Littlescholarsplayground, Author at Little Scholars Playground

The 3 core benefits of puzzles for early childhood development

Estimated reading time: 4 mins

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Children love puzzles in early childhood. It’s not only fun, but it also acts as a great source of development in early childhood. With babies you can start with peg puzzles with simple shapes. They can then move onto real world objects and then they can move onto jigsaw puzzles as they get older.

There are 3 core benefits of puzzles in early childhood development, which are:

1) Physical skills

  • Hand-eye coordination — your child will develop the relationship between what their hands do and what they see with their eyes
  • Gross motor skills — larger puzzle pieces helps to enhance your child’s large movements
  • Fine motor skills — better handwriting skills can be created due to your child’s movement of their fingers to get a puzzle piece in exactly the right spot.

2) Cognitive skills

  • Shape recognition — the first puzzles your child should use are simple shapes, such as triangle, squares and circles
  • Visual memory — Your child has to remember the shape of pieces that don’t fit when they first try
  • Brain development and problem solving —Your child uses critical thinking skills to solve the puzzle they’re doing.

3) Emotional skills

  • Setting goals — your child will begin to create their own series of goals to solve the puzzle. Such as starting with a certain puzzle piece first
  • Patience — puzzles will help your child practice patience and slowly work through the puzzle before finishing.

These three basic skills are the building blocks for a well-rounded child and builds upon their problem-solving skills, the foundation for maths.

In addition to these three basics, if your child does a puzzle with a friend or family member, this will allow them to grow their social skills.  

We have launched a new solar system puzzle 🎉 Emmanuel and Sienna zoom into space in our NEW solar system wooden puzzle. This puzzle is beautifully designed by us and handmade in the UK, using eco-friendly FSC wood. It also includes a FREE fact sheet 🚀 You can buy our puzzle here.


The solar system for kids is a place of great fun and mystery – whether it’s their fascination with the stars, planets or astronauts, they love space! It’s also STEM focused as it introduces children to science 🪐

solar system wooden puzzle

Natalie

Little Scholars Playground
info@littlescholarsplayground.com

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About the author

Natalie is the co-founder and illustrator at Little Scholars Playground. She is passionate about literacy, learning, illustrating, black women in STEM and Montessori.


We’re included in 15 Family businesses to watch in 2022

We’re happy to have been recently included in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards and Starling Banks a‘Reach for the Starlings: 15 Family Businesses to watch in 2022’ 🎉 this is a real testament to the work we’re doing, and we ourselves can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store for us. We have a great new book and STEM learning resource coming soon, so watch this space 🌟

You can read the full article here.

We’re nominated for a National Diversity Award

We’re excited to be nominated for the the 2022 Entrepreneur of Excellence Award at The National Diversity Awards in association with ITV News. Please vote for us here. This came as a surprise to us this morning. Who said Mondays were the worst day of the week 🎉😊

We would really appreciate your vote. Every vote counts, so please click the link here today and please remember to verify your vote when you receive the email 🙏🏾

Our storytelling at Story Space in Tate Britain and the importance of storytelling

Estimated reading time: 4 mins

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Storytelling is a great way to influence and inspire children. It’s a way for children to learn and connect with people and ideas. Stories teach children about other cultures and history. They can also help to build familiarity and a connection with the person telling the story and allows children to ‘enter a new world’ through the story. Stories also allow children to understand more complex information in an engaging and fun way.

There are three types of learners.

  1. Visual learners – most children are visual learners and learn best through diagrams, illustrations and videos
  2. Auditory learners – children who learn best through discussions
  3. Kinaesthetic learners – children who learn best through doing

Storytelling caters to all three of these types of learners.  Visual learners will enjoy the illustrations, Kinaesthetic learners connect with the feelings that the story evokes and Auditory learners will connect with the words in the story.

Stories are easy for children to remember, more than facts and numbers. That’s why repetition and regular reading to children is important. Reading diverse books to children is also important, as they can also help to change current attitudes and beliefs. Places like Story Space in Tate Britain are great. Story Space is a workshop for families of all ages to come together, imagine, and explore the world of storytelling at the Tate Britain. You can discover a library of books by Black authors, Indigenous authors and authors of colour from around the world.

We recently did a Storytelling of two of our books. Zara’s Caribbean Adventure and Emmanuel’s African Adventure. It was lots of fun connecting with both parents and children. In Zara’s Caribbean Adventure she attends Carnival, so I brought one of my headpieces and in Emmanuel’s African Adventure, Grandmama goes to the market, so I brought out a basket and got the kids to name the fruit and veg common in Africa. It was a great way to expose the children to the African and Caribbean culture.

Natalie

Little Scholars Playground
info@littlescholarsplayground.com

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About the author

Natalie is the co-founder and illustrator at Little Scholars Playground. She is passionate about literacy, learning, illustrating, black women in STEM and Montessori.

How you can help your child succeed at school

Estimated reading time: 6 mins

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Let’s face it, the last two years has been very challenging, between the pandemic and home schooling it has been stressful for many. This has caused a setback in teachers’ ability to teach and therefore the ability to help children learn. So we thought that as we’re in a new year it would be good to highlight some ways in which us parents can support not only our children’s learning but support their teachers/ nurseries.

How working with your child’s teacher will help them learn

Research has shown that children’s parents who supports their child’s teacher and work together get better grades, show fewer signs of behavioural issues and demonstrate better social skills. Teachers spend a lot of time with our children, they observe them all day. If you build a relationship with your child’s teacher you then are able to ask the right questions to help our child develop and succeed at school. Below are some tips on how you can support your child’s learning in school at home:

  1. Encourage focus and concentration – and how too much screen time affects this

Children being able to focus and concentrate in the classroom is an important skill. Many teachers sometimes struggle with children who do not focus on the lesson at hand. Teaching important lessons means teachers have little time to waste. Learning to concentrate and focus is actually a skill, which needs practice. With modern technology and screens, it makes it even harder for children to concentrate for longer periods. How much screen time a child gets affects their brain development. Research has shown that younger children who have too much screen time can affect their brain development (which is crucial between ages 0-3) and negatively affects their language development and attention span.

For younger children, you can turn off screens for set periods and encourage quiet time and learning. Do things like reading, messy and independent play. Try encouraging quiet time as a way to encourage your child’s thinking. Also try focusing on one task at a time, whether it’s reading or playing with a train set. For older children try to observe how they learn at home. Are they studying with their phone next to them or are the listening to music, which distracts them? Talk to them about establishing the best learning environment. Then you can work on establishing this together. You can ask questions like what helps you concentrate; do you have a favourite place to study in the house?

2. Encourage your child to be independent

The more independent your child is the better they’ll learn at school. Simple things like; for younger children getting them to fetch their coat and zip it up themselves and put on their shoes, helps to build independence. You can also encourage independence at home such as getting them involved in adult tasks including; cleaning, cooking, making their own lunches etc (with supervision). This will help build a sense of independence and responsibility.

3. Communication is key

Keeping in touch and regular communication with your child’s teacher or key worker in nursery is important. Some parents do struggle with what things to ask, but it’s important to ask questions that can give you a meaningful answer. Ask questions that are focused on specific topics, rather than vague questions like “how was their day?” You want to find out things like what your child is doing well at and what extra support they need, if any. Ask questions to find out if there’s anything that you can do to help your child at home, find out what their biggest challenges are. Teachers will appreciate you trying to work with them. Before any school holidays, check in with them to see if there’s any areas of focus while your child has broken up from school.

Trying to create some kind of partnership with your child’s teacher or key worker at nursery can help your child stay in the right direction.

Natalie

Little Scholars Playground
info@littlescholarsplayground.com

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About the author

Natalie is the co-founder and illustrator at Little Scholars Playground. She is passionate about literacy, learning, illustrating, black women in STEM and Montessori.