The Mark Makers & Little Learners - AD
*Disclaimer - I was gifted The Mark Makers activity booklet in exchange for a full review. However, all opinions are my own.
As a primary school teacher, education was always going to form an important part of my parenting. When Little Learners got in touch with me and asked if I'd like to review their new products, I jumped at the chance! Rory is now two and a half years old and before we know it, he'll be starting his formal education journey at nursery so I thought it would be the perfect time to start exploring them.
The Mark Makers is an early writing programme which has been devised by a qualified teacher and focuses on the four key 'marks' which can be used to form any letter and number. Prior to this, children need to be able to follow shapes and patterns to give them an idea of 'mark making'. Typically, boys do not engage in writing, or at this stage, mark making, in the same way that girls do. That's why it's really important to find a way to get them enthusiastic about writing, and The Mark Makers does just that.
There are 4 key characters to The Mark Makers; Lionel the Soldier Mark, Archie the Rainbow Mark, Swirlo the Magic Mark and Ziggy the Monster Mark. Between them, they can use used to form any letter or number. Firstly, children are encouraged to trace the patterns and shapes before applying it in their letters or numbers. The dedicated colours for each mark help children recognise which type of mark they should be making.
The idea of the activity book is to expose children to mark making in a fun way. When people think of writing, they immediately think of a pencil and paper, and a lot of hard work getting your children to do it. This book shows how fun and engaging it can be, with limited preparation time. Children can mark make with any materials they choose; crayons, paints, even using a stick in some sand!
I feel that Rory is not quite ready to access this book just yet, however we are finding that he is becoming more and more interested in painting and colouring. This is great because it means that his fine motor skills are improving and he is building that muscle strength for when he finally is ready to start writing!
I'm obviously very passionate about providing a rich learning environment for Rory at home, and want to encourage him to explore all aspects of learning. However, as both a teacher and parent, I strongly believe that these opportunities should not be forced. Our time with our children is so limited and precious, it's important to be able to enjoy the things we do together without putting too much pressure onto it.
As well as the activity book, there are also story books available for each Mark Maker character to help introduce them to your children.
If you're interested in The Mark Makers collection, please follow the links below -
Little Learners Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/littlelearnersuk/?hl=en
Mark Makers Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/the_mark_makers/?hl=en
If you require any further support on early mark making, or have any questions surrounding education, my inbox is always open!
Mommy Davies x