10 reasons why an educational toy isn’t just for Christmas

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We believe educational toys and games aren’t just for Christmas; they inspire a lifetime love of learning! Play nurtures development and is the foundation for all learning, helping children to build everything from communication and language skills to imagination and creativity. With this in mind, we’re confident that our educational toys will be played with all year round and have put together a list of ten areas of development that they support.

1) Communication and Language

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Educational toys can provide children with opportunities to use their vocabulary and discover new words. Imaginative play tools such as puppets help young learners to express themselves, ask questions and practice the art of conversation. read more

Five activities you didn’t know you could do with Cuisenaire® Rods

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What are
Cuisenaire® Rods?

Cuisenaire® Rods are colourful rods that can be used for small groups or whole class work to help children understand mathematical concepts. The rods come in different sizes and colours, and each colour represents a different rod length that can each be assigned numeric values or units of measure. Learning Resources® offer three different types of rods; wooden, plastic and interlocking plastic, and each are available in three different sizes: introductory, small group and classroom multi pack.

Cuisenaire® Rods are a hands-on teaching resource. They relate abstract ideas about numbers and shapes to something children can see and touch. This makes mathematical ideas easier to internalise and encourages children to solve abstract problems they may not otherwise be able to. These rods were invented by Georges Cuisenaire. He discovered that by making use of children’s natural inclination to play and giving them an appealing material which demonstrated the relationships on which mathematics is based, it was possible to provide understanding for them all. read more

What’s Hot? STEM Robot Mouse

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This month you have loved our award-winning STEM Robot Mouse Activity Set, the low cost solution to coding in primary classrooms!

This must-have set provides an introduction to the concepts of coding and STEM learning. We are surrounded by technology like never before including video games, smart phones and tablets. They are all forms of communication that impact our lives every single day and what they have in common is that they all involve coding! This set provides early learners a fun, real-world application of these essential 21st century skills. Children can programme the sequence of steps, and then watch the mouse race to find the cheese! read more

What is Mathematics Mastery?

What is Maths Mastery?

Mastery approaches to teaching maths is a current hot topic within education. ‘Mastery’ means acquiring a deep, secure and transferable understanding of maths. Our Educational Product Development Coordinator and in-house teacher, Joanne Moore, has outlined the 3 main elements for developing ‘mastery’ (also the 3 aims in the National Curriculum for Maths):

  • Fluency: to develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
  • Reasoning:  to follow a line of enquiry, conjecture relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
  • Problem solving: to apply mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.

‘Mastery’ is built gradually and, in order to acquire the skills to a deepened level, learning moves through three different stages (based on Bruner, 1960); concrete, pictorial and abstract. read more

Imaginations Bloom Over Spring

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Spring time represents a flourishing stage of development with colourful blossoms and longer daylight hours. With only a few months until the end of the school year, it’s the perfect time to support hands-on learning at home as well as encouraging outdoor exploration and discovery. Learning Resources have introduced over 90 new educational toys and games for 2016, and we have selected a few of our favourites, to highlight the key benefits and skills that they help to support.

 

Numeracy

All About Me Family Counters Activity Cards read more

Learning Resources has won an Education Resources Award!

Learning Resources was presented with an Education Resources Award in the ‘Primary Resource or Equipment – Curriculum learning resources including ICT’ category for its STEM Robot Mouse Activity Set. Held on the 18th of March, the awards honour the quality and diversity of products, schools and the most dedicated members of the education sector. In their eighteenth successful year, the awards are organised by BESA, the trade association representing educational suppliers in the UK sector, and Brilliant Marketing Solutions.

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New for 2016, The STEM Robot Mouse Activity Set engages primary children as they build hands-on coding skills. Children create their very own maze using base tiles, tunnel pieces and walls and then programme Colby the Robot Mouse to find the cheese. Easy-to-use, Colby lights-up, makes sounds and features two speeds with colourful buttons that match coding cards for simple programming and sequencing. read more