Lucas has been receiving* the Learning Club box for the past four months to see what we thought of it. Designed by experts, the Learning Club is a monthly subscription box carefully crafted and aimed at supporting parents of 3-5 year olds prepare their children for reception.
Each month brings a new personalised box containing four fun activities, focusing on a new area of learning each time. The boxes arrive in a box that fits through the letterbox and is addressed to the child receiving it. You can purchase a one off box or subscribe for it monthly and are free to cancel when you want.
There are various characters within the boxes including Lucas Lion who enjoys learning literacy. Carrie Cat is communication and language. Max Mouse is in charge of mathematics. Waffy Whale helps children understand the world. Priya Penguin is physical development. Penny Panda has the job of personal, social and emotional development. Elana Elephant is expressive arts and design.
Literacy learning box
Within Lucas’ boxes he has received sand and letter cards to practice mark making which encourages him to make shapes when he writes letters and develops his coordination as well as strengthening his fine motor and gross motor skills. Lucas enjoyed this activity and copied the shapes and letters. I love that with sand you can redo them over and over again without wasting lots of paper.
He got some first phonics and sight words to learn the sounds of the letters and sight words unlock the doors to reading. They support children to be more fluid with their reading before they are introduced to the more tricky spelling rules. Sight words are high frequency words that children are expected to sight read as they learn. In each box, you get a booklet which thoroughly explains what the activity is for and tips on how to do it with your child.
Lucas also received a book which we both loved as we like reading together. Repeating the same book allows the characters to become familiar to the child. We talked about what we could see on the front cover and what we thought the book might be about. I followed the guidelines of running my fingers under the words when I read and discussed the pictures inside. When Lucas is a little more confident, I will ask him to try and read simple words and see which he recognises from the flashcards I mentioned before.
As his fun activity in the box, we made a Lucas Lion! We were sent a wooden spoon, paint, glue, eyes and string to bring Lucas Lion to life!
Expressive arts and design box
Lucas loved painting and designing his letter L and immediately said that it was L for Lucas. This is a great activity for developing fine motor skills and letting his creative side come out with giving him paint, jewels, buttons and stickers to design as he pleased.
We also got sent everything we needed to make our own mini beast! Using a paper plate, paint, pipe cleaners and googly eyes, Lucas created a bumble bee. As well as being able to get crafty, this also gave us the chance to talk about bees and how important they are.
The next activity was to make a butterfly sun catcher. Lucas loved this as he adores using his scissors! This is a fab activity for improving cutting skills and fine motor to construct with a purpose. This let us explore what happens when Lucas mixed colours and how colour can change with different light.
The last items in the box where a mask and cape to turn into a superhero! Expressive arts isn’t just about making things. It is also about developing imaginative play skills. These skills teach children to take turns, share responsibility, problem solve and actively experiment with social and emotional roles of life.
Lucas was sent an abacus in this box. There are a number of games to play to develop numeracy skills. Match Me is where I would move beads on the top row of the abacus and ask Lucas to match how many beads I moved on the bottom row. Learn to Count is where I would move a number of beads from one side to the other and ask Lucas how many I moved and how many I had left. I asked Lucas to move a certain number of beads and also started to do simple addition and subtractions with them.
With a sequence card, beads and laces, Lucas copied the patterns on the cards by threading beads onto the lace. This is a subtle way to improve fine motor skills and develop maths skills. Threading aids concentration and patience. It’s also a good way to improve colour and shape recognition and describe patterns.
Being able to count is more than just being able to say numbers in order. Unless a child is shown that one means one object, they won’t understand the value of it. Match cards are designed to support this.The cards have a mixture of numbers and pictures. Each number card has a matching picture card, eg. the number one card corresponds to the card with one train. This is great to match numbers and quantity correctly as well and knowing the meaning behind counting.
Lucas also got a sorting tray, tweezers and bobbles in his box. This activity covers development in a whole range of areas. From a maths perspective, sorting activities help to look at similarities and differences in objects. From a physical development perspective, the tweezers help improve muscles and dexterity in the hands.
Understanding the world box
This was our favourite box. We really enjoyed potion making. This was great for talking about our predictions and to observe changes. It probably helps, that we like Harry Potter so felt like we were creating something magic. We talked about what we thought about what happened when we put each ingredient in and asked Lucas which ingredient he thought made it fizz.
We made a paper mache Earth which gave Lucas the opportunity to explore the world we live in and create his own planet using different materials. He followed the picture that was included as a guide. This was a fun activity that helped Lucas gain an understanding of the different planets in the solar system (his favourite is Saturn). We also talked about the colour of Earth and what the blue and green meant.
We haven’t actually done this activity yet but are going to be doing a bean bag for life cycles. This activity is designed to show the process of how a bean grows into a plant. This will help develop an understanding of growth and changes over time and also to show care and concern for living things and the environment. I think Lucas will really enjoy this as he enjoys planting seeds with my Grandma and waiting for them to grow.
The last thing he got in this box was slime for sensory play. Not only did Lucas find this so much fun, it also encourages sensory and fine motor development and provides and opportunity to explore and experiment.
Lucas has really enjoyed having a parcel each month, addressed to him and has loved the activities. I really do recommend them. They are a great way to not only have new, fun activities to do but make sure I am encouraging him to learn at the same time. Gifts for Little Hands have offered to run a giveaway for one Learning Club box for one lucky winner. If you would like the chance to win, enter below x