Twinkl is a website offering a wide range of printable education resources, including worksheets and much more. I have been signed up to Twinkl for quite some time now, and find it really useful to have loads of worksheets all in one place, to save me having to google for different ones all over the place. Recently I was given a premium subscription to try out, and this enables me to have unlimited access to all of the resources on Twinkl and to print full sets at once, saving time.
My 5 year old has been a fan of work sheets since he started nursery at 3 years old, and he loves to have extra to do at home. He will come to me himself and ask if I can print him out some worksheets, his favourite being anything maths or numbers related.
At the moment, Twinkl has a great section focusing on Under The Sea which is quite appropriate for my boy as his school arranges the classes with names after sea creatures. At the moment he is in Shark and will be going up to Whale in September. I had a look through the Key Stage 1 resources, as he is going up to year 1 in September so I would like to encourage him in this level of work. There are some lovely worksheets which he enjoyed doing:
In the collage above you can see
Shark Portrait Page boarder – A simple sheet which comes with the option of being fully lined, half lined or narrow lined. Decorated with a shark border. The border made it more appealing for Mr Z so he was more keen to practise his writing. He seems to be progressing really well with this at the moment and getting more confidence with his writing. He was happy to show me what he can write and spell by himself. His finished work did made me laugh, he had put a sentence about “I like my mum wen she less me to have the copooter and aPad” – clearly a child of the modern generation! It came complete with an illustration of Bejewelled! May I add I don’t let him play on these all the time!
2. The jellyfish page from Under The Sea Description Writing Template. This is a premium resource pack and there are 14 different sea creatures included. I found this set really good, to encourage reading, writing and careful thinking about the characteristics of each animal. The sheets include a word bank at the top and then room for the child to write their own paragraph, using these words as inspiration. This is something a bit different from the usual worksheets I have seen.
Mr Z has not worked through all 14 yet but he enjoyed writing a couple of sentences about some of the sea creatures and felt quite pleased with his finished results. I’m sure he will be asking to do the rest of them soon.
3. Rockpool counting activity from the Seaside theme. This is another premium worksheet and it gives a picture with lots of things to spot and count, then write the number next to the word. I knew Mr Z would love this as it is number related.
I have printed loads more out too for him to use over the Summer holidays, and I am sure I will keep going back to the site to replenish my supply!
For teachers there are also loads more handy resources for in the classroom, for displays and more. I focused more on the worksheets myself but I can see that this would be a really great resource and definitely worth looking into if you are in teaching.
The other area I was really interested in trying out from Twinkl is the SEN section, and I found there are some visual time tables, including editable ones which is useful!
My 3 year old has Autism and has been recommended to use visual timetables at home and at school, and has also started off with using PECS (a picture exchange communication system). It is always good to see resources like this available in case he needs to expand on the words in his PECs folder or for me to make some extra time tables to help with certain situations. I will definitely need to make more for him over the summer holidays to help with his transition from being in a routine of going to nursery and speech therapy sessions, to being at home in a slightly more unstructured routine. I know it will help to keep him calmer if he can see the visual structure of the day and then take the pictures and put them into a “finished” post box once they are done.
Some of the other sections of the SEN area seem to be still under construction with more needing to be added but I am sure that soon there will be more and I will definitely keep checking back as this is a really important area to me. There should be ideas for sensory games, motor skills, communication choice boards and more.
I had a look around the forum too, where you can discuss ideas for educational activities or ask for help locating any resources and also make suggestions for the site. I saw some discussion about adding Makaton or signing resources on the site in future which would be something I would really welcome!
Twinkl are currently offering a free trial of Premium for schools. I can see how handy this would be for schools. I know my son comes home with a lot of Twinkl resources, so obviously his school have already discovered Twinkl!
With the Premium service, there are 10,000 extra resources that you have access to. Without the premium subscribers, Twinkl would not be able to make any resources at all! So by getting Premium you can also feel good that you are helping to support this brilliant service.
It’s definitely worth considering as something beneficial to keep your child busy and keep them learning over the Summer holidays. I will be printing out plenty more worksheets for my 5 year old and I will also be getting ready to print out some of the Eid resources for Eid coming up.
We were recently sent this Shelby’s Snack Shack game from Learning Resources to review, and my 4 year old (Mr Z) was really excited to get started.
The game comes in a large, shaped cardboard box and says it is recommended for ages 4-8 years. It helps to develop number and counting skills and it is for 2-4 players.
Inside the box you find:
One Shelby the Dog tweezers to pick up the bones
A packet with loads of bones (40)
4 different coloured bowls for the players to collect the bones
A board with two spinners
The rules of the game are quite simple and were easy for my 4 year old to pick up. It took him a couple of practises to get good at using the Shelby Tweezers but then he easily got the hang of it. I really liked the element of including these tweezers to help with fine motor skills. Both my 4 year old and 3 year old do have some difficulties with their fine motor skills and strengthening the muscles in their hands will also help give them skills for better handwriting.
When you spin the first spinner, you will land on either the bones symbol (the most likely option as it comes 3x on the spinner) which allows you to pick up a certain number of bones from the beach (this number is found by spinning the 2nd spinner), or you can land on a seagull so that some of your bones will be stolen back onto the beach, a dog with a bone which allows you to take bones from other players, or a lazy dog with a slipper which causes you to miss your turn. I liked that the game box doubles up as the beach for when you are playing the game. This is a clever use of the space and means less waste as the packaging has a double use!
Mr Z really enjoyed the game. He has loved counting since he was quite small, so counting the bones was not too challenging for him but he loves the competitive element in a game, and luckily for him he always seems to manage to win!
After playing the game with Mr Z, I felt it was not as difficult as I thought it might be with a 4+ age recommendation, so I decided to call my 3 year old (Mr T) along to have a turn. As some readers might know Mr T has some special needs and I would not normally expect him to be able to manage a 4+ game at all but he was able to grasp the concept, and with support from me he was able to play the game, and enjoyed it. I was so proud that he has managed to play this whole game, and it reinforces skills like turn taking which he is always doing in his speech and language groups. He is also showing an interest in counting at the moment so this game was really ideal for him. I do think the recommended age of 4+ is possibly a bit high and many children would be fine from age 3 years.
Learning Resources are giving one of you the chance to win a copy for yourself – Just click here and fill in your details. The competition ends July 9th.
I have just made a short video so you can see some of the game in action
I would definitely recommend the game. I love Learning Resources and have never been disappointed with any of their products, they have a massive range on their website – if you haven’t looked before go check it out but beware you might get tempted to spend a lot and buy everything! (its just too tempting!! they have a lot of unique and really good products)
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