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Monday 2 July 2018

Early Years Resources Throwing & Catching Review

Hello all!

The weather has been absolutely amazing recently (especially considering it's England!) and as a result the children have been spending most of their time outdoors.

The wonderful Early Years Resources sent me over one of their Active Throwing and Catching Kit's and my children have had countless hours of fun using the variety of resources!

The kit contains;

  • 6 weighted scarves
  • 6 smooth quoits
  • 6 x 10cm soft touch balls
  • 6 bean bags
  • 6 x 7cm foam balls
  • Drawstring kit bag
The drawstring bag is so handy to store everything in as often things outside get lost so easily - so having a bag to throw it all back in makes tidy up time with the little ones SO much easier! 

In addition to developing their gross motor skills and overall physical development, the children have also been using other skills as a result of the kit, including working on their sharing skills and teamwork, as you can see with the boys below who were playing with the hoop making up their own game similar to football.

The girls were working on their turn taking and physical development skills by throwing and catching the beanbag to each other.

The children enjoyed using the range of balls, bean bags, scarves and quoits.

The kit really helped children with their throwing and catching skills, often as practitioners we are so focused on getting all areas of the curriculum squeezed into the outdoor area that physical development opportunities can sometimes be overlooked at points - so this throwing and catching kit was a great way to focus the children on a specific physical skill.

The children then set up their own game using the hoops and took it in turns to try and throw the beanbags and balls into the hoops.

I know the Active Throwing and Catching Kit will be a firm favourite with my children for a long time to come, I love that the items are all different sizes meaning that children who are in the early stages of throwing and catching, as well as the more advanced children are all able to use the kit. If you would like to purchase your own Active Throwing and Catching Kit then you can click on the links throughout my profile which will take you to the Early Years Resources website, where you can also check out their wide range of other products.


I received this product for free to try out with my class. However, the review and opinions are my own and I have given a full and true reflection of how this product was used and tested in my classroom.

Sunday 10 June 2018

A fairy good giveaway!

Hi all!

This blog post is all about The Irish Fairy Door Company's amazing 'Worry Plaque' and how I've been using it in my classroom to support with the transition from Nursery to Reception.

 This is the worry plaque which you can either attach to the wall (it comes with screws to attach it) or you can use it so that it is portable. I added mine to my calm down corner where the children go if they need to reflect on their feelings or just for a quiet place to sit in the classroom.

 I introduced it as part of our morning meeting and we had a discussion about how we might be feeling and if any of us were worried about anything - which I used in conjunction with the Irish Fairy Door Company's 'Worry Way' section on their website which is AMAZING!

It covers a wide range of things that children may be worried about to help you address it with your class, or individual child.

We discussed how if we were feeling worried we could go to the plaque, place our hand on it and tell the fairies our worries. The fairies then take these worries and turn them into wishes for other children - the wonderful thing about the plaque is that it's SO visual, when you place your hand on it the plaque will glow red... and then turn to green once the worry has been taken away!

 My kiddos absolutely LOVED it - they have been spending a lot of time in the Calm Down Corner telling the fairies all about their worries. The wonderful thing about the plaque is that at 3 and 4 it can be difficult to explain why you're feeling worried or anxious, it's such a consuming feeling and can be very overwhelming for little ones - I've had lots of tears and tantrums that seem to have appeared from nowhere recently and it's because my children don't know how to communicate their feelings. The worry plaque has been a great help so far, especially as it's coming up to that time of year where the children are getting ready to move up to 'big school'. I know that this will be a vital part of my personal, social and emotional development activities throughout the year and will now become an integral part of my class.

If you'd like to WIN a worry plaque for yourself then head over to my instagram page where you can enter! Simply click on the link or my logo below! Alternatively search for me @misslynchsclass

Remember it is for UK entrants only. I will announce the winner on Sunday 24th June 2018 and pass the winner's details on to The Irish Fairy Door Company who will arrange delivery. If you simply cannot wait or just want to purchase a worry plaque, or other fairy goodies, for yourself then check out the full range here.

I received this product for free to try out with my class. However, the review and opinions are my own and I have given a full and true reflection of how this product was used and tested in my classroom.

Friday 8 December 2017

A Very Merry Giveaway with Learning Resources UK

Hi Everyone,

Can you believe that there's only a few weeks until Christmas?! Today we got a snow day so school was closed, but I've also had a sickness bug so I didn't get to enjoy the snow (poor me!).. but enough of my self pity... today I'm sharing my giveaway and a chance for you lovely people who live in the UK to win a Learning Resources City Engineering and Design Building Set worth £24... and the bonus is that it will be here in time for Christmas for the winner!!

I was sent this set over by the great team at Learning Resources UK and my kids have seriously LOVED it! You can probably tell from the photos that it was a HUGE hit with the boys!

I just love how it has supported collaborative learning and has tested their negotiation and communication skills - some of my boys can be reluctant talkers but having to work together with their friends to create different designs has meant that they have HAD speak to others.

The kit contains over 80 construction pieces and comes with instruction cards which are super simple for the children to follow, the recommended age is 5-9 but my little 3 and 4 year olds had absolutely no problem with using this set!

If you have any budding engineers out there or are simply looking for a set to enhance your construction area like I was then this is definitely worth getting!

You can enter the competition here;

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Remember it is for UK entrants only. I will announce the winner on Friday 15th December and pass their details on to Learning Resources UK who will arrange delivery. If you simply cannot wait or just want to purchase the set for yourself then check out the full range of the Engineering and Design Build Sets at Learning Resources UK.

I am part of the Learning Resources UK testing team and received these products for free to try out with my class. However, the review and opinions are my own and I have given a full and true reflection of how these products were used and tested in my classroom.

Good Luck!

Sunday 12 November 2017

Teaching Phonics with Hope Education

This term has been all about beginning our phonics lessons - children in Nursery are either working on Phase 1, but we have a lot of high fliers who are working on Phase 2 and beginning to learn their sounds.

I know that there are people who don't believe in teaching sounds to children in Nursery, but I truly believe that the children are ready and the parents have made so many comments about how their children are suddenly starting to recognise sounds that they have been taught.. with standards rising higher each year then why not begin teaching sounds if they are ready and in an age appropriate way.

Hope Education sent over some resources that my children have truly loved using in the class, whilst learning their sounds to boot!

First up was the Alphabet Play Tray Mat which fits perfectly into my tuff spot. The colours are so lovely and vivid and it's such a great, versatile activity to put out in the tuff spot!

We have also been using our beautiful Alphabet Acorns which are perfect for this time of year - the children have really enjoyed opening them up and guessing what is inside using their initial sound knowledge!
 ...and last, but certainly not least are these super cute A-Z Lacing Snakes which have been a big hit!

We used our Alphabet Acorns with our Alphabet Play Tray mat to match the sounds, we also added our sound pebbles to support children with their letter correspondence. The main thing I love about the alphabet mat is that the main letter being represented is in lower-case.. something that can be a struggle to find in resources to support phonics, as generally only the lower-case sound is taught first. However, the upper-case letter is also on the mat too so children who do recognise upper-case are also supported.

One of my lovely littlies was extremely excited to find the acorn with the same initial sound as in her name!

 They also soon discovered that the acorns are perfect for stacking and began working on those hand muscles seeing how high they could stack their acorns!

I put the lacing snakes in my Finger Gym area as the threading is perfect practise for little hands to develop those fine motor skills!

They were a huge hit and the children really enjoyed threading the beads on to the laces - the beads are lovely and chunky, again with lower-case letters which I love! The laces are also really good quality, some of the laces I've had in the past have been really thin and frayed way too easily but you can tell that these will definitely withstand lots of years of use from heavy handed nursery kiddos! 

 On Friday we had a Phonics Stay & Play in Nursery where we invited parents in to see how we teach Phonics in Nursery and how they can support their children at home.

Parents were given a Phonics book to explain how to support their child's development with lots of ideas in, as well as Phonics boxes for children working at Phase 2 to practise their sounds at home.

 They then accessed a huge range of activities that we put out, including our trusty resources from Hope.


 I added some SATPIN cards to the A-Z Lacing Snakes so that children could begin to work on their blending skills with the sounds that they know. If you would like a copy of these then simply click on the image below to download them completely FREE! They are a perfect accompaniment to the lacing snakes and my children really enjoyed copying the words on the snake, so even those who can't blend can practise their correspondence.

The children and parents were busy all session putting the Hope Education resources to the test!

The children absolutely love their phonics lessons and it's so nice that these skills can then be reinforced throughout play to help children consolidate their learning. Phonics is definitely one of my favourite lessons to teach and I'm always looking for new ways to support my children with their Phonics knowledge and make lessons more interesting! you would like to purchase any of these resources from yourself then the links are at the top of the post.
For the full range of resources from Hope Education then simply visit their website for lots more creative ideas! 
I received these products for free to try out with my class. However, the review and opinions are my own and I have given a full and true reflection of how these products were used and tested in my classroom.