I'm not sure if I've shared on here before, but I'm planning on studying early childhood education once bub's gone to school, with the plan to work in childcare and possibly teach kindy. I wanted to work in childcare back in my early 20's but knowing I had fertility issues I chose not to because I thought being around little kids all day would just make me long for my own even more. Looking back I think that was the right decision because just seeing babies would make me sad for what I was missing, so I can imagine how much pain I would've been in being surrounded by children day in and day out. However, my desire to work with children has never waned, if anything it's gotten stronger since becoming a mum. Needless to say we do a lot of learning through play activities at home so I can indulge my passion and she loves it.
I share most of our activities over on Instagram, which has earned me the nickname pinterest mum from some of my friends. Ironically I hardly ever use pinterest, instead I either think up our activities myself or am inspired by other teachers and homeschooling mums I follow on Instagram. We do a lot of sensory play and small world activities as well as working on the alphabet and counting. I've started adding printables and activity sheets lately to mix things up and keep it interesting for her. One great resource I've discovered for these is Twinkl.

Twinkl is a comprehensive teaching resource site providing teaching, planning and assessment materials for babies right through to school aged children. The twinkl resources include lesson packs, power point presentations, display materials, worksheets and craft ideas. Twinkl is originally UK based, but an Australian curriculum section has been added to support Australian teachers and homeschooling families. In addition to this there is also a create section where you can create your own resources based on various templates. There are also heaps of resources for parents and child minders to use at home.

For the last few weeks I've been feverishly trawling the birth-twos section of the parent resources and downloading anything I know bub will be remotely interested in. There are so many different resources available including games, busy bags, sensory bin ideas, sensory recipes {playdough, cloud dough, slime etc}, puzzles, playdough mats, phonics cards and can you find posters. Needless to say I've also bought a laminator and been going to town printing and laminating all the things {seriously where has this magical machine been all my life}. Bub's been a huge fan of the phonics cards and can you find it posters. She's been using glass pebbles to find the items on the posters so we can reuse them and she even cheers herself at the end saying "yay I did it mummy, I did it".

There are also numerous themed resources designed to help teach certain story books, such as the Gruffalo {see the image above for just a tiny selection of Gruffalo resources}, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Jack and the Beanstalk and Room on the Broom, just to name a few. We've printed out a heap of Gruffalo themed resources as bub loves the movie and the book. There's also resources themed around seasons and special holidays and events. We printed out the Halloween phonics cards {below} and I've downloaded heaps of Christmas activities which I'll share on Instagram as we do them.

There are so many other resources I've downloaded to try later on including dot-to-dot sheets, colouring sheets, letter formation worksheets, number formation worksheets, pencil control activities and a heap of other playdough mats. Bub has show a keen interest in learning how to write letters and numbers so we'll be working on playdough mats and formation sheets to help with that soon. I've only really scratched the surface with the resources available on the site though, every time I go on I find other cool things to download, now it's just a matter of finding enough hours in the day to do all the cool activities.

If you're a teacher or early childhood educator I would definitely recommend Twinkl as there are so many resources for the classroom. It's also just as beneficial for stay at home parents, homeschooling families and nannies as there are numerous activities that can be done at home, especially for younger children. Twinkl offers a range of free resources {simply sign up for a free account}, or there are paid subscription options which give you access to all resources on the site. We've been using the paid subscription and will continue using it as it's definitely value for money and there are so many more activities that will become relevant as bub's abilities continue to develop and once she starts school. There's also the Twinkl Facebook page and a special Twinkl Australia Facebook group for even more inspiration and ideas.

Toni x

Disclosure - I was gifted a premium subscription to Twinkl to access all resources in order to provide a review. All opinions expressed are based on our experiences with the website and printable resources. I did not receive payment for this review.