The search for the perfect educational toy is over!

Having a pre-school child who is both very academic and very practical has been somewhat of a struggle when choosing toys. A genuine educational toy is actually very hard to find!

I buy her something to read – we also act it out. Get her a practical toy – she wants to use her brain more in an academic way. In other words, we almost always have to figure out our own ways to make toys both educational and fun.

Children at this age also tend to get very frustrated when they are not challenged enough, so finding an educational toy that keeps their little hands and brain busy is important!

We were lucky enough to be gifted with two amazing educational, yet practical toys from Jaques of London for my little lady to provide an honest review. We have reviewed other educational toys before, but the toys from Jaques have given my daughter a whole different take on mixing fun and practical play.

Here are the toys we chose and an honest review of how much fun we had playing with them! Everything written in this article is from our own personal views and experiences of the toys.

So, if you are looking for some great ideas for educational toys for your kiddo/s, read on…

But, before you do…

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Oooorr…if you are feeling lucky, why not enter our official Instagram Giveaway? Opening on 10.06.21 and closing on 17.06.21.

Just follow @lifeitornot_blog and keep your eyes open from the 10th June 2021 to be in with a chance of receiving the following two toys, completely FREE!

(Ad-Gifted)

instagram giveaway educational toys

Wooden Construction Bench and Toolkit Toy

The Let’s Play Construction Bench by Jaques of London is a perfect little educational toy for children 3 years and up, who like to use their academic brains at the same time as doing something practical.

The thing my little lady loves about this toy the most is that she realised she could take the entire toy apart and rebuild it from scratch.

Jaques thought of everything.

They included a (very easy to follow) set of instructions for parent’s to help their little one’s put the toy together!

and take it apart! Yay!

instructions for education toy for preschooler

This Montessori toy is designed for children to develop their fine motor skills by performing fun activities, such as:

  • Hammering
  • Tightening screws using the wooden screwdriver (all screws – of two sizes / widths, are included in the toy)
  • Turning and tightening screw nuts with the wooden wrench or little fingers

How we found it…

The thing that I love about this toy the most is that there is also an educational / academic aspect to it.

The Let’s Play Construction Bench also includes a cute wooden ruler to measure things out – adding a mathematical understanding to the fun.

My little lady started measuring the length, width and height of her toy cars straight away. She was even working out (with my help) the difference in centimetres between the cars sizes.

She ended up using the “holder” on the construction bench to put her cars through a “car wash”! Haha! Have to love the imagination of a pre-schooler!

I also love that the construction bench and tools are all also coloured in red, yellow, green and blue.

This basic colouring gives children the opportunity to recognise and discuss different colours and compare the colours to objects around them, in the “real world”.

Lightweight, robust and easy to store, this wooden educational toy is also portable and fun for even heavy-handed children.

Made of 100% FSC Approved wood and featuring water-based paints, the construction bench is top-quality and perfect for safe play.

The first thing we noticed about the Construction Bench toy is how gorgeous the packaging was!

My little lady absolutely loved how neatly her new toy was wrapped in the signature branded Jaques of London gift wrap box, including a luxurious hand tied ribbon. 

car wash educational toy

Let’s Learn to Spell!

The wooden Learn to Spell game is super fun and also gives your little one a chance to use their hands, while developing their academic brains and phonics skills.

Perfect for ages 3 and up!

My little lady is currently 4 and a half years old and she loves this educational toy. 

The Learn to Spell game introduces and develops colour, shape and letter recognition, with four different ways to play. Yes, FOUR! See below for the different ways to play.

Your child can associate letters and sounds with the bright and colourful images (objects and animals) on the letter cards and double-sided word cards. This gives children the opportunity to make a visual association between the word and the letters.

By the way…all the colours on this beautifully made wooden game are easy to clean water-based paints – meaning safe play!

My daughter loves the fact that she can “challenge” herself with this game.

Her favourite way to play is to practice sounding out the word from the picture she can see and then finding the small individual letter cards to match the letters she can see on the card.

We then get to the “challenge” part! Yay!

Turn the card over to display the blank letter areas and get your child to try to remember / repeat the phonics and individual sounds and put them on the cards.

Differentiation

As a teacher, I LOVE how much I can differentiate this game for my daughter by moving through the different ways to play (see below).

For example, we can start with an easier game of just matching the smaller letter cards to the letters she can see on the double-sided cards.

To make the game a bit more difficult, just miss out the “matching letters” game and start on the blank side. Your little one can use their existing knowledge of phonics and spelling to figure out how to spell the word (from a picture) and challenge themselves in this way.

The Learn to Spell game also features both 3 and 4 letter words to spell. This allows your child to challenge themselves further when they are comfortable with the 3 letter words.

lots of pieces of the toy

Four ways to play…

GAME 1

  • Pick a double-sided word card and study the card, thinking about the order of the sounds and letters.
  • Get your child to find the same letters in the pile and place the letters onto the matching ones on the card.
  • As they place the letters onto the card, help your child to make the phonetical sound for each letter.

GAME 2

  • Get your child to pick a word card and study the word / letters.
  • Turn the card over to show the blank side and ask your child to try to sound out the letters of the word / spell the word.
  • Help your child to select the correct letters for the word and place them on the card in the correct sequence.

GAME 3

  • Once your child is confident in spelling the individual words, they can begin to combine the words into a sentence.
  • Help them to do this by using conjunctions, such as ‘and’ and ‘because’.
  • They could even start thinking about describing words (adjectives) to make their sentences even more interesting!

GAME 4 (Two players)

  • If your child has a sibling or friend who would like to play (or even you?), you can give this game a try.
  • Start with each player having a stack of word cards, face down.
  • Turn the first cards over at the same time and race against each other to see who can complete their entire word stack the quickest! A SUPER fun educational toy!
  • It obviously helps if an adult is present to help ensure the completed words are actually correct.
differentiated spelling game

Unbelievable Prices!

The Wooden construction set is super affordable at only £13.99 and the Learn to Spell game is a VERY affordable £6.99.

At such low prices and at such high quality, I will definitely be buying more toys for my little lady from Jaques of London!

Education and fun CAN be achieved together – and at such affordable quality, I was amazed by these educational toys. Give them a go for yourself and see how much fun your little one has learning with them!

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