As an occupational therapist, I am passionate about the development of the whole child.
To prepare our children for formal education, they need to have a good base for teachers to work with. This includes executive function skills such as being able to focus well, being organised, being an independent learner, being meticulous, being able to manage or regulate themselves (which is known as self-regulation), and having a growth mindset.
When I discovered Twinkl 2 years ago, I was blown away with what they had to offer. They are like the fairy godmother of educational resources! I could find just about anything I could think of, including all of the above aspects to develop a school-ready child.
This company grew out of a teacher’s dream to create good quality resources that teachers could pick up and teach with. A decade later, the couple has more than 1,000 employees worldwide, with 500+ ex-teachers constantly creating new resources.
Trust me when I say they have a ton of stuff and you may get lost in their website. From the usual like phonics, comprehension and the solar system to things like calm corner resources, bullying, olympics / para-olympics and even charlie and the chocolate factory worksheets, they have everything covered for ages 0 to 16.
They have a full range of both academic and non–academic subjects, and I’m going to walk you through how to best navigate your way around. While their resources are mostly used to teach preschoolers, there are also very good quality resources to help upper primary students working on projects.
There is a dedicated Twinkl Singapore website. Click on the word “Singapore” at the top bar to access this page. These are just some of the categories they have and is a good place to start.
At the website, you’ll be prompted to enter your email. With this, you are able to download resources that are labeled “FREE”. This allows you to try out some of Twinkl’s resources. Simply type into the Search bar “Free” and the free resources will pop up!
How to Search
You can search by typing in a keyword, either via a broad subject e.g. reading or math or you can narrow down to something very specific e.g. multiplication, life cycle of a plant, letter e.
You will also get suggested keyword prompts right under the search bar to help you expand your search on a particular topic. If Kate comes home from school and tells me she doesn’t understand a particular Math concept e.g. fractions, I search it up and print it for her to practice until she masters it. She knows she is a slow learning compared to her peers and she gets anxious in class when she sees that everyone else seems to be able to do it, hence the extra practice at home helps.
You can click on the age filter box to narrow down to the specific age group you are looking for. This is found on the left side of the page. For example, I searched “Reading Comprehension” and added the age filter “5-6 years”.
EYS is suitable for preschoolers (Early years)
KS1 is suitable for 5-7 years old
KS2 is suitable for 7-11 years old
Once you click on an age filter, the box will remain ticked. You need to click “clear” if you have other kids and don’t want it to remain at 5-6 years automatically.
If you can’t find certain resources even after typing in the exact resource name, you need to un-click country filter – Singapore because the default setting for us is set to Singapore.
If the subscription price is reflected in pounds, you need to select Singapore in the “country” field.
Raising a School-Ready child
Whether you have a preschooler or a Primary school child, it is never too late to develop them in these important areas, so don’t fret! I’ll show you some examples of the worksheets that can help with each area, and you can start exploring more of the same.
Increase their Attention Span
This is one of the biggest issues teachers face these days. With social media and a fast paced, instant gratification world, our children find it hard to focus in class. Instead of forcing your kids to do more “boring” mummy homework, try using these fun worksheets to help them build their attention span. It also helps them to be more careful and meticulous in doing their work. Print a whole stack of them on hand, and this keeps them quiet when you need to WFH! (this was one of my secrets in being able to manage 5 kids under the age of 10 when we WFH for more than 10 years!)
- I Spy
- Spot the difference
- Word search
- Dot to dot
- Mindfulness colouring pages
- Listening activities
Learn to be organised
The key to being organised is to start them young with consistent routines and to give them autonomy to take charge of their day, little by little, and to allow them lots of opportunities to practice, make mistakes and learn from their mistakes.
Kate was able to independently carry out her daily routines from 2 years old and by 5 she was writing her own daily to-do lists and holiday schedules. You’ll be surprised what your kids can do if you allow them to! Guide them gently, manage your expectations and don’t nag them when they make mistakes. That’s how they learn and improve 🙂
Develop a Growth Mindset
Parents and teachers are now aware of how important developing a growth mindset and building resilience is for our children. I have been working on it with my own children for the past 20 years and that was how The Little Executive was born 6 years ago. Together with my partner who has worked with 6000+ children, it was our mission to help other parents develop these crucial dispositions in their children.
As parents, you can start to introduce these concepts to your children from the time they are young, and it starts with us having a growth mindset ourselves. Search “growth mindset” and there are powerpoint slides, resource packs and posters to help you along.
What I’ve shown is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to explore as they have more than 700,000 resources available on their website!
So how much does it cost to access all of this? The Ultimate Subscription plan is $19.80 per month, and this plan allows you to download everything on the website. Click on the Membership Guide for their 3 tier pricing plan. The cheapest plan is Core which costs $11.80 a month.
What’s in Ultimate Subscription?
The top tier subscription allows you to access all of the above ad hoc worksheets and powerpoint slides, as well as the following resource categories. These categories have been packaged all ready for parents and teachers to access easily.
Twinkl Phonics – Week by week lessons to teach phonics. Simply choose from Level 1 to Level 6 and you can filter by the weeks as needed.
Twinkl Handwriting – Lots of worksheets for students or children at home to practice forming their letters properly.
Twinkl Originals – Quality e-books with great learning opportunities as well as accompanying worksheets based on the story.
Twinkl Go! – Interactive games such as multiplication tables, pizza fractions, phonics galaxy, jungle maths and what’s the time Mr Wolf. (note: you do not need a pin for your child to play. it is for teachers to pre-choose the games for the class)
Twinkl Inclusion – Specialist resources exclusively created to help teachers and parents support children with special needs including ADHD, Dyslexia, Autism. SEND stands for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
Twinkl Create – Go crazy with the templates and personalise your own teaching resources including class certificates, colouring sheets, class decorations, bookmarks, handwriting sheets, labels, posters, storyboards and writing frames.
Twinkl Life – Mental health resources to support teachers, students and school staff.
Twinkl Move – PE lessons for the class, socially distanced PE, home PE, Sports day, Fitness activities and assessment packs to build an engaging PE curriculum.
Twinkl Party – Need help with party planning? Here, you can find party decorations, banners, bunting, invitation cards and cards for seasonal holidays such as Christmas, Mother’s/ Father’s Day and more!
Twinkl PlanIt – Award winning UK curriculum for English, Math, Science, History, Geography, Art, Design and Technology, Computing, Spanish and French.
To access these resources, click on the pink boxes at the homepage. Alternatively, you can type in the search bar e.g. Twinkl phonics.
To get more ideas on what to download for your kids, check out Twinkl Singapore’s Facebook and Instagram pages. Their blog page also offers wonderful tips like how to help your child manage their emotions during the constant pandemic changes.
I never stop being surprised by what I can find on Twinkl. Check out these Mud kitchen ideas! Wonderful stuff to develop creativity, find motor skills, imagination, cooperation and so much more if you don’t mind the mess. Happy exploring!
Michelle Choy is an Occupational Therapist and mum of 6. She is also co-Founder of The Little Executive, a nurturing centre developing resilience and executive function in children. She is a Parent coach and Award-winning blogger and is regularly featured on national TV, radio and print media. She is proud yet humbled to be awarded Singapore’s 40-over-40 inspiring women 2021.