5 minutes for maths

This is a place for busy people looking for quick and easy educational setups that will keep kids busy learning and playing.

I have two kids aged 3 and nearly 8. My evil plan is always to engage both of them in "the same activity" so I can have a bit of peace without hearing “MUMMY!” all the time! BTW, my trays always have an educational aspect, not because I am a super mummy, I am an educational adviser specialized in hands-on learning, so I don’t know how to do it differently. :D

5 min work for you

All activities are designed to be set up in 5 minutes. There is not much messy play because I simply don’t have time to clean for an hour after the play. I also love to sequence the trays, meaning that every day I remove and add some bits to make it still interesting. This simple hack will save you the tidying up every day. Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of a tray a day (if your kids don’t want to play with it the next day) but I don’t feel like setting up a tray from scratch every day. Plus, if you use sequencing ideas you will end up with a beautiful tray which would normally take ages to prepare.


For the 5 minutes setups I use, so trendy at the moment, tuff trays. They are also known as builder's tray and have been used in schools and nurseries for quite some time, but got super popular in our households since the first lockdown. If you don’t have a tuff tray, you can very easily use a roasting tray from your oven. Why use a tray? Because they keep all the stuff in one place :P

To make it in 5 min you need to

  1. Pick the tray from themes or sequencing ideas, because when you know what you are doing it will be way faster.
  2. Gather the resources. I use boxes for things like coloured rice, pasta, shells, stones etc.
  3. Set it up.
  4. Write the challenges - to engage your kids.
  5. Call your kids.
  6. Put the kettle on.
  7. Get a cup of tea and watch your kids playing.

If you want to take it further read 7 proven ways to keep your kids on a tray for longer:

Subscribe for updates

We will send you an email only when there is new, relevant content available. 100% no SPAM guarantee!