Lottie Makes

Hello! I am a mum of 3 boys. This is our blog – sharing all our crafty makes and adventures together.

Lottie Makes blog content - simple activities and craft ideas for children

40 Tuff Tray Play Ideas

The popular Tuff Tray is such a versatile resource to have for children at home or in your setting. With or without a stand it can be used for many small world set ups and containing messy play, adventures and crafts. We show 40 of our best tuff tray play ideas. Some great invitations to play.

recycled cardboard box Christmas display scene

13 recycled craft ideas for children

Turn your old cardboard boxes, egg boxes and toilet roll tubes into creative treasures that provide hours of fun and play. Upcycled and recycled crafts are cheap and often simple to make with a little imagination. Here are our 13 recycled craft ideas for children to make and play with.

Nature Trail Collections and Natural Sensory Play in a Tinker Tray

In the warm Spring sunshine we love to go on nature trails to collect an array of beautiful things! We really try hard to listen to the birds, the leaves rustling in the trees, birds singing and the crackling of twigs under our feet. We love collecting and displaying items in our tinker tray, where we can sort and arrange our treasures!

Fairy Small World Play in the Tuff Tray

Fairies are a popular theme. We love tuff tray play ideas. Our tuff tray gets used for a variety of activities and themes. This time is was small world play with fairies and our recycled cardboard treehouse.

Dinosaurs Bones

A great topic for boys and girls! My boys love Dinosaurs so I bought some shaped biscuit cutters which included the bone structures of them! We decided not to make biscuits – but used Air Dry Clay instead!

Egg Box Finger Mouse

These recycled egg box finger mice are super cute and easy to make. You can then play with your Finger Mouse, creating small world play scenes and whole families of mice!

Exploring Circles and Basic Fractions

Our topic this morning was circles. How many circles can you find and identify? Followed by Pizza making with basic fractions and finally we set up a small world based around a circle.

Egg Box Chinese Dragon

A lovely simple craft for Chinese New Year. Create this lovely Egg Box Chinese Dragon to display in your setting year after year.

Air Dry Clay Christmas Decorations

These are so easy to do and my boys really enjoyed this one. They make ideal handmade Christmas gifts for teachers and family members. Ours will be wrapped in tissue paper to give out at school and for Christmas Day.

How to make a Fairy Princess Wand

I borrowed my little niece for this activity, as I have 3 boys and none were interested in this craft project! I have a love for all things fairy, princess, sparkly and pink….so these tick all the boxes!

Peg Doll Pom Pom Fairy

Pom Poms are really simple to make and by adding a traditional wooden peg and a few extra details, you can make these gorgeous Peg Doll Pom Pom Fairies to hang from your Christmas tree!

Christmas Cork Characters

We love our recycled cork characters and these Christmas Corks are a lovely craft for the run up to Christmas. The Nativity Scene takes pride of place on our Fireplace and it is especially lovely as it was made by hand by us as a family.

Stop Motion Animation Winter Scene

We love creating small world scenes, but why not add an extra level of learning by incorporating ICT into the mix? Create your own basic stop motion animation. You can do this with Lego set ups or any small world scene that you create in any theme.

Papier Mache Dragon Egg

Papier Mache is a great medium to work with, we use it quite a lot and have made Caves, Volcanoes, and Dragon and Dinosaur eggs. This time, we have made a Dragon Egg, although it can be easily re-purposed to a Dinosaur Egg.

Recycled Toilet Roll Tube Ninja Turtles

Toilet roll tubes are ideal for simple crafts. From characters to Christmas decorations and crackers to car garages and castles – recycling these everyday household items is a great way to start crafting. Here, we made Ninja Turtles!

Wand Making Craft

The Harry Potter craze has had a huge impact in our house. My eldest loves all things Harry Potter, and I have to admit as do I! These handmade Magic Wands are easy to make and so effective.

Great Fire of London – Story in a Shoe Box

Creating a small world in a shoe box is a lovely, manageable craft project for children. This simple but effective story in a shoe box – depicting The Great Fire of London was done for my 8yr olds Creative Homework Project for school.

Egg Box Flower craft

Egg box flowers are so simple, and yet so beautiful. Once made, the flowers can be used in a variety of ways. Find out below how we made ours and what you can do with them.

Magical Dream Jars

These magical dream jars were inspired by the Roald Dahl Dream Jars. They are really simple to make and children can choose and fill their own jars with whatever takes their fancy. Dragons, Unicorns, Mermaids, Fairies, Pirates.

How to make corking Cork Characters!

Awwww…we loved making a whole host of these Recycled Cork Characters! From The 3 Little Pigs and Aliens Love Underpants to Superheroes, Farm animals, Princesses, Butterflies, Bees and a full set of Nativity Cork Characters! It is fair to say we got a little carried away making these!

Clay Dragon Eyes

These air dry clay Dragon eyes are simple to make and engage boys and girls for a good hour or more. These would make a fab whole class project or would be a great activity at Beavers, Cubs or Scouts.

Pirate play in the Tuff Tray

My boys LOVE pirates, and the Tuff Tray is the perfect place to set up some great small world scenes and activities to explore.

Below we show 7 of our favourite activities: Digging for treasure, Pirate Sensory Bags, Pirate treasure maps, making potions or Pirate Grog, Playmobil setups and boat making and racing!


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