Friday, 28 June 2013

Not just for Teachers!- Twinkl- a Review

Over the last few weeks a lot of our activity posts have included resources from the site Twinkl. I thought it was about time I write a proper review of our experience of using these resources.


Twinkl Birdy
I'm not a teacher, I'm not an early years practitioner or child minder, I'm not even a home educator. I'm just a mummy who likes to keep her pre-schoolers busy and hopefully teach them something new while they are having fun.

So what have we been using Twinkl teaching resources for?


Decoration


Proudly displayed over the children's activity table, right next to the bookcase we have a colourful poster "We Love Books".

We have also got signs in our downstairs toilet to help Abigail with toilet training which are part of the numerous Parent Resources. On her first official day of toilet training Abigail put her own posters up in the toilet helping her gain a bit of control on the situation.

Twinkl potty training resources

As you can see we also used a behaviour monitoring chart. This chart has loads of faces and you can make the face have as big a smile (or not) as you want. It really helped the first week of toilet training. Rather than giving a sticker and just asking for a sticker for being good, Abigail helped choose which kind of smile was best. A big smile for a big wee, a sad face for an accident. She used the faces to express how she felt.

Day Planning 

 

Twinkl Parent resources, visual time table

The Visual Time Table is also one of the Parent Resources. These are dozens of picture representations of things a young child might do with their day. We don't use them everyday, but we get them out on days that are going to be busy or a little different to help plan the day with the children. There are also incredibly useful for discussing with Abigail what she has done at nursery. When I ask her the usual response is "played". She still requires a lot of questions to tell the story of what she has been doing. But with the cards she is able to show me what she has been up to!

Story resources 


Twinkl has a lot of Literacy Resources aimed across the 3-11yr age range. We have used some of these for activities related to books we are reading. We have also used some of the Story Sack Resources to produce our own Story Sacks. To buy a Story Sack can be very expensive. These resources allow a book and a collection of odds and ends to be turned into a fantastic Story Sack at the fraction of the price.

Owl babies story sack


Role Play 


The Role Play resources are a great to compliment the children's imaginative play.  We used some of the items from the Goldilocks and the Three Bears Story resources to set the children up with a story telling role play activity. They used the equipment and Teddy bears I provided along with the Twinkl Labels to act out the whole story!

I also used the Bakers Shop Role play resources, along with some home made play dough and bits from Abigail's toy kitchen to make a Bakers Shop in our conservatory. It was one of Abigail's favourite activities ever and she spend two continuous days playing with the shop.

Bakers shop, role play, Twinkl


Games


We also found a variety of printable games, which we used as part of our Story Sacks. Here Abigail is matching Mummy and Baby Animals.




Our Experience 


We have thoroughly enjoyed testing out so many of the resources Twinkl has to offer. There are so many resources that are suitable to use at home by parents. We have been able to make some great activities up for the children which have been enjoyed a lot. The graphics are bright and colourful and child friendly. I've seen Twinkl in our local Sure Start and in Abigail's nursery, so they are also an image style she is familiar with.

Twinkl is a website which offers over 60,000 hand drawn resources for use in primary schools, nurseries and other educational settings. The resources are available to home educators, child minders and of course any parent wanting to learn at home with their children. Most of the resources are free, but there is also a Premium Service which gives access to an additional 10,000 resources and costs £29.99 for an entire year. This works out as less than £2.50 a month, or 58p a week, so around the price of a chocolate bar. Without subscribers Twinkl wouldn't be able to continue offering these resources and developing new ones. With the amount we have been able to do, the massive potential for future activities I would definitely say that it is worth the money!

There is so much that Twinkl has to offer and I don't feel we have even touched the tip of the Ice berg. Every time I visit the website I think of new ways in which I could use the resources. I'm looking forward to the Summer Holidays when Abigail is at home most of the week and we can have a play around with some more activities!!


Disclaimer: When I contacted Twinkl last month about using their resources in my blog they upgraded me to their Premium service to allow me to show more of their resources. Ideas of how to use these and opinions are my own. 

1 comment:

Heather McAvan said...

Absolutely lovely as usual! I love the role play area especially, you've gone to so much effort, awesome! Heather@twinkl