Children generally start preschool between the ages of 2 and 3, during which time they are developing incredibly fast. From getting to grips with language, learning how to count, recognising letters as well as perfecting a whole load of motor skills, they'll be ready to head off to big school before you know it. Keen to help them with their early years education at home? We’ve got it covered with our collection of fab learning toys that little learners will adore.
GET THEM CRAFTING
The Janod Height Adjustable Easel is a great pick if you’re looking to get them used to crafting. After all easels are a common painting and drawing preschool prop. With a blackboard on one side it’ll develop drawing skills, while the magnetic whiteboard, with a roll down paper gets them used to painting. Strong enough for two little artists, it also encouraging sharing when two mini Monets are hard at work. Bonus.
TO ENCOURAGE COUNTING
Ok, ok, no-one expects a Countdown genius at preschool stage, but helping them with their counting means they don’t feel so confused when they start being introduced to proper maths lessons. The Liewood Abacus is ideal for their developing numeracy skills, but in cool pastel shades, looks beaut on their shelf when it isn't being used. It's the kind of thing that they can come back to again and again as their counting skills grow.
HELPING WITH THEIR ABC'S
Before they are able to start reading for themselves, they need to figure out the alphabet, so the ThinkTouchLearn: ABC book is the perfect preschooler-focused title to get them learning without them even realising it. Designed to be tactile, they are able to learn through touch and sight, with pages featuring bold colours and lasercut letters that their eyes and fingers will love to explore.
FOR COLOUR RECOGNITION
If they’re more a visual type of kid, then the The Jam Tart Animal Colours Flash Cards are great for encouraging colour recognition. The set includes 20 brilliantly-bold, double-sided cards, which includes an animal and supporting text, such as 'Red Robin'. As they hit reception age, encourage their colour skills further by introducing the more complicated tones such as khaki and magenta. It's a set that offers long lasting learning and that’s what we like.
SUSSING OUT SHAPES
Shapes and colours are a big deal at preschool and we know from experience that kids are taught all about this at this time. So give them a lil' head start with the Classic World Geometric Puzzle. Featuring nine different shapes, with shapes within those as well, it’ll help them use their fine-motor and sorting skills as they match up the colours. Double duty!
THEIR OWN STATIONERY
While they don't need to take their own stationery to school yet, it's great to have a set to call their own at home. And for all of those pens, pencils and other crafty bits and bobs, they'll need a pencil case to keep them in. We rate the Engel designs, innovatively made from recycled plastic bottles. That's sustainable stationery at it's finest.
A PLACE TO LEARN
Around the preschool age, it's great to set up a quiet zone at home where they can get busy with arts and crafts, small-piece play or to figure out puzzles or games. The Plan Toys Round Table is the perfect alternative to a desk at home. Designed with a removable centre piece, they can keep stationary, puzzle pieces or other learning treasures inside. It's a table that will be great for playing, learning and eating at as they go into full-time school too.
PLAYING IS LEARNING TOO
The majority of time at preschool is spent playing, which is no surprise since they pick up and learn lifelong skills through play. From pretend play to craft to open-ended play, we have a variety of goodies that will have them building knowledge while they have fun. We have a soft spot for the Wee Gallery Lacing Cards which encourage their tactile skills, concentration and coordination as they pull the needle through the holes. Once they are done, take out the thread ready to make a new pattern next time.
So there you have it. Our guide to continuing or starting their learning at home. Why not check out our Learning Toys category for even more educationally-driven goodies.