Through play your child can be introduced to the key elements of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum before they start school. This will give them a great head start in the classroom. It is compatible with other teaching systems used once they are at school.
The EYFS sets standards for the learning development and care of your child from birth to 5 years.
All schools follow this.
The EYFS curriculum covers the areas of-
Communication and Language
Personal, social and emotional
Understanding the world
Expressive art and design.
For more details visit https://www.gov.uk/early-years-foundation-stage
Join us on our magical learning adventure on Star Bear Island, where the Alphabet Bears and Number Rascals are waiting to teach you phonics, numbers, colours and shapes!
Bear Beginnings is a brand new educational toy which takes you on a magical journey to Star Bear Island, where you and your child can discover the land of learning. It introduces children to the world of phonics, numbers, colours and shapes through the use of characters and accompanying stories.
While having fun at home together, it will also give you the tools to provide your child with a solid framework of skills on which to build.
We have often been asked what can parents do to help their children at home before starting school.
If you use Bear Beginnings, your child will very quickly learn to love the characters and at the same time learn important foundation skills in a fun and exciting way.
THE ALPHABET BEARS
The Alphabet Bears will help you with your letter sounds and shapes. Tickle his tummy and say his sound or use your ‘magic’ finger to write his letter by tracing the outline on his tummy.
By teaching your child phonics (the sound associated with individual letters) they are
soon able to blend individual sounds to make words. They will be reading simple three
letter cvc (consonant-vowel-consonant) words before you know it!
Encourage your child to trace the outline of the letters on the bear’s tummies,
following the correct formation and repeating the letter sound as you do so.
You can gradually introduce using pencil and paper to replicate the letter shapes.
Try to guess where each bear lives by matching the shape and colour on his tummy
to the right house. How many sides does it have? Are all the sides the same shape?
How many other bears live in the same house? Can you make a set? What colour are
the bears? What sort of bear do you think they are?
This is another opportunity to introduce new vocabulary and knowledge and understanding of the world as you can talk about different types of bear - their country of origin, their habitat, climate, diet. You can also talk about other animals that might be covered in fur, or animals with different coverings such as scales, prickles etc.
Can you say the alphabet and put all the bears in the right order? Can you say the letter name and then say the sound that letter makes?
The Alphabet Bears love to have adventures on Star Bear Island. Can you think of your own adventures for them?
It is a great way to encourage your children to use their imagination and increase their language skills and vocabulary. You can ask questions or simply let your child play alone with their new friends. You will be amazed to hear their stories and watch their confidence grow as they speak through the Alphabet Bears or Number Rascals. There is no limit to the learning opportunities you can provide for your child. The only limit is your imagination.
THE NUMBER RASCALS
The Number Rascals will help with numeracy skills.
They are little mischiefs and are always playing tricks on Star Bear Island.
Can you find Number Rascal ‘5’?
You can read the numbers together with your child and encourage them to
count the dots, moving their finger slowly from one to the next as they do so.
In this way they will begin to recognise the numeral and also associate the
quantity with the numeral.
Can you find the right tree house for each number? You have 3 clues – the number,
colour, shape and number of dots.
You found it! Now knock on the door of the treehouse the right number of times and see if the Number Rascal can go it. Now can you put all the Number Rascals in a line from 1-10 and all the matching houses?
As well as teaching number ordering, you can also talk about bigger and smaller numbers and pairs -matching the Number Rascal with their treehouse.
Oh dear! Number 2 looks very sad. I wonder why that is? What makes you sad? How do you feel when you are sad?
You can ask questions relating to the other emotions expressed by the Number Rascals.
Children often find it difficult to express their feelings and it is a helpful exercise to encourage them to open up and to discuss how they may feel in different situations. It also helps them to understand and appreciate how other children may feel as a result of their words or actions and how to behave in different situations.
ABOUT THE TEACHING PACK
The Alphabet Bears and Number Rascals are made from durable polypropylene, designed to withstand the rigours of daily use. They are of A6 size, just right for little hands!
The Early Years Teaching Pack consists of:
The Alphabet Bears
- 26 bears (a-z, 6 groups of 4 bears and one pair)
- 6 corresponding shaped houses
The Number Rascals
- numbers 1-10
- 10 treehouses
STAR BEAR ISLAND MAP
By using the map, children can have great fun matching their own Bears and Rascals to the characters on the map.
They can ‘walk’ them around, encouraging gross and fine motor skills to position them. They can play alone or with their friends, making up stories and adventures for their new playmates.
You can talk about the different areas and landmarks on the map. You can talk about points of the compass, buried treasure, and make your own maps together.
The map comes in the form of a PVC play mat which children can use on the floor.
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