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Being able to write is something a lot of us take for granted in life. But can you remember back to the day when you first began learning to write and the difficulties you found with it. If you think about it, a small child as young as four has a lot to grasp in their first years of school. My eldest son is nearly five now and is in foundation at his local school the challenge of writing began in nursery though. I have always been a fan of trying to help your child at home and not rely on purely the teachers to teach our children. From as young as three I bought fun yet educational games and fun books to do with my son. Last year for my son's fourth birthday a family member bought him the Roger Priddy wipe clean 'Let's get ready for school'. I had previously bought books from this range so knew what to expect from it.
The Roger Priddy wipe clean ranges are fantastic books for your children to use. We already had the lowercase alphabet and the numbers one before my son received this one. The let's get ready for school in my eyes is an over view of all the things your child will be expected to learn quickly at school if not already know before they start school. The book is of large size measuring roughly 25cms by 27cms. It comes spiral bound which I find handy as the pages lay nicely on a flat surface and if you have a son like my youngest you can fold the pages back so they don't lose concentration on the next page! As mentioned it is a wipe clean book which means your child can do it over and over again to keep practising their skills. The book does come with a wipe clean pen but to be honest like with the other two books we have from this range it is rubbish and only lasts a couple of times. We have a pack of non-permanent thin markers which we purchased from our local supermarket and they do the job. A little tip if you do forget to wipe it clean after your child has used it simpley use a little bit of your kitchen surface spray and it wipes of with ease.
This book covers numbers, letters, sorting, colours, spelling and shape so there is plenty to take in. As my son had previously done the letters and numbers books he didn't get phased by all this. As there is so much in one book the topics can't be explored deeply and are kinder brushed over but never the less the activities are good.
The first page is about pen control which is essential to be able to write. We are trying this with my youngest son who is three and a half at the moment. There are certain dotted patterns for your child to draw over and follow, like a basic straight line, a zigzag line etc. This might seem simple but it is quite a task for a young child to have such control of their pen. The majority of the book is about tracing things like shapes, letters and number which are all essential things your child needs to learn. But there are also some fun sorting games too. Like sorting the odd one out of objects in a row. Your child has to circle the one they think doesn't fit. For example there are four items of fruit in a row plus a teddy bear they have to work out that is odd. It is all about logic thinking something my eldest has always been fantastic at where as my youngest struggles with this concept. Colours are something I am tackling with my youngest and there is a fun exercise in this book of matching the coloured crayon to the block of colour this has really helped my son. My eldest on the other end is learning to write these words on the opposite side of the book. My eldest son's writing is great now and has learnt how to form letters really well so it is more about recognising how their spelt for him.
On first receiving this book a year ago now quite a few of the tasks in this book were difficult for him. But this didn't put him off trying. He loved the idea he could have a go and rub it out if it went wrong. Even though he enjoyed the previous two books we bought for him in this range he really enjoyed this one much more. There is variety in this book for your child as like I side it covers a lot so they are less likely to become complacent with it. A year on and tracing the letters and words and doing the activities is easy for him. But there are a couple of activities which we have begun to tackle now which are a bit more of a challenge for him. One is missing letters. My son is now learning to read and write words by himself so this activity is great for him. They have to fill in the missing letters to complete the words. There is a picture of an item and the word underneath with a letter missing. The first line of objects have the first letter missing, the second line has the last letter missing, the third has the middle letter and the last line has the first two letters missing. They are all very well known and simple items like a car, rabbit, clock, tractor etc. My son is finding this a challenge and it is testing him.
The book is recommended for ages four plus but I would say it wouldn't hurt for a three year old to begin doing some of the activities with you. It is all dependent on the child as they develop differently. I can easily say that as my eldest is well away with his school work and hitting the so called targets where as my youngest has problems with his speech and his development is around six months behind. I think these kinds of books are excellent as they can be used again and again and as the tasks are varied you will find the book will last your child for some time if bought early on. The pages are lovely and bright and full of fun pictures so your child is bound to like it. Some of the tracing of words are quite small so it will take time and this book is certainly one to take some time over.
This particular book was bought for my son but the Roger Priddy wipe clean range can be purchased online. Amazon currently has this book for sale for £4.79. I find this excellent value and would highly recommend my son loves it.
My eldest boy was given this book by his granny as he has started the nursery class at school and will be going into reception in September. He is learning letters and basic reading and writing in school so this book helps to consolidate all of that.
It is a wipe clean book with 24 pages, containing different activities from the very basic tracing straight or zig zag lines to the more tricky like filling in the missing letter from words. It has pages to write or trace over letters or numbers and to trace over words, which my son likes to do as he is not yet at the stage of feeling confident to write full words by himself, so he can trace over the dots and this will help him practising his writing skills and controlling the pen. There is also space for the children to write words fully by themselves when they are that bit more advanced.
There are also activities of colours, matching, shapes, sorting, odd one out, and counting. So all of the most basic topics for this age are covered.
The front of the book says for age 4+ but my son is 3 and he is fine with it. I would say it will be fine for most 3 year olds, especially as they start nursery at 3 years these days and may be going to reception just as they turn 4, like my son as he has a summer birthday. So if they are happy to do these type of books before they start, then you don't have to worry too much about them getting behind at school as it helps them to sit and concentrate and start to master the basic skills of writing.
The book is bright and colourful with lots of pictures in it and is appealing to both children and parents. My son finds it enjoyable to do, and does not consider it as a chore. He often asks for workbooks to do, but if it is a non wipeable one then I rather sit with him while he does it just to help out if needed and keep an eye on him, but as this is wipeable then I am happy to let him do it by himself while I am making lunch or tidying the kitchen or any other tasks like that, and it keeps him quiet and busy!
The only thing I am not keen on is that it is spiral bound. Our copy has started to come out from the spiral a little bit and it would have been nicer if it was just bound normally! but that is not a major issue even if the spiral binding totally comes off then we can still use it just as individual wipeable work sheets.
I would recommend this for children in nursery class, and I have seen there is another one similar which is just about numbers I might have to get that for my son too as numbers is normally his favourite page of the book. As this is wipe clean hopefully I will even be able to pass it down to my younger boys too so that would make it very good value indeed!