Orchard Toys Sticker Activity & ABC Books

OTActivityAnyone who knows us knows that we are HUGE Orchard Toys fans. We have a cupboard full of their jigsaws and games and as we enjoy a family game night every Saturday they are out at least once a week.

As part of the Orchard Toys blogging team we are lucking enough to have the opportunity to review new releases and this time around their new activity sticker books caught my eye.

These are especially pefect for Taylor who is 5yrs old and in Reception at school. He’s a keen learner and enjoys practicing his handwriting, numbers and more at home (especially when his big brother has homework to do as he likes to sit at the table with him and do some of his own).

The yellow fronted sticker ABC sticker colouring book speaks for itself. It offers the opportunity to practice letter formation, colour in and use stickers. What else could a five year old boy possibly want or need?

The red  Things to Do activity book especially has been a big hit. Taylor is very much into puzzles, games, spot the differences and more (he’s also a bit of a Where’s Wally champ too as it happens!) so this book has been, and continues to be enormous fun for him. We particularly like the fact that once you’ve finished a page that you could add a star to show you’d finished and done everything correctly. Taylor’s age group particulalry often enjoy stickers and “rewards” all the more.

Top Tip: Use pencil! We’ve now completed all of the writing pages in the ABC book and all of the puzzles in th activity book. Using a decent eraser means that the books are now as good as new and may be used again and again and again!

While there are stickers to uses throughout they add to the experience yet don’t overshadow the all-important pencil to paper activities which of course are aimed towards practicing literacy, numeracy, handwriting and more.

One of the reasons we keep coming back to Orchard Toys is that everything we’ve ever bought, been given or reviewed has been of the highest quality, has lasted ages, been great fun and has also been packed with educational benefits. These books are no different, are perfect for home, gifting and travel and at £3.99 each are incredible value. See these and the other recent new releases here.



Marie Kondo – Not For Me!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying UpThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondō
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I picked this book to read as many of my book-loving friends seem to be very enthusiastic about both the content and the difference it has made to their lives. I approached it with an open mind however after ploughing through it I couldn’t wait to close the book.

While in general it offers some common-sense advice overall I found the book somewhat condescending, if well meant. There is a lot about Marie Kondo’s own journey of realisation regarding the art of tidying; perhaps slightly too much although some of it in context does paint a picture of how she arrived where she has.

There is little here that you won’t find browsing decluttering on Pinterest and the like, other than instructions on folding everything in a very specific way (sorry folks, I’m a hanger and proud) so I suppose for many the appeal is Marie Kondo herself. She is a tidying celeb, an alternative House Doctor and on paper is something of a Marmite personality; some will love her, some will shove her to the back of the cupboard for years and eventually throw her away after just not being able to get their head around her particular taste.

To be honest the turning point for me was where Marie spoke of hiding family member’s personal items because she felt they weren’t important enough to be stored and then throwing them out and even lying about it. She’d have lasted ten minutes amongst my siblings and I growing up!

I’m not saying don’t read this book, I’m saying it was most definitely not for me. I can declutter effectively without it and don’t necessarily need to touch something to know if it brings me joy.

Back to the library with this one.

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