Pondering Playtime // Lost and Found Icy Tuff Spot Activity

*This post contains affiliate links

Welcome back to Pondering Playtime, my fortnightly series where I share a favourite picture book and a craft or play activity to go with it. This week, I’ve chosen Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers*.

Lost and Found – What’s the Story?

Lost and Found is about a boy who one day finds a penguin at his door. Assuming that the penguin is lost, and unable to locate the penguin’s owner, the boy decides to go about transporting the penguin back to the South Pole.

Lost and Found Oliver Jeffers

Lost and Found – South Pole Tuff Spot Activity

For this book, I have chosen a tuff spot activity for M to be able to explore an icy habitat. In this case, the South Pole. Unfortunately, the ‘South Pole’ set of model animals I bought for this activity contains a number of animals, including polar bears, that don’t live in the South Pole at all. So you’ll have to forgive me for not being geographically accurate! M absolutely loved playing with them, though! She did a lot of excited squeaking and pointing as I was setting up the tuff spot.

For the ice, I froze two large trays of ice cubes and filled three large zip-lock freezer bags with water, two of which I sat up in the freezer to make ‘ice bergs’, and the third I laid flat in an attempt to make a glacier! In addition, I lined the tuff spot with an old piece of underlay, which made for a nice icy effect, as well as creating a bit of friction for the ice to sit on. It also meant that M had a slightly warmer-feeling surface to lean on than the plastic of the tuff spot, as her fingers got pretty cold handling the ice, as you can imagine! This wasn’t really necessary though, and I think she’d have had plenty of fun sliding the ice across the surface of the tuff spot, had the material not been there.

Lost and Found EYFS activity, tuff spot activity, south pole tuff spot

You will need:

  • Tuff tray
  • Ice cubes
  • Ice blocks
  • Model animals (e.g. penguins, seals and polar bears)
  • White fabric (optional)
M carefully handling an ice cube with Lost and Found ice tuff tray activity in background

Lost and Found – What M thought

Lost and Found is a favourite book of ours. I’ve owned a copy since I first started teaching, and was excited to introduce it to M. The illustrations are simply lovely. I think M agrees, as this is a book that she often asks for us to read together.

M absolutely LOVED this activity! She had a very serious face on as she picked up the ice, turned it over in her hands and played with it and the model animals. I think it would be really fun to repeat this activity on a hot summer day. In summer, M could get more of an experience of the ice melting. I’d love to try freezing some of the animals inside the ice, too. That way, they could be revealed as the ice melted. This would make a great activity to learn about water changing states.

If you enjoyed this, you can find more Pondering Playtime activities here.

Lost and Found tuff tray south pole activity

*Affiliate Link – I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.co.uk.

Lost and Found Tuff Spot Activity Pinnable Image




  1. January 19, 2018 / 5:59 pm

    Genuinely love this series you’ve started! We have a book by this guy, how to catch a star (or something) and we love it. I’ll have to check out this one too.
    Your set up in this is awesome. I want to come and play at your house!!

    • Jules
      January 20, 2018 / 9:12 am

      Thank you! We have How to Catch a Star too – it’s a lovely book and makes a great prompt for writing instruction and explanation texts with older children. It’s actually also the first book we ever read to Little M – probably not what you’d expect at less than one month old, but she loved the contrast with the stars on the dark background and stared at it for ages!

    • Jules
      January 25, 2018 / 8:30 pm

      Thank you, I’m glad you like it! And thanks for the pin!

Leave a Reply

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