My son has just turned two and what better present for a little boy who is growing than a colouring book to teach him how to read and count .
Geddes and Grosset books kindly sent us a few of their new samples and I was so pleased when my son found them and wanted to immediately tell me what the pictures were from which he was colouring in .
The books are all A4 size and are filled with beautiful illustrations of many different things from animals to toys , to vehicles and even outdoor items you would find your child playing eye spy to when out and about.
Each book encourages fun in learning and learning the alphabet or your numbers while colouring in calmly is in my opinion a wonderful way to learn.
Now days , colouring is not just for children, us adults can join in to and while I am trying to educate my son , this gives us a great chance at our bonding while he does so .
We as a family love to colour , it is a wonderful way to relax so either when just waking and your coming out of your sleepy head mode or wanting to settle down for the night , colouring is a great way to slow your mind down and give yourself some you time .
The reality of things is the that any child will enjoy a colouring book and some pencils and you do not have to go out spending loads of money to keep a child happy and content , it costs just a few pennies only, usually just £1 or £2.
It is always nice to open a book and not know what your are going to find and that is something I also love about these colouring books.
A lot of educational colouring books I have seen do the alphabet in order so you know or feel you know what you may expect on the next page of the book but here the numbers and words are mixed up for a real surprise. Learning does not always mean order , it sometimes just means looking at an item or picture and memorizing that that picture resembles a letter or number .
The pictures are bold and with the thick outside line of the picture , it makes it easier for little ones not to go over them if they are at the stage of learning their hand motor skills making them feel more confident in their colouring .
These books have a lovely variety of illustrations in their 64 page insert and there are 4 to collect on two books for each category. So you have 2 word books and 2 number books and are priced at £5.99 from Geddesandgrosset.com site.
So when your little ones is stressed. upset or can not seem to settle, pull out your colouring book, it does wonders for anxiety and gives a calming feeling .
Being Home educator to all my children means that I depend on Twinkl.co.uk for all their educational needs when it comes to teaching all aged between 1 and 15 years.
It really has been my number one platform to help my children grow and learn with as little hassle and as much information as I could possibly need in just one place so when a new section in their Site opened named Book club , I got so very excited.
As some of you already know, we live in a tiny little village and it is not always easy to get to the nearest village to a library so having the new book club at my fingertips is an absolute godsend for anyone who loves to encourage books and reading into their children's learning.
Twinkl book club is a new service which actually delivers more than just reading and it comes straight to your door for just a small added fee to the smaller subscriptions for just an extra £2 per month , although if you subscribe to the full Ultimate bundle for just £8.49 per month , this is already going to be included meaning you get not only everything on their site helping you to use all the educational resources but now with the book club you will also get actual books through your door every half term , real books for real reading.
I know not many people would be so excited but believe me when you have a 7 year old who does nothing for the past year but sit and watch Youtube or Netflix before bed and refuses to settle early , the joy I seen when my son turned of his T.V and sat in his bed reading to himself after we had already read it together 6 times already that day was the best feeling ever.
You see the New Twinkl books are not just a book to read but they're also a learning tool and whats more is that the book actually comes to life with their new special App that is available for free .
Book Club is currently only ideal for EYFS and KS1 teaching but More books for different key stages will be made available shortly.
Let me start at the very beginning on how our experience ended up when it first came through our door.
So I opened the envelope to find a wonderfully illustrated cover of a book titled Ronald The Rhino.
Having a quick flick through I could see it was filled with plenty of useful information which would trigger a lesson plan for the day so we took a closer look at the book to find there was to be more activities, work and other fun pieces which we could add to the story.
At the back of the book it told us there were teachers support materials available on the site so of course we went straight over and printed of a variety of work and activities for them to complete .
Not only was there added work but there was also an added feature that was fun and brought the book to life , Twinkl's new AR App available at Apple store or Android store , both completely free to download on either Phone or Tablet.
We proceeded to print of work and activities and to get us started we had a role play story-time breakfast where the children loved making their own masks and theatre puppets.
It was nice to see them so interested in the story and we learned quite a few things I never knew before about real life Rhinos .
Did you know they are very rare species and also only 5 different types still exist?
On certain pages , there is a blue symbol which is where the fun really starts.
If you download the Twinkl AR App , all you will need to then do is hold your tablet or mobile device over the blue logo on the book page and will instantly see a 3D image of Ronald and later on his friends.
The children all found it absolutely fascinating that the characters came to life in a 3D image through the screen of their devices and so we then proceeded to do some very interested work relating to the book .
There was quite a large scale of work to go alongside the book and so we had plenty to do and in fact spent two whole days enjoying Ronalds sums, Rhyming words, Talking about food chains and habitats and they were loving it so much they never actually realized they were learning , it was fun and they were instantly interested .
My 7 year old son tends to be more interested in the computers than anything else so it is usually a task to get him involved but he loved reading the book so much that he took himself to bed and read it alone to himself over 6 times more, when we went to bed we could still hear him and his imagination talking away to himself, it was so rewarding to hear.
By the time we had finished the work , was so surprised how much they had learned that I tested them sneakily , out of the blue with no warning , just a quick test so much so I forgot the words myself at one point but it showed me enough to see they really did learn quite a lot about Ronald The Rhino and his species and of course we made a pie to celebrate which finished the work of nicely .
Do you have a book subscription or like to incorporate learning through reading, what book would you like to see added to the site if your already a member ?
Let me know in the comments below , I can not wait to share more with you .
Croco Jungle Research Station from Schleich is aimed at Age 3 + and is priced at RRP £99.99.
We are absolute fans of Schleich Products and have been for a while now since discovering them after my son was gifted some of the animals which he never put down and took everywhere with him.
The realistic looking animals in the sets they have available are made with the most explicit detail and precision of the products are what makes Schleich stand out from the crowd in my opinion.
Our latest product we would like to share with you is the Croco Jungle Research Station which is by far the best one so far , they just keep getting better which I thought impossible.
Every time I find a collection I love, it expands just that little bit more to keep the play alive and our imaginations running free.
The Croco station is definitely one to enjoy .
On receiving the Station , I realized how big the box was for starters, the perfect size for a large gift if you needed one for any child who loves animals, Safari's or explorers etc .
The box was heavy, I expected a fare size but not as big as what we found.
As I opened the box , I could see that there would be a few things needing building but there was a very easy step by step instruction manual which I left the children to follow and within less than half an hour they had put it all together , no problems at all.
There is a lot to discover in this set.
First of all the main part for me would be the Station itself.
The building which resembles a man made cabin is at a height away from the wild animals to be expected below. Although the animals such as the Orangutan and the Panther are very well known for their climbing ability so luckily there is a hidden trapdoor in case of any sneakers.
The whole building shows us the smallest unmissed details such as a set of shelves inside which have a few plates, a cup and of course the little survival knife which would naturally be used to cut and eat his meals with .
A small window sporting a small hook on the outside where he can hang his binoculars to take his morning gaze at the animals he cares for is not just a hook but also looks somewhat of a horn from an animal such as a Warthog or antelope that maybe would have been roaming the safari or maybe fed to the Panther which is now captured and locked safely in his cage after his small injury during his chase.
Ranger Tom has more than enough on his hands to keep him busy in his little campsite set and if the day gets too much , there is a hammock for him to rest his little head .
Below the shelter, you will not just find the cage with that beautiful looking Panther but you also have a large enclosure to keep any other animals such as the crocodile or baby elephant separated . The Orangutan likes to hang on around the Station out the way and I am sure he is trying to take a peak at the treasure map that Tom has hidden away.
Feeding the animals and sending other items such as the trunk with all of his belongings in down to the surface is not so hard when there is a hoist all there ready to use with its expanding net attached and if anything was to go wrong , there is a rather large Satalite all ready to send for any emergency services.
It is a very busy little set , there is nothing missing from here that I can think of other than a Vet at work which is also available for an extra price of just £12.99 , she reminds me of Jane from the film Tarzan with her baby Orangutan hanging from her arm, his trusted partner I feel is all that would be the perfect accompany to this wild living quarter style set.
The children of all ages in our home loved to sit and play with this from 1 year to 15 years.
You are probably wondering why the set is called the Croco research station?
Well not only is there a wandering Crocodile surrounding Ranger Tom in the area of his workplace but there is also a mysterious cave that looks distinctively like a crocs head , and a large one at at that.
This exciting adventure lets you discover the wild insides of the croco cave and there is nothing boring or normal about this little mystery.
Inside the cave is held up with just a trunk from the forest trees which can be opened or closed depending on your daring mood and if you dare to take your torch and take a look inside , you may just be lucky enough to find the case of hidden treasure with the skulls or even discover the hidden compartment under one of the crocs teeth where there are even more coins waiting to be found.
This is one of the most wonderful sets I have been lucky enough to enjoy , there are hidden joys or exciting play in every corner of the set and even a few trapdoors and secret passages leading to the treasure chamber.
This is set directly to the left hand side of the Station as it clips on to the side and all the wonderful combinations of mystery, realistic animals and discovery options , your children are to be instantly inspired to combine their own toys with this set.
My younger son aged 8 years old brought his dinosaur rangers and creatures into the set and they worked perfectly together, he even brought the army in at one point.
One thing I found was that the croc cave is rather heavy , I like that in a product but it also means it needs to be able to be set up somewhere so not to drop on anyone's toes and injure themselves . My boys have had many hours of fun making their play come to life with this wonderful and realistic set and I am so excited to expand it with the other pieces which can be used to add to the play set .
I would love to buy the Advent Calender of 2017 , it features a new piece to add each day leading up to Christmas and ensures they would get something that would add to their wild life experience.
I love that this encourages all aspects of play not only in fun and good motor skills but also educational too where we can sit and talk about each animal and its habitat.
It enabled the children to ask questions without been prompted to about what the animals were, how they became to be captivated, what they ate, how they were cared for and if they would be released into the wild again safely at a later date after ranger Tom was finished getting them healthy .
What do you think of the new addition to the wild life collection, would it be on your list?
Let me know in the comments below and tell me what animal you would be scared to cross in the Jungle
So as you all know , I started home educating back in January of this year and I have to say , I wish I had done it sooner.
We have thoroughly enjoyed our tome so far and although it can be very busy and stressfull at times, the rewards can clearly be seen if stuck at and just like other children , we take our holidays when they do so we have just got back into our routines.
At the beginning of the year, I thought it would be a good idea to test the children and see where they were in their ability levels or strengths and weaknesses and so when it came to each end of term or the beginning of another I could retest them and see if they had improved or retrogressed and so on their first day back , I gave them no time to revise or practice the work they had previously been working on and tested them , no fuss , no pre warning, just simply heads down and try their best and I was very proud and happy to see that our hard work had payed of.
Not only did we see improvement , but we also found that they were taking everything in easier and did not feel any unsettlement or upset which was our main gain.
We have two children who really were struggling in school, they could not deal with the stress and pressure of everyday routines and targets that schools these days give. These two children struggled to keep up with other children their age at the speed the schools were asking but were unable to get the help they needed and were unfortunately not given the time to help them improve on those ares that were needed and so now I have the time to sit them down and give them the one to one attention , we can clearly see an improvement in their work .
I was very impressed with our youngest son , being the youngest , I really thought he would just want to sit and watch Youtube all day and not want to learn or do any work, at first he tried to push the fact that he was at home and did not want to complete any tasks given to him but after a few weeks he wanted to pick up a book, he wanted to do work I was setting him each day and when I tested him , his score was 1 short of perfect , so proud.
One of the main events for us this year is the children's Christening which we have planned for October and so taking advantage , I asked the local Church if there was a window where my children were able to be taught about why they were being Christened and I was over the moon when they agreed to have us there once a week for a couple of hours for 4 weeks on the lead up to their big day.
They have their own files with their very own books and each week they are given work revolving around being accepted and joining the church and they absolutely love their weekly visit. Not only do they go to their lessons once a week but they also join the other ladies and gents on a morning for biscuits and hot Vimto as well as Messy church which we set us just a couple of months ago, it is important for them to socialise . The church has become a regular thing for us now and its something we really do enjoy .
Even little Joshua joins in on all the fun and activities.
Since starting back , we have done so many fun and exciting things .
We learned all about Deserts on our first week, how they are made , where you find them and how rain fall happens. We pretended we were stuck on a desert Island and so made a list of things we would need and wrote letters in a bottle to post in the sea for people to find. We made Spinosaurus Dino sculptures too. Do you know Spinosaurus were discovered in the Egyptian Desert in 1912? It feels not so long away.
I spent the whole of our wedding anniversary weekend really poorly and in bed and so because we missed such an important event , my husband decided to take us to York for a lovely day out a week later to see the Minster and the Viking Gardens. I can not remember the last time I went but I do remember it was many years ago , when I was only a small child myself with my Aunt , I must have only been around 9-10 year old and I remember it being so big.
I am sure it got bigger while I had been away , it was just as amazing and spectacular as I remembered it and we had a lovely day out.
We ventured over to the Viking Museum Gardens and it was so pretty . Filled with some fascinating ruins and we even saw an owl exhibition which was being shown there as well as the many squirrels roaming the gardens freely .
I was so excited to go , I love places with alleyways filled with quirky shops and really interesting historic facts.
There was one place I really did have on my bucket list of to do's and that was to visit the Harry Potter Shop in the Shambles Alley or should I say ''The shop that must not be named''.
It took us a whole hour to queue to get into the shop , the shop is nothing but a gift shop but having so many fun Harry Potter goodies in there , makes it a tourist attraction and a must see , my husband bought me a beautiful Hogwarts Journal as an anniversary gift.
The Shambles was filled with tourists like myself interested to find out about the history and many were groups doing guided walks being shown where the buildings and interesting places made history .
There was a herbal tea shop , little clear glass teapots with different flavours freely available to test and try . We obviously gave them all a try while waiting in the queue but the children and myself were not fans of the herbal teas offered , made us giggle though and we tried something new .
We had so much to do but one of our highlights was our Planet order lesson and to teach them the order of the planets from the Sun , we made a little game up and learned the ryhme 'My Very Educated Mother Just Served us Natchos'.
Can you figure the planets out from that saying?
The children worked so hard , we made all sorts of crafts and games and by the end of the week the children knew their planets.
When I was little we used to add Pluto to our list but it was interesting to find out that it is no longer classed as a planet but in fact a Dwarf Planet , it is that small and It has not yet cleared the neighborhood of its orbit in space. Because it does not follow this rule, Pluto is no longer considered a planet.
They even learned how to make Pom Poms and now I have two huge bags of wool they go to to make little Pom Pom animals with when ever they're feeling a little crafty .
Twinkl has been our savior since starting our home educating journey and I honestly feel they've made my life a whole lot simpler . Every single piece of work or information I need , it is always right there for them . They give clear and full instructions when sharing craft and activity work and if ever I have needed any thing to be added to the site or unable to find anything they have instantly helped me with their wonderful customer services .
We literally let the children decide what they want to learn about and they have videos and full lesson plans there already for them to complete .
I really am settled and appreciate the very hard work they put into the site and would not go any where else , I would highly recommend it to anyone with children.
Last week we learned about plants and the life cycle in which they start from a very tiny seed and grow into flowers or trees and they grew their own plants where Little man was really impressed with how big his grew in such a short time .
With their Christening just around the corner the children are also taking a very keen interest in religion and so are finding new things to learn about regarding their faith.
They had great fun at Messy Church building the Holy Temple made from nothing but warm milk and maltesers and they also made a made their ow family paper chain .
We used to find that we were not able to visit the local library as much as we would like as it was in the next village and not safe to walk to but recently discovered after a very long walk to a nearby village that we have a library in walking distance , well in the winter we will be unable to go as it is through some woods but its closer than the one we originally were visiting so makes things easier.
Not only did we discover a library but we also found a family center which we were able to attend a cookery class . The children absolutely loved it , they had so much fun and made themselves Toad in the Hole ,or if you have no idea what that is , sausages in Yorkshire puddings as well as trifles which were absolutely yummy.
Being in such a small village has led me to understand we need a little bit more to consider , especially now that the children are home educated. I feel that it has opened my eyes more to looking for somewhere with more places to visit and more resources that can available for us. Like I said, we are in a small village, we do have a lovely nature reserve not far from us , but it really is just a few fields with a few animals and there is only so many times you can visit before you've seen it all ,when the weather is OK, we can walk through the woods to get to the library and the children's center but once the weather creeps up with the cold and rain and even snow , it will be merely impossible for me to get out unless I depend on my husband to take us somewhere which he is unable to do until the weekend when he is not working . So we are now looking into moving which should be an adventure being that it is in the next district , a whole new place altogether.
We have had a wonderful start tot he new term and the children are doing so well. They have already done so much in such a short time but they are enjoying it and they're taking it all in like sponges at the moment so I am taking advantage while they're willing to learn .
#Notbacktoschool has been full of busy and we are only into our first month .I can not wait to see what we're learning about next month .
My youngest daughter is now 10 years old , she is growing so fast , I just wish it would all slow down. As Christmas is coming up , the older they get , the harder it is to find them the things I know they will enjoy that I can buy them but my youngest daughter is the easiest one to buy for , she still absolutely loves babies and dolls .
Every birthday and Christmas Libby asks for the same things guaranteed, she has always loved her baby dolls, and recently the collectible toys that come in tiny little packets such as Twozies and Shopkins . If they fit in her pocket and she is able to carry them with her out and about she will be happy and so when I heard about the new Tinsy Winsy Weeny Tots , I was instantly excited to take a closer look .
Currently there are only two accessory sets -
We received the Tinsy Winsy Weeny Tots Pram Accessory set and it came with an adorable Tinsy Winsy Weeny Tot named Jasmine .
The Pram was wonderful and the dolls fit perfectly inside.
As well as the pram , you also recieve a nappy changing bag with fabric nappy and outfit which fit your baby perfectly .
The pram seperates into two different uses .
Not only does the wheels actually move , but they separate from the crib (not separately but as a full plank) and there is a carry handle and movable hood on the carry cot to make it like a crib for your baby.
Tinsy Winsy Weeny Tots Collectors Case is available for £39.99 and is a wonderful addition to keep all of your Tinsy Winsy Weeny Tots together in one place. The case is designed to hold the entire range of accessories in special cupboards, wardrobe and rail with hangers to store clothes, and space for 5 baby dolls in their cot beds.The set also comes with its own accessories and even a bath and a doll to add to the collection.
You can have fun taking this compact carry case everywhere with you as it has a handle , is compact and secure .
You can purchase the Tinsy Winsy Teeny Tots separately , this is the wonderful thing I love about them and what makes them so collectible.
There are 15 tots to collect and all of them have their own unique name, style and some of them come with a small accessory such as a pacifier or bottle.
The great thing about the separate tots are that they come packed in a solid cardboard box shaped and styled to look like a babies crib which makes the whole thing ready for imaginative play. The little ones can instantly get playing .
I have to say the one thing that really surprised me was the added feature of the name tags. When babies are born in hospital we all know we get those little wrist bands to say their name and D.O.B and I love that they have included this little added piece into the toys. It really does give a feeling of realistic and true representation of the babies.
I still have all of my babies tags in their keepsake boxes .
This is Millie , she , just like the other tots has her own band and her very own facial expression which is absolutely adorable .
The tots are just as described, they all fit perfectly in the palm of your hand and are not really tinsy but they are small .
There is so much detail put into the facial expressions, the hands and feet and the body is a soft huggable body which makes it easier to pose into position for sleeping or laying in their crib or pram and they're only £7.99 and the clothes all have their very own labels .
These little tinsy cuties are aimed for ages 4+ but having smaller and older children , I have to admit I gave them all a try and my son aged 20 months absolutely adores them , he's even taken one of them for his own . The good thing about them is that they are not aimed at just girls. There are both sexes in this collection and are suitable for both boys and girls to play with . My 7 year old son and my 10 and 11 year old daughters also love them .
I am so pleased a toy like this has come on the shelf. After having three girls and collecting all of the bigger dolls as they were growing up , the space is becoming lesser and so small dolls like this which are just as fun but in a smaller size makes it not just easier but also more affordable to carry on their doll collection.
I am sure there are going to be so many more added to this collection as the fist collection are limited edition .
Do you remember having any dolls as a child, which was your favorite ?