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

Click with coding at Learning Resources

Want your child to click with coding? Kids have an innate curiosity about their worlds, and learning complex concepts and skills comes naturally when done through play.

Learning to code isn’t only about programming computers. We published a blog on five reasons why it’s great for youngsters to learn coding, from encouraging them to develop if-then thinking, to boosting their self-confidence when they master this new skill. read more

5 ways young kids benefit from learning to code

National Coding Week takes place every September, and it isn’t only for computer geeks. Coding is simply another way of saying ‘programming or developing’ and at Learning Resources we know that children as young as four can grasp complex coding concepts. Experts recommend that as with learning a new language, the earlier children start, the better. In other words, there’s no better time to begin than today.

Not every child who learns to code will go on to become a software engineer, but don’t let that stop you from introducing your little learner to coding because the benefits go far beyond the obvious. Education experts note that a major benefit kids gain through learning to code is how to break a big task into smaller, more manageable steps – a vital skill for school life and beyond. read more

10 free ways to entertain kids

Entertaining kids doesn’t have to empty your wallet. There’s a lot families can do that doesn’t cost a thing. All it takes is some imagination to find free things to do with kids. (PS. They can be fun for grown-ups, too!)

Whether it’s the weekend, a long school holiday, or a quick half-term break, keeping kids occupied can prove expensive. The good news is there’s lots families can do that won’t break the bank. We’ve lined up some of our favourite free things to do with kids to keep them busy, whatever the weather. read more

Travel Tips for Entertaining Children – A BritMums Party!

Travel tips for entertaining children

We know that there are plenty of parents, teachers and caregivers out in the Twitterverse, willing to share their valuable wisdom. Therefore we were really looking forward to seeing what tips would come out of the BritMums Twitter Party that we recently sponsored, especially because the topic focused on entertaining children while travelling; a tricky challenge faced by so many of us!

Read more to find out the Top Travel Tips for Entertaining your children! read more

The importance of outdoor play – guest blog by Claire from The Ladybirds’ Adventures

Highlighting the importance of outdoor play
Claire from the Ladybirds' Adventure discussing on the importance of kids outdoor play.

Outdoor play is such an important part of childhood and one that is often overlooked. Children are naturally drawn to being outside but the amount of outdoor play that children get is declining year on year. My own children are 6 and 3 years old, they love spending time outdoors. When I’m not in a tent, at the beach or exploring the woods, you’ll find me sharing our adventures and ideas for outdoor play on my blog, The Ladybirds’ Adventures. First let me tell you some of the many benefits of outdoor play so that you understand why you should be getting your kids outside.

1. It helps increase physical fitness and reduces levels of childhood obesity

Children improving their physical fitness outside.

Playing outside gives children the space and freedom to run, climb, jump and much more. All of these are fantastic gross motor activities which are so important for kids’ development. Physical activity also helps reduce childhood obesity, although other factors such as diet can also contribute. read more