Thursday, 16 August 2012

Can Educational Toys be fun?

As we home educate, and have done for almost a year you find that you learn even from every day chores like food shopping or baking and the girls are just soaking up life like little person shaped sponges so when i was asked to review some educational toys from RM at Home i couldn't believe my luck!

For those of you who have never hear of RM at Home here's a little more about them...


‘Making learning fun’ is number one education concern for parents

When it comes to supporting children’s education, the main concern for parents is that learning should be fun.  That’s what research conducted by RM Education has revealed.  But how do you make learning fun and effective?

RM Education has launched ‘RM At Home’ – a brand new website offering a wide range of products for ‘happy learning’.  Research by RM Education, the leading provider of technology for learning, revealed that the number one concern for parents when it comes to supporting their child’s education is making learning fun. 72% of those surveyed said making learning fun was of ‘great importance’, with a further 25% saying it was of ‘some importance’.  Other top concerns included help with numeracy, online safety and avoiding falling behind.*

Additional research into parental involvement with schools shows that 75% of parents believe education is a shared responsibility between themselves and schools**. Keen to fulfil this important role in their child’s learning outside of school, their main concern is that their involvement should be fun.

Presenter and mum of three boys, Philippa Forrester, is helping RM At Home raise awareness among parents of the products that are available through RM At Home ( that make learning enjoyable and effective outside school hours.

Philippa Forrester comments: “As a mum of three, it’s always been really important to me to support my children’s education.  But at the end of the day when they get from school I want them to have fun as well.  That’s what I love about RM At Home – loads of great ways to help parents support their children’s learning without it feeling like hard work.

“And it’s not just fun.  All of these products have proven educational value – they are used and trusted by schools throughout the country so the quality is extremely high - it has to be to survive in a classroom!”

Commenting for RM Education, Senior Educationalist Kat Howard says: “You can buy fun stuff that’s not educational and you can buy things that are educational but not fun.  We are fulfilling a need for learning resources that have proven educational worth while also being enjoyable for children to play with.

“One product we’re particularly excited about is Easimaths. It’s an online maths tuition software for children aged five to 11 and it’s adaptive, which means as soon as the child masters something, they are immediately moved on to the next level.  It’s bright, colourful and games-based and costs just £34.99 a year.”

RM At Home also offers another solution for parents – RM School Finder.  There is currently no one place parents can go for information about their local schools – they have to trawl through several sources of data.  RM School Finder, which is free to use, takes all available school data and presents it in a user-friendly format so it’s easy to see not just Ofsted reports, but exam results, extra curricular activities, what pupils achieve, plus softer information on the culture of the school direct from the establishment itself.

For more information visit and follow and

We received 3 products to review, a Ball Cannon, Voice Recording White Boards and the Recording Magnifier.
The girls where so excited when the box came, crammed with goodies, it was like Christmas!!
The Ball Cannon went down a treat! i don't think i have ever seen  my 3 year old laugh so much and shes always chuckling about something. It was attractive to all three of them, 8, 5 and 3, and they lined up patiently to have a go. They played constantly with it for a few hours without fighting and arguing before they started seeing if barbie would have the safe effect as the balls.

Not just for educated children, RM at Home offers a wide range of SEN and Sensory Toys for children of all ages.
RM At Home provides a range of products that have been tried and tested by teachers, children and parents, to help support children’s learning at home and have fun whilst doing it. Available from in the following categories is:

Numeracy: evidence shows our numeracy skills in the UK lag behind other nations (source: OECD) and many parents lack confidence when it comes to helping their children. The RM At Home numeracy products help address the issue by making maths fun and interactive, while enabling children to grasp core mathematical concepts.

For example: Easimaths – games-based online maths tuition for 5 -11 year olds.

Extra Help: one in five children in the UK has some form of special educational need (SEN) or needs additional support (source: DfE data).  There is often a delay between a parent first recognising developmental challenges and receiving a diagnosis, it can be up to two years, during which time learning progress may stall.  At Home has categorised a number of products by observed behaviour – e.g. difficulty with speech and language, difficulty reading – that are designed to give parents the tools to help their children overcome these challenges.

For example: Handwriting Essentials Kit, Focus for Fidgets Kit, Fine Motor Skills Kit.

Holidays, rainy days and ‘I’m bored’ days: Products to help maintain learning momentum during holidays so children don’t experience a ‘learning dip’.  Also great for rainy days and general ‘I’m bored days’.  At Home offers a range of exciting, interactive, and challenging products to keep children pin-sharp and on track, even when they are not at school.

For example: Speaking and listening kit (includes talking tubes, conversation cubes, Storytellers Kit (storyteller’s cloak, recordable story mountain, sound effects CD)

•  Sensory room: enables children with more severe special educational needs to benefit from immersive and sensory play at home.

For example: Bubble Tube. Fibre Optic Harness

Educational Gifts: a range of offers high quality and entertaining educational gifts, ideal for those who want to buy something worthwhile rather than adding to the ‘toy mountain’.

For example: EasiSpeak MP3 recordable microphone, Active Maths Kit, Time to Talk Baskets and Making Bath Bombs kit.

Keep kids learning during the holidays RM At Home top tips to help avoid the learning-dip this summer

School’s out.  Six weeks off.  Hurrah! Or perhaps not when it comes to your child’s brain power.. While holidays are essential for children (and grown ups) to relax and re-energise. the six week long break can lead to a so-called “learning dip.” This is when children disengage from reading, writing and numeracy – their brains simply get out of the habit of learning.

Kat Howard, Senior Educationalist at RM At Home, provider of fun and educational toys, games and kit comments, “Come September, it’s difficult to switch back on. Often, the first couple of weeks at school are spent just getting back up to speed – which is a waste of precious teaching and learning time. There’s a lot parents can do to keep kids pin sharp, while having fun at the same time.”

Here are RM At Home’s top tips for avoiding the learning dip:

1: Make it part of family life
Holiday learning mustn’t feel like a chore or become a battle ground. Try to weave literacy and numeracy into everyday tasks or fun challenges.  Baking a cake? Involve the kids - how many more grams do we need?  How long does it go in the oven for? A mini-maths lesson followed by the joy of licking the spoon!

2: Positively encourage reading
To encourage reading for pleasure, why not sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge, which encourages children to read six books from the library over the summer, in exchange for prizes.  Visit your local library to join and you will be given a pack including a card where you can keep track of what you’ve read.


And if you need an incentive, why not trade 30 minutes reading for an hour on a computer game?

3:Little and often
Especially with numeracy, little and often is the best approach.  There are loads of online maths resources. Why not try RM Easimaths, games-based, online maths tuition for children aged 5-11 – 15 minutes a day is all it takes to make a real improvement.

4:Get Outdoors

Working on the ‘active body, active brain’ theory head to your local park or woods and collect treasure – leaves, twigs, stones to take home and make a mini-wood (an old shoebox comes in handy here). See what bugs you can find, how many trees, plants and flowers can you name?

 A small selection on outdoor toys that are available.

5:Encourage conversation
Play observation games (I spy, first to count ten red / black / blue cars), board games and word games – they are all fantastic ways of encouraging conversation, extending vocabulary, practising spelling and comprehension.

I cannot say enough good things about these educational toys and services that RM at Home offer. The girls have had so much fun recording silly noises and playing them back to each other, firing a multitude of toys across the lounge and viewing bugs and the like on the Recording Magnifier.
We will be taking some of the things we have learnt from RM at Home and take it forward in our own education journey.
I hope this has shown that pre school education or support learning at home doesn't have to be like school, it can be fun and rewarding for all concerned.

Happy Learning

L xx

1 comment:

  1. Today, there are so many ways on how children can gain educational learning while having fun. As children seek their world through playing, they also gain knowledge from the toys they play with. Giving children a variety of puzzles enhances their early childhood educational experience both at home and in school.