Even in the summer holidays I think it’s important to find a balance of play and learning activities for kids and I was excited to be given the opportunity to review the Gold Stars activity workbooks from Parragon Books. I’ve bought other learning books for Roo in the past and they’ve been great at teaching her basic pen skills and learning phonics and shapes.
The books we got sent were:-
- Gold Stars Phonics
- Starting to Write practice pad – this looks brilliant for early pen control
- Starting to Add practice pad
- Gold Stars Pre-School Bumper Workbook ’Ready For School
The books arrived and I loved the fact that the Starting to Write and Starting to Add pad’s were compact and could easily be something that you could put in your bag when going out and the pens were of a good chunky size for young hands to grip on to. The eraser is fixed to the end of the pen for easy wiping as your child progresses through the book.
Gold Stars Starting Phonics is aimed at ages 3 – 5 and is perfect for those children starting pre-school or in early years settings. The book focuses on letter sounds, the alphabet, word building, ryhming, reading and tracing and to help children celebrate their success there are over 50 gold star stickers for rewards and a pull out poster. Roo and I spent 10 – 15 minutes on the book and she really enjoyed it – taking her time of each of the letter sounds and we loved doing the dot to dot activity for learning our alphabet. Gold Stars Starting Phonics is full of fun exercises that feel just like play, but get little minds working and thinking! As children do puzzles, create rhymes and match and sort word-sounds, they gather a host of skills which prepare them for real-life learning.
Gold Stars Pre-School Bumper Workbook Ready for School works on a similar principle to the phonics book. Again this book is aimed at pre-school children aged 3 – 5 and through the activities you can upport your little superstar’s learning and build their skills at home. The book focuses on teaching early Maths, English and Phonics exercises for Pre-schoolers and has been developed by teachers and expert consultants. Thanks to the bright colours and cute illustrations this book makes learning fun for little ones and fully supports Early Years Foundation Stage.
The Starting to Write practice pad has about 20 pages of wipe clean activities to help pre-school children form letters and get used to pen control; obviously as many school start now with learning to write in pencil this would be the only draw back in using a pen style system and maybe a wipe clean crayon would be better as the pen is chunky and some children with smaller hands may struggle to hold it. The activities are good fun and in many cases it isn’t obvious to the child that this is learning as they are a lot of fun. I particularly like the fact that the book can be re-used several times for consistency and repetition based learning.
The books retail from £3.99 from a number of online retailers including Amazon, and I would say they are definitely some of the best early learning and pre-school books we’ve been sent over the summer. They’ve actually engaged Roo’s concentration and with the reward sticker scheme in the bigger books she has enjoyed getting the gold stars to show her progress.
Gold Stars Activity Workbooks Competition
The lovely people at Parragon books have been kind enough to offer up a selection of competition prizes from their Gold Stars range so that us mum’s and dad’s can get the grey matter of our kids working before the first day of school rolls round. Three winners will be allowed to choose a selection of 3 Gold Stars work books from the following age ranges:-
- Ages 3-5
- Ages 5-6
- Ages 6-7
- Ages 7-9
- Ages 9-11
All you have to do to enter is to follow the Rafflecopter instructions below – remember to read the T&C’s and leave the compulsory blog comment to get started. There are bonus entries available to for extra chances of winning. Clues for your compulsory question can be found on the Parragon Books website.