Learn more about Chinese New Year 2020

Illustrated banner image of Chinese New Year 2020 Year of the Rat

In countries like the UK, Europe and the USA, we celebrate the start of each New Year on the first day of January. However, not all cultures observe New Year at the same time. The people of Thailand will celebrate the start of their New Year with a festival called Songkran in April 2020. Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, is a sacred time on the Hindu calendar. It’s a five-day celebration and starts in November.

The people of China around the world celebrate the start of their New Year on 25 January 2020. It’s also known as Spring Festival and is a time of celebrating special traditions, eating delicious food, and spending time with family and friends. In fact, being with family is so important that millions of people make their way home each year in what is known as the world’s biggest migration. read more

How to Be a Birdwatcher: Big Schools’ Birdwatch

Close up picture of a Goldcrest bird perched on a spruce tree branch.

Calling all young citizen scientists! Our friends at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) have commenced their annual Big Schools’ Bird Watch. Hurry, because schools have until 2 February 2020 to register, and results can be submitted any time until 21 February. Plus, the RSBP will share the results so you can see how your school is contributing to their scientific research.

The UK has many interesting bird species from the tiny Goldcrest which is just 9cm long, to the UK’s largest bird of prey, the White-tailed eagle which has a wingspan of up to 2.4m! Fancy yourself a nature detective on the lookout for the UK’s most interesting birds? Here are some fascinating facts about following our feathered friends and helpful hints to get you started. read more

Free Emotions Snowman Printable from Red Ted Art and Learning Resources

When you’re little, it can be hard to talk about how you feel. Learning Resources® has teamed up with Red Ted Art to create an easy, do-able fun conversation-starter craft that helps children learn more about themselves.

Maggy, the creative whizz behind Red Ted Art has designed a printable snowman that’s a colouring page and SEL resource in one. It’s an ideal way to allow for mindfulness time and provides opportunities to discuss and express feelings. Plus, it’s a fun artsy activity to keep kids busy on a cold winter’s afternoon (and practise fine motor skills, too). “It’s wonderful to see an increased focus on SEL resources available. SEL – Social Emotional Learning – should be core to any school and home-school curriculum,” says Maggy. read more

🚀 Blast off with Lonely Planet Moon Landing Competition Winners

Lonely Planet Competition Winners

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing on 20 July 2019, we teamed up with Lonely Planet Kids and scouted the known world for stories about kids in space. The responses were out of this world and our friends at Lonely Planet have given us the go-ahead to share the top entries with you. If you could go on a lunar adventure, what would you do? Leave a comment at the end of this blog post and tell us about your dream space journey.

The winning entry

Gaurika (10) sent us a story to go along with a picture. We thought it was hilarious that the alien asked the astronauts for a visa. Check out her drawing and read the story. read more

10 Educational Stocking Fillers Kids will Love

Picture of a girl and boy in pyjamas running down the stairs on Christmas morning with Christmas stockings while their parents happily watch

When they’ve done the big Christmas present shop, many parents find they run out of steam when looking for Christmas stocking fillers. It’s snow problem mums and dads! We’ve done the hard work for you. Relax, and browse our selection of the top 10 educational stocking filler ideas for Christmas. Then simply click, order and we’ll deliver. It couldn’t be easier. (PS. They make ideal last-minute gifts, so why not stock up on a few extras?)

Here are our top 10 educational stocking fillers: read more

10 Facts about the Clocks Changing

Picture of a young girl standing in front of a huge clock face turning the dials

From Big Ben in London to the Corpus Chronophage in Cambridge, the UK has some of the world’s most famous and interesting clocks. We were one of the first countries to standardise time throughout a region (what we know as Greenwich Mean Time or GMT) and we’re one of several countries in the world to change the clocks according to the seasons.

Daylight saving time allows us to enjoy more daylight hours during summer and winter. In summer, we score an extra hour of light in the evenings, and in winter, sunrise arrives earlier. Clocks go forward an hour at 1am on the last Sunday in March, and back an hour at 2am on the last Sunday in October. read more

10 Fascinating Facts about Hibernation

Illustration of a bear, bear cub, badger and ladybirds hibernating in the ground

Animals that hibernate seem to have the right idea: Head indoors, hang up the ‘Do not disturb’ sign and catch some Z’s until Spring returns. Or do they? Several animals may seem to snooze away the long dark winter days, but that isn’t what actually happens. Here are some surprising facts about what happens to animals during hibernation. (And why humans can’t hibernate.)

Does hibernation mean sleeping?

Picture of a hedgehog sleeping hedgehog lying on its back on a bed of autumn leaves in hibernation.

Hedgehogs, bears, bats and other animals aren’t really sleeping during hibernation. As this article from Woodland Trust explains, hibernating animals enter a state of inactivity where their heart rate and breathing slows, and their body temperature and metabolism drops. The body temperature of the Artic ground squirrel can drop to below -2°C while a bat’s heart rate can drop from 400 to 11 beats per minute. read more

Our Top 10 Toys for Christmas 2019 🎄

Picture of a young happy boy is sitting on a sofa lifting the lid off his Christmas present while his happy dad looks on

The smart elves at Learning Resources Christmas workshop have been busy! This Christmas we’re making it magical with our selection of hands-on educational toys, games and activities, stocking fillers and family games to help you find perfect Christmas gift ideas.

From coding and programming robots to sensory and creative play, it’s the most wonderful time to invest in toys that will bring hours of learning fun through hands-on play children will enjoy throughout the year. Spark curiosity, imagination and joy, and unwrap this year’s top 10. read more

5 Halloween STEM Activities to try

Three young girls and a young boy wearing Halloween costumes are sitting with scary pumpkins on their laps and making scary poses for the camera

Looking for Halloween STEM activities and trick or treat ideas for some ghoulish learning fun through hands-on play? It’s the perfect time to enjoy sticky, slimy, squishy sensory play and child-friendly mad scientist chemistry activities. Try these ideas for super (natural) learning fun. Creep it real!

Super easy Halloween sensory bins

A tub of Learning Resources Jumbo plastic tweezers for kids in bright colours

This is a trick with a twist that’s ideal for Halloween tactile activities. While cooking up a packet of spaghetti, add food colouring to the water. The wackier the colour, the better so opt for shades like green, purple, brown or orange. Once cooked, drain and allow to cool. Add the cooled, cooked pasta to a bag or bowl and let little ones get stuck in. read more

Help your child love maths for life

A dad helps his young daughter do maths, she is using an abacus and writing in a notebook, helping her learn to love maths for life.

Some children have a natural talent for numbers, while others tilt towards subjects like art. But whether your child is a future data scientist or a musician in the making, maths is all around us.

Good numeracy is vital, but many British parents are quick to confess that they don’t enjoy maths, or struggle with it. In fact, according to independent charity National Numeracy, one in four people in the UK are put off from applying for a job if it involves numbers. read more