this isn’t a huge tome that requires your devoted attention (and that isn’t a criticism, it’s certainly an advantage), this is most definitely one to dip in and out of and be inspired each time that you do.
If you compare this book to Sally’s previous book, 50 Fantastic Ideas for Tuff Trays, then you can see that she has also been on a journey or learning and development in her practice. The activities in the new book are very much based around the way the children have interpreted them and not necessarily with a fixed purpose from the adult.
The book is also organised into some great sections which feature in daily nursery life such as schemas (transporting), small world play, mark making and creative play to name a few. One of my favourite sections was “use what you’ve got” as it really didn’t require anything that any reasonably resources early years setting would have.
I’m reading this book while on a week off at home (no abroad holiday for us this year!) and it’s frustrating. No, not the lack of abroad holiday, but the fact I’m at home and really want to go to Nursery and get out all the scales we own and pile on the porridge oats and scoops (You’ll need to look at page 28 to see what I’m burbling on about), however I can use this time to prepare my plan of attack with the tuff tray.
I’m not mathematically minded in the slightest, physical play and storytelling are my specialities, however this book doesn’t require you to be Carol Vorderman (or Rachel Riley depending on how old you are!) it just wants you to set up an inviting tuff tray that the children can come along to and not feel pressured into doing an activity carefully curated by you to crowbar them into completing an outcome of the EYFS.
If I have to say one negative thing about this book it’s this, 50 activities aren’t enough. I’ll have gone through them in a week if I have my way!