Posted on

Supporting Learners with Dyslexia

Lowercase Letter Beads

Educators play a vital role in the academic and emotional well-being of learners with Dyslexia. This learning difficulty is more common than people often realise and is thought to affect around 10% of the population, and 4% severely. It is a common Specific Learning Difficulty and is often described as a hidden disability. Although weakness in the area of literacy is often the most visible sign, Dyslexia affects the way information is processed, stored and retrieved.

Click here for a guide for Schools and Educators this world dyslexia day

Posted on

Core Math Concepts for Every Phase

Mental Maths

I am going to highlight Learning Tools products related to the theme in age groupings – Preschool, Foundation Phase and Intermediate Phase. So, have a look at these core math concepts for every phase.

Preschool: Counting Hands Classroom Kit

Counting Hands is a versatile product that can be used at different developmental levels, and to practice many different skills. Sort, graph, sequence and make patterns with fun counting hands. Use the hand buttons and laminated activity cards to explore addition, subtraction and data collection.

Foundation Phase: Under the Sea Shells

Bring word problems to life (and make them concrete) with clamshells and fun little crab and sea star counters in the Under the Sea Shells game. This is the perfect way to practice addition, subtraction, and finding the missing number. The game includes 40 double-sided word problem cards (80 word problems), 4 clamshells, and 80 counters.

Intermediate Phase: Snap It Up

Snap It Up is a fun, fast paced addition and subtraction game. This game helps children improve their mental math ability. Mental math not only stimulates your mind, but it also helps one get a better “number sense.” In other words one becomes more familiar with how numbers interact. This is very important, because as you know, math is something that builds on itself. If you don’t have a good grasp on how numbers interact, then more complicated math will seem like more of a challenge.

Posted on

Math Games

Math games like Tri-Facta help kids deepen their mathematical understanding and reasoning.

Math games should form an essential part of any child’s learning. By playing various math games children have the opportunity to explore fundamental number concepts, such as the counting sequence, one-to-one correspondence, and computation strategies. Math games can also encourage children to explore number combinations, place value, patterns, and other important mathematical concepts. Playing games give learners the chance to deepen their mathematical understanding and reasoning.
Below are a few of the my favourite math games:

Scaredy Cat

Scaredy Cat is a fun counting game. The object of the game is to collect the most bird pieces before the scarecrow is completed. Players collect and count the bird cards before Scaredy Cat appears. When the scarecrow is complete, the player with the most birds wins.

Mini Muffin Match Up

This early maths development game encourages colour recognition, matching, sorting, and counting. Children develop fine motor skills as they use Squeezy Tweezers to pick up the muffin counters.

BrainBox: My First Maths

Designed for parents and teachers to play with younger children, this “brain box” will help improve visual perception, observation and memory skills as well as reinforce early maths concepts. There is also BrainBox Maths for the older child.

Pop to the Shops

Help children learn about handling money and giving change, by playing this fun shopping game. Move from shop to shop, using play money to buy lots of different items. The currency is cents – so it’s a perfect game for our South African children.

Snap It Up for Addition and Subtraction

Snap It Up is a fun, fast paced Addition and Subtraction Game. This game helps children improve their mental maths ability. The object of this addition and subtraction game is to be the first player to make three correct addition and subtraction equations. There is also Snap It Up Multiplication and Division for the older child.

Tri-Facta for Multiplication and Division

Tri-FACTa is a fun and educational math game that helps your school aged child practice multiplication and division facts while having fun. This math game is excellent for the classroom and for the home environment. This version is for multiplication and division. There is also Tri-FACTa for Addition and Subtraction for the younger child.

Posted on

Educational Games

Bananagrams word game

If you are a teacher, parent, or just a fun loving person who loves teaching games, below is a selection of my favourite educational games suitable for all ages. These are perfect for class activities as well as family game nights.


Qwirkle an addictive strategy game, it is the perfect game to hone player¹s tactical manoeuvres, strategically planning, and forward thinking. The rules of the game are basic: simply build lines by matching tiles based on either colour or shape, and score points for doing so. The ability to build complex combinations will keep children interested and engaged, and challenge them mentally.


Bananagrams is a fast-paced, competitive word game with similarities to both Scrabble and Boggle. The game progresses without turns as in Boggle, while each player builds his or her own interlocking, Scrabble-type crossword. It is packaged in a small bag the shape of a banana, and can be played anywhere and anytime.


Swish is a visual perception card game that challenges you to be the first to make matches, or ³Swishes.² Players create ³Swishes² by layering cards together to orient coloured balls inside coloured hoops Swishes are made by stacking as few as two or as many as 12 cards so that every ball swishes into a hoop of the same colour. The player with the most matches at the end of the game wins.


It is a game of speed, visual perception and reflexes! Even adults will enjoy this game. It¹s a simple tin of 55 round playing cards. Each card has on it 8 symbols selected from a possible 50 (heart, bomb, lips, waving hand, car, etc.) Each card shares one, and only one, matching symbol with every other card in the deck. The trick is to spot the matching symbol. Visual perception is the key to this fast paced game.

Posted on

Consonant Vowel Consonant From Bones Series

Consonant Vowel Consonant Bones

Consonant Vowel Consonant (CVC) Bones is an ideal Grade 1 literacy game.

CVC words are words that follow the pattern Consonant-Vowel-Consonant. These are considered the simplest words and the starting point of many phonics programs (after some work on initial sounds). These words highlight the short vowels such as the a in cat, the e in bed, the I in fin, the o in top, and the u in sub.

CVC Bones is a highly motivational, fun and simple product to use. These bone shaped crunchers are printed black on durable yellow plastic for optimum visual clarity. Slide the question mark over to conceal part of a word or sequence. Each cruncher in the pack is different. This is a product that can be used time and time again!

Posted on

Understanding Numbers and Time

Place value dice

Understanding numbers and time is not always easy for children. Here are some great products to develop their sense of numbers and time.

Place Value Dice

Place value is the value given to the place or position of a digit in a number. Children need to understand the relationship between each digit in a number. The Place Value dice helps to support developing children’s number sense and their understanding of place value.

Time Bones

This is an excellent product for Grade 2 and 3s. Time Bones are aimed to encourage children to recognise, practice and understand various forms of time.

Equivalence Bones

Another Senior Primary product, and an excellent addition to the My Fraction range. Decimals, fractions and percentages are just different ways of showing the same value. Children need to learn how to manipulate this information, and show their understanding by converting a percentage to a decimal, or a fraction into a percentage. Equivalence Bones is an excellent resource to encourage this.

Posted on

National Book Week 2016

National Book Week 2016

I am very excited to announce that National Book Week (NBW) has kicked of this week for an exciting book filled week. During this week is the ideal time to focus on our children’s reading ability and awareness. This South African literacy event is running from 5-11 September 2016, across all nine provinces.

NBW is a national awareness campaign to promote the importance of reading and the book. The campaign aims to engage the public and create awareness around the critical role books play in South Africa’s development. Through the campaign, more people are able to take action in getting South Africa reading. This week-long event collaborates with multiple stakeholders and partners with the expressed aim of increasing reading in South Africa.

During this week NBW has two very important campaigns that will be running: The #BUY_A_BOOK and #READ_A_BOOK campaign. If you wish to play your part in developing South Africa’s literacy and getting our country reading, then be an active participant in these campaigns.


This campaign offers the public an opportunity to buy selected books at Bargain Books,, and Exclusive books at a small price, and then donate it to NBW’s reading projects.


Take part in this campaign by sharing the love of reading with those around you. This might entail you reading to someone or allowing someone else to read to you. With this campaign we wish to promote the benefits and joys of reading.

The best part about it all is that you do not need to register to take part in these events. It is open to everyone.

Read more about National Book Week on their website:

Posted on

The Magic of Base 10

Base 10 Starter Set

Our everyday number system is a Base 10 system. The Base 10 system is known as the decimal system. In this system there are 10 digits to show all numbers. These are 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. Numbers are made up of these digits in the same way that words are made up of letters. These words are called place value headings. For example: the number 325 is made up of: five ones; two tens; and three hundreds.

The Base 10 system seems logical, or even “natural” to us adults as we have used it our whole life. It seems as if nearly ever civilisation before us had used it too, more than likely because we have 10 fingers and 10 toes. However, for children, trying to get their heads around this system is difficult at first.

This is where the Base 10 blocks come in. Base 10 blocks are a concrete representation of our decimal system. The block set consists of a unit block ­ that is the smallest of all the blocks, and represents the units. There is then a rod or 10 block that is a string of 10 unit blocks stuck together to represent the tens. Then there is a flat or 100 block, which is 10 rods stuck together to represent 100. In some sets you may also get a 1000 block that corresponds to a 1000 units.

Learners then manipulate the Base 10 block set to represent all numbers. This physically shows them how the number is comprised of units, tens, hundreds and even thousands. It physically shows them the place value of each of the digits making up the number. The base 10 Block can be used in all phases of learners’ education. In the early years the Base 10 blocks are ideal for representing numbers, addition and subtraction of numbers and basic mathematical principals. As the learners advance in their education, so the Base 10 blocks can be used to assist with fractions, decimals and other more complicated mathematical concept.

Base 10 blocks are a must have in the classroom.

Click here for full product description.

Posted on

Learn-to-Read Educational Toy Bundle

Learning Tools is selling a Learn-to-Read Educational Toy Bundle on Groupon for R799 Including Delivery (17% Off). The bundle includes three items that will help children between the ages of 6 and 9 learn how to read properly and well:

Pop for Sight Words
This game focuses on sight words, which are an essential component to learning to read. Sight words are high-frequency words that occur in the text. These are words that children will not be able to decode (spell out to get the word), they are words the child needs to know. The child needs to look at the word and say it. Ideal game for reinforcing the high-frequency sight words the young reader is learning. Through playing this game, you will help the child increase their reading fluency

Short Vowel Dominoes
Includes a solid storage container, activity guide and 84 dominoes. Puts emphasis on short vowel sounds, beginning consonant blends and digraphs, word building and spelling patterns. It allows kids to form hundreds of words and the dominoes are printed with high utility consonants and important phonograms. Fun, hands-on way for beginning readers to practice word-formation skills and build their confidence on the road to reading success

Lowercase Letter Beads
Learn to spell with fun, bright lower case alphabet letter beads. These alphabet beads add a second dimension to learning to spell. Children use more than once sense when working with the beads. Kids identify lowercase letters, explore alphabet order and build words with easy-threading beads that provide plenty of hands-on practice.