This week, I have been having fun reviewing the Twinkl Educational Resources website, along with my two discerning testers L (5) and N(3). A Premium Subscription to the Twinkl site costs £29.99 for a year’s subscription, and gives teachers, parents, childminders, grandparents, or anyone involved with children, their learning and playing, a wealth of creative and hand-drawn resopurces at the click of a button.
Now, I wasn’t sure how much I would like downloading ready to use resources – I do tend to think that half the fun of an activity is making the props with my little helpers – but time is precious to busy mums, I am sure to teachers too. Twinkl themselves say they are
“…designed to save you time so you can concentrate on the important stuff – nurturing the children in your care”
– who can argue with that?
Twinkl’s buzz-word is “lovely” – you are invited to “search our lovely resources” “share your lovely displays” – and lovely they are – hand drawn rather than computer-generated, I think they strike the right balance of cute without being too cartoon-ish, and homespun without being amateur-ish. And they don’t look like you’ve printed the first thing you found off clip-art. I think they would captivate a child’s attention, and there is scope for imagination, which we love :-). Their logo is this chirpy little birdy:
The Parents’ section of the website is accessible, and is helpful in translating school-speak for parents who want to stay involved with their children’s education. There are also some handy resources for use in the home environment, including an exciting range of printable reward charts with a theme to suit any child’s interests. I like the fact that the range is so encompassing, since the difference between bugs versus dinosaurs could be instrumental in engaging a child in a reward scheme.
There are also activity ideas, divided into curriculum subject areas, so that you can see exactly where this is helping your child – and I think this would be very helpful in spotting a child’s natural strengths, or areas they might need more support with. L enjoyed the Space adding and subtracting puzzle the best. There were also printable maths games which would be great to have around as a ten minute “in between activity” and I think we will definitely use a lot. N liked the cutting worksheets, as she is completely into practising cutting at the moment.
There are some lovely (yes, lovely!) craft ideas, and my favourite has to be the play-dough mats with letters of the alphabet, which we used to help us make these salt dough ornaments this week:
This leads me on to the Christmas section of the site, which I love. Again, it is divided into sections, by curriculum subject area. The role play section is wonderful, as is the games and activities section – we had fun with ordering Christmassy objects by size, and also choosing some recipes. There are several advent calendar designs to choose from and make, plus Christmas themed games which we will use a lot over the holidays.
Time is never shorter than in the run-up to Christmas, and I know I will find these resources invaluable. The other time-saving feature is that you can download a whole resource pack in one click, which saves a lot of messing about cutting and pasting.
I think the Twinkl subscription is excellent value for money. The site also adds new resources frequently, and there is the facility to suggest new resources or changes to existing ones. I think there is plenty here to meet the needs of most people who play and work with children!