Our play tray today:
I grabbed handfuls of leaves from the bushes in our back garden and added the cardboard recycling that I've been hoarding. THEN I remembered that I had these little plastic animals and insects so I popped them in and hid some in the foliage. They weren't necessary - leaves and cardboard was a hit on its own!
How did Auggie play?! Well he dumped it out handful by handful onto the deck. And that's PERFECT! That's how he wanted to explore it. It's important to not come to any play idea with an expectation. He also liked putting the pieces back into the tray.
I talked about the feel of the leaves and narrated what he was doing with the pieces, e.g, "You're putting them on the floor. The frog has jumped off the table! You've found 2 snakes. The snakes are in the leaves. In the tube!"