Being a parent means taking care of all the needs of your child. From feeding and potty training to nap times and play, there is a whole world of information out there to help you find your way. When it comes to education though, it often seams like something we leave up to nursery and schools and maybe grab the odd workbook at the supermarket.
However, with Twinkl we don’t need to do the hard work. Twinkl gives you the power to teach your children at the skill level they are currently at. Twinkl has taken away the hard work of endless hours searching for the right worksheet, or the best words to explain a subject.
I am massively impressed with Twinkl’s resource library, whether the girls ask ‘Mum, how do bees fly?’, ‘Mum, what did dinosaurs eat? or any other question, Twinkl usually has the answer and then a huge range of topics to add on to it.
A great example of this is when Kairi decided she wanted to learn about birds. One day she asked, ‘Mum, can we learn about birds please?’ and of course my answer was ‘Yes.’ but then queue the panic as I wasn’t sure where to look and what to teach her and I knew it needed to be done quick before she went off to do something else.
So I quickly clicked onto Twinkl where I searched ‘Birds’ and changed the advance search box to ‘Early Years’ so I would get activities for her stage. I quickly printed off a garden birds comprehension reading activity and the life cycle poster. We started with these and Kairi loved it, Twinkl recommend a few other things to me and I sat with Kairi so we could pick a few more. We printed off items to make a display to refer back to, 5 little ducks puppets to play with and I also grabbed some matching egg numbers, counting cards, colouring sheets, pencil cards, CVC words for reading and more. I was honestly amazed at how much I could find on a topic, just by one simple search I had managed to cover Maths, Literacy, Language, Physical Development: Motor Skills and add lots of fun in too, Kairi didn’t even know she was learning!
A huge bonus is the resource packs which there are LOADS of. These packs are full of a wide range of resources on a massive topic, Birds, Christmas, Seasons etc, there are so many to chose from and make preparing for a topic, a piece of cake.
Lastly, if you really can’t find the resource you are looking for (which has only happened to me once) or you want to slightly change a recourse that is already made, you can message Twinkl and ask for one to be made or an adjustment. Twinkl are really fast at responding and helping you out, so you’re never stuck for long.
More recently, we have discovered the world of Twinkl planning. I love to plan, but when it comes to educating my children, I was lost and had no idea where or how to start. We have a list of groups to attend and I have a pile full of activities to do, but we just didn’t seam to get round to doing anything until I entered the world of planning with Twinkl.
There are 3 main things that helped me, firstly Twinkl has a ‘save for later’ button which you can use to save resource that you come across and categorise them, into different topics. For me I have a ever growing ‘Christmas’ section as well as ‘Reading’ and ‘Planning’. This is particularly helpful if you are like me and will forget what you searched to find a certain thing later or if you are planning topics in advance.
Secondly the planning sheets, there are so many to choose from, but my personal favourites are ‘Our Week/Month ahead’, these sheets really help me see at a glance what we are doing so we don’t miss groups but also help me put in planned topic time so I know the girls have enough time during the week on each topic. These 2017-2018 academic year calendars that I came across the other day are amazing too, they have dates for set events, keywords for resources and ideas for other topics to do. We will be using this one a lot this year.
Finally the foundation planning (EYFS) and Plan It (Years 1-6) are perfect if, like me, you are interested in EYFS/Curriculum. These sections have planned lessons ready to print or use (power point) with all the resources and worksheets to go along with them. Kairi has been interested in programming at the moment, so I hopped onto Twinkl and used Plan It to grab a few lessons, we did lesson 1 and 2 of year 1 and she loved it, so I saved the rest to do later. Each lesson has a PowerPoint that I can go through with her, a worksheet and a print out, it’s saved me so much time and she is loving it.
If you are looking to make your own resources then Twinkl Create has you covered, I used it to make labels for our Kallax Boxes, as I could use words and pictures, both Kairi and Naminé can now see where are resources are to get them out and pout them away. I’m also looking forward to using it to make certificates.
I touched on displays a little earlier, but Twinkl has the most impressive display materials that I figured I needed to mention them again. If you are working on a set topic, you can download separate display items like boarders, pictures, keywords etc or if you are not creative (like me) you can grab a whole, ready made display pack which has everything in it ready for you.
I’ve used the display items to show off the girls phonics, create a visual time table for them and create topical displays too.
This is a feature that we are planning to start using properly in September. Imagine give you a topic a day to talk about. Today’s picture for example is sun cream, KS1 asks a question ‘who’s are these? What are they used for?’ and also has a challenge, today’s is a maths challenge. Ks2 has ‘Think, Solve and Discover’, I love the idea of there being facts to learn each day.
The visual aids on the site have been amazing. I’ve used them to make Kairi a ‘fan’ so we can learn phonics on the go and for Naminé we have created a ‘feelings fan’, which after we started using, we have noticed a massive improvement in her behaviour as she could use the pictures so explain to us how she was feeling so we could solve the issue.
As I mentioned, I love to keep track of where the girls are at. I like to know they are doing well and work on things before they get left behind, so when I started to explore Twinkl’s assessment I was very impressed. As Kairi is of school age in September, I went though a workbook with her and we looked at how well she is doing, its so nice to have a bit of reassurance. For both girl, we are currently using the EYFS (Mostly) and having a pocket version of the Early Years Outcomes has been so helpful. It is great to take a peak on the go and I can only wish I had it when I was doing learning journals in out of school care and nursery.
I honestly cannot say enough about how amazing Twinkl is and what is has given our family. Knowledge is power and Twinkl has made gaining that knowledge so easy and has taken away the hours it would take me to put it all together.
Check out our Independence Day learning with Twinkl too.
*This is a collaborative post, all opinions are my own*