When Karen from Little Angels got in touch with me to tell me about her products, it was perfect timing.
Edith (5) has just started school and is just SO interested in learning at the moment. She’s been asking me to do maths with her in particular and I must admit, I was a little unprepared! I can do the basic counting and adding with her but I was conscious that I didn’t really know how things were taught these days so there was a part of me that was worried I’d get it wrong… make it too easy or too hard or just not very interesting so she’d loose this enthusiasm. So yes… perfect timing when I got the e-mail from Little Angels to ask if I’d consider reviewing their Little Learners bags.
I told Karen the age of my children – 2 and (just) 5 and she advised me that the Little Movers would be great for my 2 year old and gave me the choice of the Little Mathematician or the Little Writers Bag for Edith. We went for the Mathematician one.
When they arrived the girls were so excited to get a package in the post. I told them it was a surprise gift for them. The sets arrived in lovely individual bags which, coincidentally, were in the girls favourite colours. Purple for Edie and Yellow for Meg. They loved having a little bag of fun each and unwrapping all of the individual elements. A tip I’d give, if it’s at all possible, is to open the bags individually with your children. Doing them together was a little hectic and they were both interested in what each other had as well as their own so I didn’t get a chance to properly concentrate on each one at first… standard if you have more than one child!
So first the little movers bag for Megan. This had 9 different items in there – lovely textures and colours. All designed to help her co-ordination and movement skills. The items included a spike light up ball, balloons, a long organza scarf, Small chiffon squares, feathers, a ribbon stick, Soft ball, Scented fruit ball and a Glitter ball
I would say that many items in this bag would be suitable even from newborn so it would be great as a gift to a new parent / baby… there were lovely coloured voiles that we used to use in sensory type classes to float over little ones faces and ‘tickle’ them with the feathers. At first I actually thought that the bag was a little too young for Meg… but then I remembered to read the instructions that come with it! There were loads of great ideas of how to interact with the items. She loved the ribbons and they were the perfect size for her to twirl around without getting caught up in them.
The spikey ball was a big hit too – it flashes brightly when it’s banged so we turned all the lights off and shut the blinds for a full sensory experience! She loved that. Meg is a real giggler so she really loved the tickling with the feathers… we did that for ages and her sister even joined in to ‘rescue’ Meg when the squealed out in glee! Check it out in this Tickling Video
I tried wrapping her up in the organza scarf and rolling her – she actually just liked running it between her fingers more and then using it as a blanket for her dolls! I like that they could just use their imagination with the things provided… the chiffon became a cape at one point as Megan started to be Elsa!
Then the Little Mathematicians bag. This was just absolutely perfect for Edith. It includes 2 printed laminated sheets – a grid and a 0-20 caterpillar, little coloured gem like nuggets, little pet and bear figures in different colours, wooden numbers, counters, a little peg board and rubber bands plus Numicon (I didn’t know what this was until Edith’s Key worker from her old nursery explained it – they are fab!)
This bag provided just the perfect inspiration for encouraging and developing Edith’s Maths skills. She loved the rubber band and peg board – she made an amazing pattern and actually trapped some of the other items under the rubber bands.. this was fantastic handiwork!
The grid worked an absolute treat. Such a simple concept but having separate boxes to put in the different counters made it so easy for Edith to really visualise the numbers and adding things up together.
The little bears and animals were a big hit… Edith loves little characters so it was a great way to talk about which ones were the same, which had something in common (like the same colour but different sizes etc)
She loved organising all the animals and bears into colours and then counting how many of each colour there were. We then found the corresponding number in the wooden numbers and placed it beside the colours. She just thought it was a fabulous game but it was so great to see how much fun this Maths exercise was for her.. and great for me to see how far she had come in just 1 term a school too. I look forward to playing it more over the coming weeks.
These are the kind of toys that I can imagine we will have for a long time – they have different ‘levels’ of play and learning within them so I can see them coming out every few weeks and I imagine the girls will play differently with them each time. I can also feel pretty good about giving them something that is educational but genuinely fun too! I’d highly recommend them to parents and think they would make ideal Christmas gifts.