Review: Home Learning Help With Learning Resources

(AD - Gifted) Schools may be about to welcome a few more children through their doors, but it’s clear that home learning is going to be the norm for many of us for a long time to come. Most schools have been great in providing activities for their students, but as teachers have to refocus on the children that are attending part time they will have less time for remote learning. This means it's time to relook at what other resources are available, like Learning Resources great range of free printable activities for 2 to 11 year olds which complement the items they sell. We received two Learning Resources products: Tackling Tables and Steggy The Fine Motor Dino, find out how they are helping my children in my review below.

A preschooler learning numbers and colours with a review of Learning Resources Steggy The Fine Motor Dino
Help with maths and home learning from Learning Resources

My Problem With Home Learning Set By Schools

My school has been setting a lot of activities for my daughters in Year 3 and preschool, but we haven’t been doing much of them for a few reasons: 
  • The work isn’t always targeted at my children’s current learning level and there is less flexibility to tailor it than there would be in the class room.
  • I am a mum of 3 and finding out what I am meant to complete with 2 of my children at 9 am is too hard for me to manage. I prefer to plan our time the day before and find activities that allow me to balance the needs of all 3.
  • I don’t want my children to spend a lot of time online. When my daughters are relaxing they often want to go on YouTube, play games on the iPad etc so I need to balance that out with hands on activities away from screens.
  • Trying to make my children do work that doesn’t interest them results in shouting and tears from all of us. I find they are much more open to learning if I can make it fun and interesting for them.

How Learning Resources Can Help With Home Learning

On the Learning Resources website they have a variety of printable worksheets on everything from literacy and maths to science and geography. Learning Resources specialise in educational toys and games for children aged 2 to 11 and their online resources are for the same age group. There are different activities for each skill level for instance in maths they worksheets go from learning shapes to decimals and fractions. Some of the activities encourage use of Learning Resources products, but most don’t require any previous purchases. I love how the activities are bright, easy to follow and FREE! 

Tackling Tables Review - An Easy Way For Children To Get Confident With Times Tables

When I visited the Learning Resources stand at the January London Toy Fair one of my favourite products was the Tackling Tables card game. I didn’t learn my times tables very well when I was at school and even now if I am doing multiplication without a calculator I end up doing a calculation using the times tables I know well (5s and 10s mainly) and then adding or taking away eg to work out 9 x 6 I would do 10 x 6, then take away 6. It works, but it’s hardly ideal. To get really confident you need to be able to do more than just recite them in order you need to practice them in any order. I find it challenging to help my daughter practice, but the Tackling Tables cards make it much easier and she can also practice on her own. 

The cards are in 3 different colours with the easiest to learn times tables (1, 2, 5 and 10) in blue, the hardest (6, 7, 9, 11 and 12) in red and the rest (3, 4 and 8) in green.  On each card there are 3 numbers: if you multiple the numbers in the 2 corners together you get the number in the middle. You can easily cover the numbers up to test yourself or it makes it easy if you are testing someone else. The cards also reinforce how multiplication goes hand in hand with division. If you cover either of the small numbers up you can work out what it should be by dividing the big number by the remaining visible small number.

A Key stage 2 student practising multiplication with a Learning Resources Tackling Tables game
By covering up one of the numbers of the Tackling Tables cards you can practice multiplication and division

A close up of the blue tackling tables simple division cards showing 10 x 12 = 120
Tackling Tables from Learning Resources Review

Steggy The Fine Motor Dino Review- Toddler and Preschool Maths Toy

Steggy The Fine Motor Dino is recommended for children age 18 months to 4 years. This is a great educational toy that is currently being enjoyed by my youngest 2 children (who both happen to be huge dinosaur fans). Steggy is a happy looking plastic dinosaur with 10 colourful removable spikes with numbers on. The spikes can be inserted into Steggy’s back in any order and stored inside when not in use.

At the youngest end of the age range my son is enjoying pulling the spikes out of the dinosaurs back and putting them inside the toy, closing the flap at the back then opening it to take them all out again. This simple exercise is helping to develop his hand strength and his understanding of putting things in and out of a small window. 

The next stage will be to insert the spikes into the dinosaurs back which my son has tried a few times, but he doesn’t yet have the hand to eye coordination. The spikes can go in any slot, but they need to be pushed in the right way round and they are a little stiff to insert making it a bit more challenging than some of his shape sorter games.

My 4 year old has recently been learning to recognise her numbers up to 10 so Steggy has been great practise. She has been identifying the numbers on the spikes and putting them in the correct order (forwards and backwards).

The spikes are in 5 different colours which adds an additional learning element to the toy. Initially with my son I will use them to help him learn to match up the pairs and then go on to recognise the different colours. With my daughter who knows her colours well we have been creating patterns and I have been asking her which colour would come next in a sequence. 

The spikes happen to be arrow shaped so we have also been using them to introduce the idea of coding by placing them on the floor and following the instructions eg at the 6 taking 6 steps in the direction of the arrow then placing another spike with the arrow pointing another direction and following that instruction. My daughters have set up paths for each other to follow. 

Steggy The Fine Motor Dino is a great versatile educational toy which can be used by toddlers through to preschoolers. It has been fun for my younger 2 children to play with on their own and together.

A 1 year old pulling out chunky colourful spikes from a green plastic dinosaurs back
My baby placing the colourful spikes inside Steggy The Fine Motor Dino

A 4 year old preschooler insert spikes into a dinosaur back while practising number recognition
Practicing number recognition with my preschooler

my 1 year old pulling all the colourful spikes out of Learning Resources Steggy the fine motor dino after his sister has put them in
Pulling the colourful spikes out of Learning Resources Steggy The Fine Motor Dino

Arrow shaped spikes from Steggy The fine motor dinosaur on a dark wood floor and following the pattern
Playing with the spikes from Steggy by using them as arrows

***Disclosure: we were sent Tackling Tables and Steggy The Fine Motor Dino for review.***

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