My name is Michelle and I am the creator and owner of Little Wise Toys. I live in Kent (having recently moved from London) with my inspiration, my ten year old daughter, who has her very own ‘work nickname’ (she’s a brilliant assistant!) – Little Wise Junior.
Before starting Little Wise Toys, I spent ten years working on a range of children and young people focused policy areas across two central Government Departments – the Department of Health and the Department for Education. I project managed the development of some high profile programmes and gained invaluable insight and experience in the area of children and young people during my time working in government (e.g. I was the Project Manager and Co-author of the Healthy Child Programme for 5-19 year olds). My undergraduate and postgraduate degrees were also focused on policy development and research (see further information below about how relevant expertise has been built into the development of the product range).
Since becoming a mum, I was keen to look for a more flexible way of working to allow me to combine my working life with being a mum. A combination of this change in direction; my skill-set and experience; a passion for fun and interactive learning; a wish to help children to develop important key life skills; and a love for all things creative – naturally led me to the creation of a concept that has now evolved into Little Wise Toys.
Little Wise Toys offers a range of award winning travel friendly and educational toys and toolkits for children and young people. The educational toys in the 3-6 age range cover areas such as phonics, emotions, maths and dinosaurs. The Reframing Your Thoughts Toolkit for 6-12 year olds was launched in the autumn of 2020 and the Reframing Your Thoughts Toolkit for teens was launched in the summer of 2021. These toolkits provide children and young people with the knowledge, skills and tools to help them to understand and manage their thoughts, emotions and feelings; and approach things in life in a way that promotes their confidence, happiness and resilience.
The Little Wise Toys activity sets provide an ideal fun and interactive learning bridge between home and early years settings and school and are bursting with support across a range of different areas and life skills. Each activity box is nice and compact, making the products perfect for using on the move, as well as at home. I was also keen to design a range of interactive educational toys and resources that offer an old school approach to learning and all of the benefits that this can bring. There are no screens, flashing lights or loud noises, yet plenty of old fashioned opportunities for fun, interaction, exploration and imagination.
As well as all of the product range being used by parents at home, the kits also work well in 1:1 or group activities in educational and wider support service settings for children.
Extensive research has gone into developing all nine educational and learning toys and resources and they have also been shared with a range of children and young people focused specialists (such as teachers, a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator who is also a Psychology Teacher and a Child Psychotherapist), parents and children as part of the consultation process. I am also always looking for opportunities to continue to develop my own knowledge base and expertise. For example, I have successfully completed a diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). CBT is a form of therapy that aims to help people by changing their way of thinking which, in turn, influences how they feel and behave. This approach is a key strand informing the Reframing Your Thoughts toolkits.
Care has also been taken to ensure that the products have a number of good environmentally friendly credentials – such as all paper and card materials being either recycled or from sustainable sources; and using magnetic material for the boards from an award winning environmentally friendly supplier that operates a zero-landfill policy.
All toys also comply with the rigorous EU Toy Safety standards.
You can find out more about the values behind Little Wise Toys here.
If you decide to delve into the world of Little Wise Toys, I hope that the wise little person that the products have been purchased for has as much fun learning with their educational toys and resources as I have had creating the range.
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