With all that's going on in the world at the moment it's good to keep an eye on your child's Social and Emotional Learning. I think it's key to be in the right SEL head space before academic learning can be fully embraced. No one really learns well when under stress so I'm really thankful that Learning Resources have a few packs, kits and toys available to help and teach our youngsters a bit more about themselves socially and emotionally.
Logan and Harlow have both been sent a lovely pack each to test out and see what they think. Logan received the Sensory Fidget Toy Kit and Harlow has received the Learn About Feelings Activity Set. With Logan being autistic he really does enjoy a fidget toy and honestly they make his life so much easier. There are so many benefits to fidget toys from helping people to focus and increase concentration, decreasing stress and anxiety and even helping to lose weight due to increased calorie burning. I know some people think of them as a distraction from learning but in my experience, for autistic people, they have the complete opposite affect and completely aid learning along with calming mentally.
The Sensory Fidget Toy Kit from Learning Resources is fantastic and full of lovely toys perfect for the fidgety person in your life. Logan loved this kit and has had many hours of fun playing with everything. Inside each pack there are 2 glow sticks, 1 Sensory Fidget Tube, 1 Playfoam Jumbo Pod, Link n Learn Chain link (100 pieces), 1 rainbow coil spring, PopCubes snap-together cubes (20 pieces), 1 globe stress ball, 2 marbleised poppers, and multilingual Getting Started Guide. It's an ideal kit for use in the classroom, at home or on the go and toys such as Playfoam and PopCubes also help with hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.. It's also worth noting that the Sensory Fidget Tube and Playfoam Jumbo Pod varieties are randomly selected and may differ from images shown on the Learning Resources website.
This kit retails for £30 which I think is a fair price for everything you receive and Logan really was over the moon with his. He particularly loved the marbled poppers, especially when I told him I had them when I was a child. He also loved the PlayFoam as it doesn't smell and stick to his hands or clothes. He thought it had a really nice feeling to it and enjoyed pulling it apart. He described it as "so satisfying" and it was lovely to see him so calm and engaged playing with the foam. Another favourite was the rainbow coil spring, Logan loves the movement and noise of this so much and he can sit for hours with it. Since he's still at home doing his school work these fidget toys have come in really handy to help him concentrate. He has a computer desk and laptop in his room and he can struggle to sit at it for long. I've noticed with these fidget toys to play with whilst he works he can sit for longer and complete his work quicker. A great set and one which I'd recommend if you're on the look out for sensory fidget toys.
Next up is the Learn About Feelings Activity Set which Harlow received. It's aimed at children aged 3-7 years and is designed to help children build important social-emotional skills that teaches them about feelings and emotions in themselves and others with 10 engaging activities. Children can match body postures and facial expressions, learn that emotions can look different on different people, and discuss how situations may cause an individual to feel a certain emotion. Harlow is such an emotional soul herself and can go through her own range of emotions in a day so I feel this is an activity set which will really help her understand and also give her confidence in herself.
Included in each set are two question cubes, four plastic character cubes, 12 character cards, 18 situation cards, one poster and Getting Started Guide. The question cubes are used to prompt conversations and encourage discussion about feelings, and the picture cards help children learn to identify feelings in real situations. The blocks are also sized for little hands and stick together for easy, convenient use. They're ideal for the classroom or home learning.
There's lots of different activities in the Getting Started Guide to show you how the cubes and cards can be used. There's everything from Exploring Feelings where you match the character cubes together and discuss each feeling, to Feeling Memory game where you can use the character cards and turn over two at a time to try and match the same feeling. Each activity is simple and easy to do and this set retails for £17 which again I think is a fair price.
Harlow took a while to engage with this set as she does struggle with her feelings quite a lot at times but once she started her confidence grew and she became quite fond of discussing emotions and playing the varies games and activities. I'd definitely recommend if you have an emotional soul at home or ever just introducing your child to emotions so they can identify their own, it's a great tool kit.
These items have been gifted for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.