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Monthly Archives

June 2018

Maths Activities

By | Top tips

Everyday activities for learning about maths

When creating the Little Wise Toys’ range for 3-6 year olds, part of the concept was to create a fun and interactive learning bridge between home and early years/early school settings.  As part of this, and as a complimentary range of activities to the Little Wise Box of Maths, I would love to share some other fun maths activities that you can weave into your day using everyday objects.  This blog post suggests some ideas.

When at home…

– Cooking together and letting children help with weighing and counting out spoonfuls and measurements.
– Sorting washing together by size and colour; and pairing up socks.
– Creating shapes out of different objects, such as coins or forks.
– Sorting and organising coins and notes into different piles.
– Cutting toast into squares and triangles.
– Model building with recycled breakfast cereal boxes etc and exploring different shapes and sizes.
– Marking everybody’s height on the wall and seeing who is the tallest, the shortest, and who comes in the middle.
– Writing a selection of numbers on a chalk board. When you call out a number they have to identify it and squirt it with water.
– Exploring position by moving an item into different locations and asking if it is on top of, underneath, in front of, behind, to the left of/or the right etc.
– Hunting for different things in your garden and counting how many you can spot (bugs, birds, stones, colours, trees and so on).

When out and about…

– Exploring the numbers on the number plates (e.g. see who can spot the number 2 on the parked cars while walking down the street; and have a go adding the numbers in the number plate up).
– Reading the numbers on the doors while walking down the street (and talking about different number patterns – e.g. odd numbers and even numbers).
– Getting the little one involved when out shopping – reading price tags, counting apples and other items, sorting coins and comparing weights (the heaviest and the lightest etc).
– Counting how many streetlamps, letter boxes, cats and so on you can spot on your walks; and how many steps you take getting from A to B.

I hope you find these suggestions useful and here’s to lots of fun exploring maths and learning through play.

Learning about shapes

By | Top tips

shapes, early years, early learning, maths

The travel friendly Little Wise Box of Maths explores shapes, distances and sizes, amongst many other areas.  It includes a range of tabs and images that children can use to help them learn.  Here are some other ideas for exploring these areas using day-to-day items you’ll find at home or when you are out and about.

– Go on a treasure hunt to find as many objects of one shape you can around the house, and then sort the objects into different shape piles.
–  Create different shapes using coins and other items you have lying around. Make large versions, smaller versions, and look at how close or far away the shapes are from each other.
– Cut out different shapes from a piece of paper and decorate each one in different ways with glue and paper, pens, pencils and paints.
– Find objects that you can paint one side of and stamp shapes lines onto paper (such as the end of a toilet roll or a pot lid).
– Play ‘eye spy the shape square (etc)’ when walking down the street and the other person has to spot as many things as they can of the chosen shape.
– Hide lots of different shaped items in a container with shredded paper and play lucky dip by pulling out the different objects and naming the shape that is picked.
– Cut out different sizes of the same shape and stack them on top of each other, starting with the biggest first and then getting smaller as you go on.

Happy shape learning ??????

The inspiration behind Little Wise Toys – back to basics

By | Inspiration behind Little Wise Toys

inspiration behind educational toy range

There are many inspirations behind why I created the Little Wise Toys’ range of educational and learning toys.  I’d love to share these with you through a series of posts over the coming weeks.  Here’s my first one – back to basics…

One of the things that parents often comment on in a positive light is the old school nature of the Little Wise Toys’ kits.  This always makes me happy because I wanted to take things back to basics.

We pretty much all use screen time in some form or another, and there are some great digital learning apps out there for our kids to use.  We also know though about the drawbacks that too much screen time can bring.  So, I wanted to create an alternative range of fun and interactive screen free ‘learning apps’.

I wanted to create a travel toys with a portable design so that, just like you can with an iPad, the kits can be popped in the bag and children can use them when on the move, as well as at home.  I wanted to create fun and interactive educational and learning toys that children can actually touch, feel, pick up, hold and move the different parts around, as an alternative to swiping them on a screen.  This also, of course, has great benefits in helping to develop fine-motor skills, which in turn helps support little ones with their writing skills.  I wanted to go back to basics and create educational and learning toys that enable and encourage children to use their own imagination and creativity, instead of ones where a lot of the imagination is already created for them in a digital age.  For example, some of the creative storytelling that the collage range has stimulated has been amazing; and I love the creative use of the other kits, such as being used as props in make-believe school role-plays with dolls as the pupils; and a variety of independent explorations of emotions, numbers and words. I also really wanted to create fun educational and learning toys that enable children to slow down a little bit too, without their minds constantly flicking from one fast paced scene to the next, with lots of flashing lights and noises.  We live in such a fast paced world, and it’s good to slow down sometimes – hence the snail image. ????????

I look forward to sharing more about other inspirations behind Little Wise Toys over the coming weeks.