I am well and truly a school mum. I have one in Year 2, one in Kindergarten and one possibly starting next year. I used to be that smug mum that thought her 1st child was gifted – clearly. She could recite the alphabet and write her own name with a little heart over the i! It was when I met the kid in her Kindergarten class that could count in multiples of seven, I realised I had no idea. Social, comfortable and keen to learn is about all I’m asking for at this stage, Multiples of seven … oh dear.
So I have 3 children in different stages of learning. Awesome. Enter Little Tyro.
When we first discovered Little Tyro, I have to say, we loved it. It ticked all the boxes. It was established by a passionate teacher and Mum from Melbourne who knew her stuff. She turned tools for learning into games that were bright and interactive and fun. That was 2 years ago (You know, when I knew it all) I hadn’t realised exactly how intuitive these products were, clearly this teacher understands how kids work.
With the kids school interviews fresh in my mind from before the holidays, I am armed with a great selection of tools that will help with fine tuning and… AND keep my kids having fun and interested.
Here are 5 of my favourites, Because they are what suit my kids.. lets be honest, it’s an entirely selfish review.
It’s my middle child’s first year of school. She is learning to read… TO READ, man I love that.
Anyway, we need to work on sounding out the letters. (It doesn’t help that we have a dodgy kiwi accent and I have had to practice my Aussie e’s and o’s) We actually have had this around the house for a while, I thought it was just for familiarising with the upper and lower case letters which is clearly awesome. But now, we take it in the car with us (magnets, yay!) My daughter is in control of the activity – which is enough to make her demand to play this all the time. She chooses the letter, places it where it belongs in the alphabet, says the sound, and then the whole car goes ballistic with every word we can think of beginning with that letter.
Another gem for the car, and I actually didn’t realise the value of this until a little too late. Apparently it’s a common problem with children that have loud, busy, loud mothers… ermm. and at least one of my daughters has to work on developing complete sentences. It is important for public speaking, story writing, problem solving, all manner of things. I have a tendency to stop my children halfway through their sentence as I already know what they are going to say. “Mum can I have” “Noooo you can’t have that easter egg, get your hat on, we need to go” and so on.
To build confidence and flow with speech, the Little Tyro can help. Not only do they get to set the ‘stage’ they can talk us through the story they are creating.
In turn, the younger two can listen to the characters that have been created before their eyes.
My youngest thinks she is actually a bit of a star with writing, she can write a darn good P and, at times, her full name back to front. While I am sure she will learn all she needs to at school, I know that mastering a pen is no small feat, and direction and flow is important stuff too. Following the lines through their dips and peaks seems like a pretty cool game, and at first, her peaks and dips look a little like they have had a few too many energy drinks, but it’s amazing what a little repetition and practice will do. I actually get my 5 year old to practice these sometimes, as watching her write an o backwards is driving me bonkers. The pencil rubs out, it’s a sturdy wee book, great for bored kids at the restaurant and cute images indicate the direction to follow.
Top to bottom, left to right, top to bottom, left to right.
This is actually a really lovely way to hang out with your kids. Learning how books work is something I probably took for granted. Before I sat down with a teacher and watched my daughter take her best start test, it’s actually something I barely even registered. How many words are in the title? Who is the story about? what is your favourite picture?
There are so many ways to add to the learning from one book, and it’s lovely to expand on such a wonderful time with your kids. Having your attention is about as good as it gets for little ones, and asking their opinion is a fabulous way to build their skills and confidence. Win win!
I just like this one because it’s cute and colourful and fun and a great wee gift, but working on fine motor skills and shape recognition probably shouldn’t be sniffed at. My 3 year old loves to try and feed the laces through, and while they wouldn’t admit it, the older two do too, which leads to a great tool for teaching knots and bows as you link them together. They can learn the name of each of the individual shapes… but at the moment, all my girls care about is who gets the heart one.
And the little one said is a boutique online website that offers beautiful, stylish and quality made children’s clothing, accessories, toys & home decor. Mainly smaller Australian and New Zealand designers and stockists – all carefully handpicked by us. Because everyone needs a little style.