Penpals At Home From Cambridge University Press : Review
Now that Lewis is in year one at school he has started to get homework, focusing on maths, spellings and reading. One thing I have noticed with his spellings is that his handwriting is somewhat appalling and frequently very illegible. Handwriting is a very important skill, it is important that with parent/teacher support a child learns to write from a young age as I feel this will drastically improve a child’s confidence and education in a class room.
I was recently contacted by Cambridge University Press and they have just published two great new books aimed at children aged 3-5years helping with children’s first and vital steps in handwriting.
Each of the books feature different areas of writing skills, Getting Ready For Writing focuses on holding a pen and pen control whilst Forming Letters focuses on writing skill whilst writing letters. The pages also feature write on/wipe off pages, perfect for use with dry wipe pens so that the books can be used time and time again. Also the books are interactive with the use of the free Penpals at Home app for Android and Apple gadgets.
The app is so simple to use, upon launch you will be greeted by the screen below which is basically a camera, hold your phone above a phone prompt inside the book you are working on and the app will do the rest.
As these books are aimed at children aged 3-5 years I let Leah get to grips with this book, although she isn’t quite 3 years old yet I believed this book would be a great start Leah on her journey as Lewis’s skills in writing are now too advanced for this book. This book primary focuses on hand control to follow simple patterns, such as;
- Bows/Figure of 8’s
The app also gives good prompts to children on what to do, encouraging them to follow simple instructions. Also the app features really catchy themes & sounds, ranging from garden scenes to sealife, fireworks and windmills. I think this would be perfect for holding the attention of a child aged between 3-5.
Leah really did give this book a good shot and over the coming year I firmly believe she will grasp this book well.
This book was definitely for Lewis to work on as it requires more concentration and also a knowledge of letters, phonics and sounds.
Both the app and the book feature 4 characters which focus on all 26 letters from the alphabet;
- Long Ladder – j, y, u, t, l & i
- One Armed Robot – r, n, b, m, h, p & k
- Curly Caterpillar – c, a, d, o, s, g, q, e & f
- ZigZag Monster – z, v, w & x
Each page features plenty of space for your child to learn to write each individual letter either with help or free-writing by writing on the lines or in certain prompted gaps.
At the end of this book there are 6 extra pages, 2 pages focusing on letter partners which I believe are taught alongside the alphabet. Another 2 pages are the lower-case alphabet, copying the letters, writing the letters again on the caterpillar and then writing name practise. The last two pages are the same as the lower-case alphabet pages but focusing on capital letters.
**This is not a sponsored post, I was provided with both the books from the Penpals at Home range to test and review. All words and opinions are my own.
Feel free to head over to The Sensory Seeker Blog to find out more ways of encouraging writing skills in children.