We have been asked to write a Twinkl review blog post so we have been given a subscription to this website to try it out. As my daughter is almost two and a half years old now, we have started to look a bit more at the alphabet. Before my son started school, I made sure he was familiar with his alphabet, letter sounds, how to spell his name as well as numbers up to 20. I would like my daughter to be familiar with these too. In the case of my son, I think it helped to prepare him for the start of school. I did not force him to do any of this but rather gently steered him that direction and did fun activities based on what he was interested in at the time.
Twinkl Review: What We Thought
Recently, I have had the opportunity to review some resources from Twinkl. I had a good look around their website, choosing and downloading activities that would suit my little girl as I went. I found that the resources were of a very high quality.
As my daughter’s name begins with ‘H’, I particularly wanted a resource I could use as a starting point for activities on the letter Hh. I found, “My ‘H’ Workbook’ resource in the English section of the website. This was ideal as it included some opportunities to use the lower case too but focussed mainly on the upper case.
Due to my printer waiting for new coloured ink to arrive, this black and white booklet was a great resource to print off. My daughter was extremely excited when she saw the booklet with the crayons I had placed on the kitchen table. She wanted to get started straight away.
The Letter/Sound Hh Focus
We looked at the shape of the ‘H’. I showed her how to trace it using her finger, guided her finger on the lines which led her onto trying to trace the shape of the ‘H’ independently. She was very keen to use her pencil crayons so I showed her how to use the picture to help her to write a ‘H’. She tried this herself straight away and although she only did one line on it, I was very pleased with her. After all, she is only two and a half years old and my aim was for her to enjoy having a go at this to become more familiar with the letter that her name begins with.
We talked about the different pictures on the front cover, naming and writing the simple words beginning with ‘h’ on the sheet. We made the sound for the letter and made a bit of a song out of it. Not the best song, I must admit, but it did make her giggle!
We have found that my daughter favours her left hand to write with so I encouraged her to hold her pencil crayon using the tripod hand formation. She has had quite a bit of experience using her crayons so she did this well. My daughter got straight to work by colouring in the pictures. We chose an appropriate colour for each picture, for example, the hen was brown. I praised her for her efforts at colouring on or just around each picture as this showed she was becoming more controlled in her use of the pencil crayon.
On the second page of the booklet, my daughter traced the h a few times with my help and then tried it on her own. I showed her how to use the guide to write her own h. I asked her to point out all of the h letters on the page and she did this brilliantly. She then had a go at drawing the letter h on the other guides on the sheet using her red crayon.
For the third page, Floppy tried to help to colour in! My daughter coloured in the hen using different shades of brown and then attempted to join the dots on page four to make her own ‘H’. I think that she did very well sitting for such a long time using this booklet. She managed to complete half of the booklet so that there is some to do another day. I think this was a great resource for our focus on this letter. I think this booklet, as well as the other booklets available for the rest of the alphabet, would be great for children older than my daughter too.
Practical Activities with the Letter ‘Hh’
As we had devoted much of our morning to colouring, writing, singing and talking about words beginning with Hh, I felt that this booklet had been a fantastic starting point for more activities we could do to re-enforce her learning. We talked about the word, ‘hole,’ and how my daughter and her brother had made a hole in the garden yesterday. We looked at the photograph I’d taken of them, pointing at the hole and emphasising the sound of this letter by saying, “h, h, hole.”
Another ‘doing’ activity we took part in was to make the upper case letter using daffodils. I showed her how to do this, then let my daughter have a go. She had trouble putting the middle stem the correct way round to start with but after some comparison with how the letter was formed using the Twinkl booklet, she successfully made the H using these.
Writing, using her finger, on a clear bag with paint sealed inside it was another fun activity that she enjoyed. Again, we used the booklet as a guide of how to write the H. My daughter loved the feel of the squidgy paint in the bag without all the mess that goes with it.
Due to her current obsession with Playdoh, I made a H using thin strips of coloured dough. I cut out some for my daughter to arrange to make her own. I had intended that she would put hers next to my example but instead, she placed it on top. Using one of the tools, I wrote Hh in a block of dough.
My daughter came up with excellent suggestion that, ‘hop,’ begins with ‘h’ so we both hopped about in the kitchen for a while before settling down to watch a DVD of the same title.
Our Overall Impression of the Twinkl Resources
All in all, I am very pleased with this resource from Twinkl. Not only did it keep my daughter focussed and interested in becoming more familiar with the letter Hh, it also served as a starting point to support her learning by inspiring me to think of some practical activities I could do with her too.
This is what Twinkl says about their website:
“Twinkl Resources is the trusted home and one stop shop for thousands of lovely, unique, printable teaching resources for Early Years, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, home educators, parents, child minders, nurseries and more.
We offer three subscription levels to our users, one is a free membership that allows access to the majority of our resources; the second is out Gold membership which is our high quality, low cost option at £24.95 a year; and thirdly our Platinum membership which allows access to all our resources and is priced at £39.95 per year.”
Disclosure: To be able to write this Twinkl review, I was given a Platinum subscription to Twinkl for one year. All views and opinions are honest and my own.