The International Year of the Periodic Table

The periodic table is one of the most significant achievements in science which captures the essence of chemistry, physics and biology. On the 20th of December 2017, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed that 2019 will be the 150th anniversary of the periodic table and has therefore been named the ‘International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements’ (IYPT). read more

National Nest Box Week 2019

National Nest Box Week 2019

February 14th sees the start of the 22nd National Nest Box Week. The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) focuses on nesting birds and encourages everyone to put up a nest box in their garden or local area in order to support the conservation of our breeding birds.

The loss of hedgerow trees, changes to woodland management and increasing urbanisation have all contributed to a decline in available natural sights for nesting birds like the Blue Tit, Starling, House Sparrow and Robin. Nest boxes replace lost opportunities, increasing the numbers of nesting birds and boosting their populations. read more

The Perfect Gifts for Christmas:  A guest post by Granny Smith 

Having become a grandmother for the first time Granny Smith started blogging almost exactly a year ago, not long after Daisy’s first birthday.  Now, 50 blogs later, she has followers all over the world who appreciate her informed observations, down to earth style and grandparent- oriented view on watching grandchildren ‘grow, play & learn’. A retired lecturer in child development Granny Smith lives in Norfolk with her husband who works in the toy industry.

I was delighted when Learning Resources asked me to write a ‘guest blog’ for them recommending which of their products would make perfect Christmas Gifts for children of Daisy’s age. While these selections are from their wide range, they did give a free hand to choose what I thought appropriate.

I’ll start with fine motor skills development because right now Daisy cannot get enough time moving, fiddling and adjusting things. Last weekend we saw her posting felt tips into her wellies while she was wearing them. So, I know Daisy would welcome Spike, the Fine Motor Hedgehog as a special gift. The endless placing and re-placing of his coloured spines would make her very happy.  The Bright Basics Peg Garden would also interest Daisy and perhaps challenge her skill and stimulate her imagination as well.

Sticking with motor control a game that would be a big hit with the family and one that Daisy could play is The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game.  Squirrels are always a hit with toddlers and it is so common to see them now in our urban environment. Great for learning to cooperate and take turns Sneaky will also help Daisy learn her colours as well. Look out for other games in this ‘tweezer’ series.

Sometimes Daisy needs to express her development of gross motor skills and when she’s in that mood she would benefit from having the New Sprouts Fix It Set with its pretend tools! There are many great items in the New Sprouts range from tools to food items and cooking sets, and when Daisy feels like making more noise, she could turn to the Learning Drums.

I don’t think Daisy is too young to enjoy Crocodile Hop, the early maths activity set. This is a fun active ‘cross the river’ type of game with plenty of whole-body movement for all the family.

Daisy has always loved small world animals so an apt Christmas set would be Jumbo Forest Animals.  These chunky and rather seasonal animals are just the right size for toddler’s hands and stimulate pretend play that you can link to young children’s’ favourite books. Speaking of books, Daisy has been looking at them since she was a baby and is now reciting simple stories and words. Now would be a good time to give her some Letter Blocks to manipulate, use as dough cutters and watch as I form simple words for her. There are Number Blocks too to help with simple counting.

Granny Smith says

Daisy will be 27 months this Christmas and would be lucky and happy to receive any of the toys I have chosen. Of course, whatever she is given I wonder if removing the wrapping paper and opening boxes might delight her almost as much as the contents; I’ll keep you posted as always at read more

10 Stocking Fillers to give the gift of learning!

Are you looking for the perfect stocking filler that will keep your young learners occupied? We’ve pulled together a list of 10 toys perfect for filling up your little one’s stocking! With a mixture of both educational toys and fun filled games, these stocking fillers are guaranteed to keep children of all ages engaged. We have sets for creative play and activities that will spark curiosity and encourage discovery whilst having loads of fun, so you’re bound to find something they will enjoy!

1) Playfoam® Pals™ (£6.00)

Children just love surprises and collectibles! See their faces light up on Christmas day with Playfoam® Pals™. Inside the squishy, squashy Playfoam are cute animals waiting to be found! Each set has different pals to collect:

  • Snowy Friends – 13 to collect including Sven, the super-rare snowman.
  • Pet Party – 13 to collect including Penelope, the super-rare potbellied pig.
  • Wild Friends – 12 to collect including rare, golden versions of each animal.

Children will love creating their own pals as heads and bodies pop apart for colourful, mix and match fun. Encourage imaginative and creative play with the Playfoam, as little ones sculpt beds, nests, igloos and more!

Playfoam never dries out so can be used again and again straight from the pod.

2) Stems® (Tub of 20) (£9.00)

This flexible 3D maker toy introduces STEM to young learners through play with this creative construction toy. Brightly coloured and incredibly tactile, Stems’ possibilities are endless! Every Stem is exactly the same simple shape and they’re so bendy that you can make pretty much anything you can imagine! It’s fascinating fun for the whole family.

As children zip together the weird and wobbly pieces, they develop key learning skills, including:

  • Problem solving
  • Fine motor coordination
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Curiosity

Both children and adults can make balls that bounce, wheels that roll, frogs that actually leap and much more!

3) Colour Cubed Strategy Game (£9.00)

Children will get addicted to this puzzle game as they develop their colour recognition and matching skills. Score points by matching the colour squares on the cards, the player with the most points wins!

How to play

  • Set up game as per instructions.
  • Place one of your cards against any side of the centre card, matching one or more of its colour squares.
  • Each colour square in a matching sequence is worth 1 point.
  • The scorekeeper adds up the player’s points and writes them down. It is now the next player’s turn.
  • Players can match 4 corner colours, connecting them to make a square.
  • Players continue placing cards, making matches, and adding up points until all cards have been played.
  • The player with the most points after all cards have been played is the winner!

Other ways to play Colour Cubed

Double Up

  • For this game, designate any colour as ‘wild’ – points are doubled when players use that colour to make a match. For example, if purple is the wild colour, and you match 3 purple squares, your points earned would equal 6.


  • In this game, players earn double the points if they can match 4 corner colours, connecting them to make a square. For example, if the player makes a blue square, that player would earn 8 points. Each four-square only counts for double points one time. After that, the square is only worth 4 points when extending the sequence.

4) Beaker Creatures™ Reactor Pod (£4.00)

Beaker Creatures™ combine the amazement of learning through science with the anticipation of surprise collectibles. There are 35 Beaker Creatures to collect from five different planets: The Astrolytes, Frostonians, Buglettes, Oceanites and minisaurs. Children will love building an out-of-this-world collection! There are even five rare, 24-carat creatures to find!

Create amazing bubbling reactions by simply dropping the Beaker Creature Reactor Pod into a bowl of water. Watch it fizz and bubble before revealing the collectible creature inside!

Included in the set is a Reactor Pod, classification card to identify your Beaker Creature and a mini-poster featuring amazing science facts and fun images!

Use the Reactor Pod with one of our Beaker Creature sets for more scientific fun:

Beaker Creatures Liquid Reactor Super Lab

Beaker Creatures 2-pack with Bio-Home read more

Create your own Monster Game

Christmas is just around the corner and the cold weather and darker afternoons have arrived. It’s the perfect time to get indoors, stay warm and play a game! We’ve teamed up with RedTedArt, one of our favourite craft bloggers, to bring you a festive, printable Monster Game. This isn’t just any monster game though, it’s a create your own Beaker Creature Game!

Using our Beaker Creature characters Hyclops, Peetle, Twinkle, Merf, Clomp and Flurry, RedTedArt has created a fun, creative game the whole family can enjoy. How many legs will your Creature have? What pattern? Will they have antlers like a reindeer? Play to find out!

Not only is this game fun but it also gives opportunities for learning and development:

  • Practice counting with numbers 1 to 6
  • Explore and discuss colours
  • Develop fine motor skills with drawing, colouring and cutting
  • Discover new shapes
  • Spark imaginations by creating adventures and new stories for your Beaker Creatures
  • read more