Friday, 30 September 2011

Fun learning activity books by Galt Toys

The lovely people at Galt sent us some Early Activity books to try out.

It was perfect timing as we'd just had a very long summer break, and I thought this would be an ideal opportunity to ease Ruby back into some gentle learning before starting at her new nursery.

We were sent the Alphabet sticker book

and the Counting sticker book

Retailing at only £2.99 I think these are amazing value for money.

There's hours of activity in each book, with stickers, puzzles and drawing to keep things interesting and fun.

Aimed at pre-schoolers, I think at 3 and a half Ruby is the perfect age for these books.  She already knows her numbers and can recognise most letters so this gave her confidence that she was 'getting it right'.  I don't know about your child, but Ruby gets quite upset and embarrassed if she thinks she's getting something 'wrong'.  So, already pretty good at the basics, what we do need to spend a little time on, is her writing.  She's never attempted to accurately write down letters or numbers before, but the instructions and step-by-step guide is great for the adults to aid learning.

Ruby still tends to hold her pens in a fist, and it's difficult to encourage her to hold a pen correctly - she tends to just get frustrated and refuse to do any more.  If anyone's got any tips on how to gently approach this, I'd be grateful!

The books suggest practicing 'writing' by following the lines with your finger first and she did this really well.  Eventually she did have a go at writing and I think she did brilliantly!

The books are written by an experienced educational consultant, and I'm confident that they are helping me support Ruby's learning in line with Key Stage 1.

Ruby really enjoyed these books, the reward of a smiley sticker on each page is a lovely bonus and she found the puzzles fun to do.

We would definitely recommend these books to pre-schoolers, and I'll be looking to get the others in the set too - First Writing and Colours, Shapes and Sizes.

Sponsored post: I was sent two books to review free of charge. However, all views expressed are accurate and honest and are my own opinions.


  1. Kate Cunningham01 October, 2011 08:55

    I like the pictures in the books and the attractiveness of them but letter formation is better taught in families rather than in alphabetical order. Teach the letters that go in the same direction together. Start with c, o, a, d, g, q, e, u, y. Then move to b, h, k, n, m, p, r, and then the rest. Keep encouraging a light pencil grip because it is so difficult to change this at a later stage. The grip must allow the fingers and not the wrist to move the pencil. A triangular pencil grip is good and thicker pencils better for little hands. A tight solid grip and lots of wrist movement tires your hand much sooner. When your little one is writing letters on paper, write it on her back at the same time with your finger and sing the movement. e.g for 'a' I would sing 'round and join and down and flick' (skip to my lou is a good tune for this) Make up little songs. Write the letters on her hand with the back of your pencil and get her to do the same to you. When you have spare minutes ask her to write it on your hand with your eyes closed & you can guess which letter it is & vice versa. Yellow felt pen on blank paper is good for copying over. Mark the start position to begin with. Then do with dots (the computer can do this -yes!) Then just mark the start and a little arrow with the direction. Less and less each time. Direction really does matter. I have seen writing that looks all right but if the formation is wrong it slows down joined up writing and the flow they require when they are older. Practice writing in wet sand, shaving foam, finger paints etc. Try to make it writing practice multi sensory. Hope this makes sense and is of some help. Have fun.

  2. Hi Kate,

    That's really helpful advice, thank you so so much for taking the time. I'll give it a go - I bet Ruby would love drawing on me! LOL x