I love being creative – making things, telling stories and playing games -but as usual my enthusiasm quite often exceeds my ability and I get stuck with ideas for my one and two year old boys. There are a million websites and boards online but it’s hard to know what is age appropriate and user friendly, and I find myself getting overwhelmed and reverting to drawing pictures or doing stickers – which is always fun but gets a bit boring after a while. Because here’s the thing – I’m not only looking for activities that my boys will love and learn from – I also want stuff that’s going to be interesting and fun for me too. And this is the first thing that I noticed when I discovered the little gem that is the Twinkl website.
Before I go into more detail about what I love about Twinkl I’ll give you some background – basically it’s a website full of resources for parents and teachers (this had me hooked from the start – all the things available on the site are classroom quality with real learning value that can be used easily at home). Their website states that “Twinkl changes lives by providing instant access to a complete range of teacher created, engaging and inspiring teaching, planning and assessment materials. ”
The material is created by specialists and is available from birth to aged 16 for parents, carers, home educators, childminders, teachers and teaching assistants. And mums like me who are trying to find ways to entertain the kids that don’t involve them climbing the curtains, jumping on the beds or breaking my favourite stuff!
So to the best bit – the content. The website is very easy to navigate and organised into categories, topics and levels so that finding engaging and appropriate activities is super simple. My first stop was the newly launched birth to twos resources tab located in the parents section – where I also found things that would have been perfect for pregnancy – there are baby shower printables and games, things to use to prepare older children for a new arrival, hospital bag and baby preparation checklists, sibling busy box ideas and maternity leave things to do. So many cute ideas all in one place! There are also sections on home organisation (including things like growth, chore and reward charts), craft and educational guides and then the age appropriate categories.
I often find it difficult to find activities that are suitable to do with both boys as they are still at such different levels (Mr 2 is now well and truly ready to build and create whilst Mr 1 wants to squash and eat everything his big brother makes) – so imagine my delight when I found the edible play section -things that can be made and are safe to eat – perfect for both levels of engagement! The very first activity we chose to do was edible sensory water beads – and the boys loved it! Older brother got to help with the measuring and preparing the ingredients then younger brother got to smash, squash and taste test the creation. We’re not going to talk about the cleaning up 🙂
On to find more projects…..this is one of my favourite times of year and Twinkl literally had me at Halloween – there are soooo many spooky resources that we get to play with over the next few weeks and then we get to move onto the Christmas section! I was recently going to purchase some story stones but have just found some cute Christmas ones on the site so have saved myself $40!
It doesn’t stop there either – there are activities for all celebrations, times of year and global and multicultural activities – which lead me straight to the specially made Australian resources section – honestly the boys are going to be 16 before we get a chance to get through everything I want to use. The resources are going to be invaluable when we start our trip around Australia – there are maps, photos and fact files which will be amazing when we’re on the road – which will also fit in really nicely with our plan to home school.
As if all that wasn’t enough there is also a section on the website where you can create your own activities and printables with templates, images and layouts provided -and in the unlikely scenario that you can’t find something you are after you can request it too.
The only problem with Twinkl is that I’m spending way too much time on there choosing our next fun activity when I should be working!
*Twinkl kindly gifted me the subscription to write this review – but all thoughts, photos and opinions are my own.