Firework / Bonfire Night Tuff Spot

After months of trial and error with messy and sensory play I have finally taken the plunge and bought my self a tuff spot.   Partially because I kept getting comments on my posts saying… “You need a tuff spot”.   What is a tuff spot?   They are basically a builders mixing tray.  AKA – perfect for messy and small world play projects with young children.  They will hopefully keep the mess contained and give the toddler focus in the one area.

That’s the plan anyway.   We’ve only got a small house so I need to make owning a tuff spot worth it.  If it’s going to be in the way a lot it needs to be used.   How am I going to christen mine though?

Firework / Bonfire Night Tuff Spot

So close to Bonfire night I figured we would make some fireworks out of paint.   I hear some of you say, “paint, Karen really?  You are not so succesful with paint.”  No no no, armed with my new tuff spot, I feel like I can take over the world, well at leaast the lounge…

While the Robot napped I set this activity up for him.  My tuff spot is black so it’s the perfect night sky…

  • Place tuff spot somewhere safe for you to play.  Mine is up on benches on top of the wipe clean table-cloth.
  • Squirt poster paint in drops on the tray.
  • Squirt different colours on top of the other colours.
  • Sprinkle glitter on top.

There you have it the stage is set ready for when nap time finshes.  (I’ve been lucky enough to recieve a 2.5 hour nap time today.  I’ve finished off one blog post and replied to 30+ comments and now starting this post too! Winner)

What I hope to happen in this activity goes as follows:

  • Robot wakes up from nap.
  • I dress him in old clothes and a full bib.
  • I take him downstairs and show him the tuff spot.
  • Explain the use of paint brush to move the splodges around.
  • Make pretty firework shapes.
Pretty painted fire work show on the tuff spot
Some of this may have been done by me!

What really happens:

  • Robot doesn’t wake up!  3 hour nap times set me on edge, I had to go and wake him up with a gentle nudge.
  • I managed to get him changed and into a bib. We lost a sock but what’s new there!
  • Downstairs he spots the tuff spot but I need to fix the paintbrush before he can go near this.
  • Sits in the high chair for a bit trying to tie himself in.
  • Ready, we go to the tuff spot to play.
  • Hand the Robot the paint brush.
  • Realise the tuff spot up on the benches doesn’t work and hold onto it tight so the Robot doesn’t push it off.
  • Wish I’d ordered the stand to go with it too.
  • While the Robot paints I try to move the benches out the way and put it on the floor.
  • He’s quite good at it really, for someone who has had lots of opportunities to paint but failed.
  • Loses interest and goes to play with the discarded benches.
  • I invite him back and succeed in his return.
  • Hand in the paint this time, nothing like a bit of mess, all over his face next.
  • The wipes come out and I wipe the paint off his lips.
  • He takes the wipe and started wiping the paint off the tuff spot.
  • Eats the paint covered wipe (seriously).
  • Give him a clean wipe – Eats the wipe (yup).
  • Goes off to play with his cars.

This is where I ended my activity, he seemed to enjoy it.  I like the overall end effect. It may not have kept him occupied for as long as I wished but it kept me entertained too.  This is always a bonus!  Here are a few painting pictures;

Would I try this again?   Of course I would, I love painting and this seemed a relatively easy way for the Robot to do it too.

How are you celebrating Bonfire night this year?  Why not get your craft on!

You can buy your own Tuff Spot tray from here*.  Enjoy.

Tuff spot with splodges of paint on



*contains an Amazon Affiliate link, you will not be charged for clicking the link but if you go on to purchase this item I’ll get some pennies for it at no cost to you.





  1. Pingback: Happy Days #35 - Happiness Must Prevail - Two Tiny Hands - Adventures with the Robot

  2. Pingback: Stars at Night Sensory Play followed swiftly by Snow Dough from Twinkl - Two Tiny Hands - Adventures with the Robot

  3. Pingback: Cereal Sensory Play Tuff Spot - Two Tiny Hands - Adventures with the Robot

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.