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.



Reading Eggs – Merging Learning and Fun

When I was growing up we didn’t have home computers, tablets or apps to help with our learning however that was a different time. These days IT is at the epicentre of the majority of career choices in one way or another and ITC related subjects are enthusiastically and thoroughly explored as part of the national curriculum.

Having access to the internet is a real advantage for many children and having had the opportunity to review Reading Eggs with Kieran I am convinced that in a way the children of today have a great number of advantages when it comes to learning that we didn’t.

Reading Eggs is a website which offers fun and learning-focused levels dependant on age and ability.

reading eggs
Click to enlarge

Kieran chose to review the Reading Eggspress section, already being a keen and skilled reader. Needless to say he was impressed!

Testing out Reading Eggs

At this level the site offers a wide range of themed games and activities, as well as online books to read, all of which build on existing skills and confidence in all aspects of literacy from a love of reading to spelling and more.

The way the site works is that users may collect golden eggs etc for achievements made on the site and these may be swapped for clothes for their avatar and more. For anyone who knows anything about Club Penguin, it works in much the same way apart from the games and activities are far more focused on learning.

A spelling game in progress.... choose which of the worlds are incorrectly written and correct them for bonus points!
A spelling game in progress…. choose which of the worlds are incorrectly written and correct them for bonus points!

While I am keen for Kieran to be out and about, enjoying the fresh air and climbing trees, using the PC is a part of his leisure time and I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to review Reading Eggs with him as he now has a place online that merges fun with learning.

My rating as a parent: 5* – a fun and educational website which is easy to navigate and promotes a love of reading and a wide range of skills. As confidence and ability grows your child may move up through the levels to find more challenges games and activities. I also appreciated the feature which enables users to read stories online and then leave a review.

Kieran’s Rating: Ten out of ten! I loved playing the games and when I go on next time I want to beat my score in the Spelling Sprint and go up a level to get more golden eggs. I’ve enjoyed playing on the site so much that I even chose it over Minecraft one day!

We were given an extended free trail in order to review this site and after this runs out we will be subscribing (full subscription information is available on the website). For my readers wanting to try the site out themselves I have been given a code which will give you a four week free trail as opposed to the standard 2 weeks. Just add UKB26RET when registering.

I’m a big fan and would love to hear what other parents and children have to say about it so do leave a comment if you choose to give it a go.