We aren’t too sure how it happens, but suddenly your tiny baby goes from crawling to getting ready to go to school. With everything happening so quickly, you may feel very underprepared for the new challenges ahead. There are so many worries: will they make friends? Will they eat lunch? Are they ready? Inevitably, these things have a way of working themselves out. However, getting your child as prepared as possible for their next stage of learning is always a great idea - that’s where the best phonics and number workbooks come in.
What will my child learn at school?
When your child begins school, they will start to learn numbers and phonics. Ok, so we know what you are thinking. What on earth is phonics? The National Literacy Trust explains that ‘phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language.’
We all know how difficult the English language can be (do not get us started on affect and effect), but phonics makes it simpler for children to understand. Things have changed since you were last at school, so these phonics and number workbooks are a fantastic learning aid for you and your child. And, you’ll be pleased to hear numbers haven’t really changed.
Top tips for home learning
Using different coloured pens or pencils is a great way to not only build your child’s fine motor skills but it also gives them a chance to express their preferences and personality.
Calm is key
Pick a time and place where you and your child won’t be distracted. It will mean your attention is solely on your little one and you can help them without either of you getting frustrated.
You didn’t learn how to count or read and write overnight - nor will your child. These exercises should not be full of pressure but rather a fun time in which you can bond. Use this time to enthusiastically celebrate your little one’s accomplishments – no matter how big or small they are.
SHOP: The Best Phonics and Number Workbooks For Kids
The best phonics and number workbooks
1. Learning Through Art Activity Book Numbers
We are obsessed with this workbook - it can be personalised with the child's name. We adore that you can also add a special message on the opening page. It is the perfect present to congratulate your child for completely preschool and a great way of getting them ready for their next chapter. It also makes a fantastic time capsule that you can look back on in years to come.
Hard and soft cover options
More expensive than other workbooks
2. New Numbers 0-20 Activity Book for Ages 4-5
This workbook has engaging activities and crystal-clear explanations to help you help your child. The book covers numbers from 0-20, with lots of practice writing and recognising each number.
Price, good value
Pages are a little thin
Can only be used once
One parent reviewer said, ‘At £2.50 this is a great book to keep my 4-year-old number-loving son entertained for a few hours. I hope it will help support the work he is doing at school but he's having fun doing it which is the most important thing’
3. Letter And Sounds Learning Book/Folder: Stage Two
This reusable book is wonderful for keeping your child engaged with learning. Each page practices letters and promotes the phonics way of learning. In the final pages, your child can practice trying to write their own simple words. This book can also be personalised for an added cost.
No pen included
4. Magnetibook Educational Toy
OK, so this isn’t a traditional workbook. However, it is a fantastic way to encourage your child to learn new words and recognise letters. It looks just like a book; however, it is a smart board box with a magnetic lid. Your child can enjoy creating simple words and sticking them. Our favourite part? All the pieces can be safely stored in the box.
All pieces can be stored in the box
It is fun for children
Not a traditional workbook
No teaching aids
One parent reviewer said, "Excellent toy to keep little ones engaged as it sparks their imagination continually. Would definitely recommend."
5. Oxford Reading Tree Read With Biff, Chip, and Kipper: My Phonics Kit Paperback
Revisit a bit of nostalgia with Biff, Chip and Kipper. These three characters have helped children all around the country learn how to read and write since the late 80s. This pack includes everything you need for fun phonics practice and supporting what your child is learning in school.
Supportive learning for parents
Not as engaging as some of the alternative workbooks
One parent reviewer said, 'Great value. Brilliant reading/phonics practice. My son enjoyed collecting the stickers. Great for all children reception/year one age.'
6. Read with Oxford: Stage 1: Julia Donaldson's Songbirds: My Phonics Activity Book
Julia Donaldson is best known for her beloved bedtime stories, The Gruffalo, Room on The Broom and Zog. She is a firm favourite with pre-schoolers and parents alike. Songbirds is a phonics programme carefully created by Julia to support children - who are learning to read and is used in schools to inspire a love of reading.
A completion sticker for each page
Little actual writing practice
One parent reviewer said, ‘I have bought Julia Donaldson books before, and they are fun, informative and making reading an absolute pleasure for children. This book is a wonderful tool to help children learn to read with phonics, which will give them the confidence to build words by blending the letters to make the right sounds.’
7. Starting School Ages 3-5: Ideal for home learning (Collins Easy Learning Preschool)
This book provides reassurance whilst helping children develop their skills for starting reception year. It allows children to practice their writing and number skills while giving a helpful insight into what school will be like.
Teaches your child school skills
Helps kids recognise numbers and letters
Not reusable if pen is used
One parent reviewer said, 'My son starts school in September, and he loved doing this book. He was very engrossed in it, and finished the whole book in one sitting. Definitely recommend. Great for getting little ones ready for starting school.'
8. Preschool Math Workbook for Toddlers Ages 2-4
This toddler workbook is full of activities that will keep your pre-schooler engaged. All of the activities involve a variety of magical creatures and animals. This work is so much fun they won't realise they are learning.
Lots of repetition
Good quality paper
Lots of colouring to keep your child engaged
There are some American spellings
One parent reviewer said, 'Great workbook for my three years old, some task a little bit harder to do but overall happy with the purchase.'
When should I start teaching numbers and phonics?
It is a good idea to introduce your child to numbers and phonics when they are between the ages of three and four in preparation for school and further learning. There is, however, no hard rule of when it is best. Legally, a child must start school no later than the beginning of the term following their fifth birthday.
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