Shortly before S’s nursery closed for Summer holidays, S’s keyworker L asked me if I’d like a little book bag put together for us to borrow over the holidays. I jumped at the chance – S loves books so much she often cuddles one to sleep!
At the end of term, we were presented with two bags. I had been expecting a couple of books in a bag, but what we actually got was bags stuffed with resources.
The Dear Zoo bag had the Dear Zoo book, a mask of each animal in the book, stick puppets, play dough mats (“can you make play dough tusks for the elephant?”), a pair-matching game featuring the animals from the book. There was a list of activities, and a list of questions to go with the masks (“can you roar and prowl like a lion?”) Oh, and a Dear Zoo cuddly toy – a naughty monkey in a bag marked “Too Naughty!”
The Gruffalo bag had a copy of The Gruffalo, but also a copy of The Gruffalo Touch & Feel book, a Gruffalo peg puzzle, a Gruffalo word mat, a “Gruffalo describing words” sheet (with a picture of the Gruffalo surrounded by adjectives), a woodland background and characters from the Gruffalo to use on it.
Both bags came with a little note pad and pen so that you could write down how you got on.
S really enjoyed playing with the contents of these bags. She enjoyed the Dear Zoo one the most I think, and has asked to play with it several times. She loves to wear the masks and had proper giggles when she realised she could see me through the eye holes. They were mainly used to play Peekabo:
Here are some photos of her playing with the resources:
My favourite photo though, is this one:
We also played with the Gruffalo bag, but S only seemed interested in the peg puzzle; she did this over and over and over again!
I was so pleased with these resources; S had a great time playing with them. Dear Zoo is her all time favourite book so she really loved all of the extras surrounding the book.
When I looked closely at the resources, the play dough mats and stick puppets etc, all came from Twinkl Resources. I had heard that name before, but I didn’t recall when – so I Googled them, and found the sort of website one could get lost in for hours. They don’t just do resources for playing with the Gruffalo and Dear Zoo; they have… pretty much anything you could ever want to print out. There are resources for teachers and parents, from S’s age right up through the key stages.
Twinkl say:

Twinkl Resources is your first choice for easy to use, trusted and high quality teaching materials for educators and parents worldwide – professionally crafted materials with a personal touch.

The website is amazing; I have spent hours going through all the resources lately. One of my favourite parts is the Create page where you can essentially create your own worksheets and flash cards using the templates provided. There’s also a great Primary Teaching Forum where you can chat to other users. The forum is split into sections for different subjects or different types of user, for example nursery nurses or childminders. It’s a great place to swap ideas and get advice.
Most of the resources on Twinkl are free, however there are paid membership options where you can have access to even more! Gold membership is £24.95 a year, and Platinum membership is £39.59 per year.
I love the fact most of the resources are free; it means that anyone with a printer can have access to fabulous worksheets, flash cards and games for their children. The paid option is an important one though; without subscribers to the site, they would not be able to continue offering such a wide range of resources.
I was delighted to be offered a Platinum membership to Twinkl in exchange for writing about my experience and opinion of the site. All opinions are my own.


Vicky is a mother, a blogger, a podcaster and a social media trainer. She writes about life as a single mother, parenting and lifestyle type things.


Leandra Bramham · 05/09/2014 at 17:23

What an a amazing idea, think I might pinch this! Fabulous nursery! ;)

we3threeblog · 05/09/2014 at 19:11

what a brilliant idea the book bags are, love that. I like themed activities so i might have to think about putting one together myself. i have a twinkl membership too, their resources are fantastic. #WeekendBlogHop

Catherine @ Story Snug · 05/09/2014 at 19:23

These bags are such a cute idea, a bit like story sacks which I love. It's fun to put together your own story sack using an old pillowcase, a favourite book and any relevant objects, toys and colouring or worksheets.

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