Children learn through play and that’s why we are passionate about developing games and jigsaws that strike the perfect balance between education and fun! All of our games and jigsaws are tested in schools and nurseries with both children and teachers to ensure this all-important balance.
Our key educational values can be found on both our website product information pages and on the back of the box. Here is just a little bit more information about the importance and benefits of each of these, to help you select the right product for your child:
Language is essential for communication, developing friendships, expressing needs and engaging with the world around us. Children need wide and varied opportunities to broaden their vocabulary and to learn to use it in context.
Orchard Toys understands the importance of these skills and has created games and puzzles to encourage communication, interaction and discussion; which all help develop language skills and confidence.
Literacy is most commonly understood as reading and writing, but before a child can do this they need to learn about sounds, letters and words. Pre-literacy skills are essential to help children develop into confident readers.
Orchard Toys provide a range of products which help with letter and word recognition. Children learn from an early age that shapes represent meaning and this is a key skill for a child to learn when developing literacy.
Early counting skills and number recognition are important for children to begin to develop mathematical understanding and are the basis on which all number concepts are based.
In order to develop these skills children need lots of practice and the opportunity to use them in a wide variety of situations. Orchard Toys offer a wide variety of number based games and puzzles which help develop and reinforce these essential numerical stepping stones. These vary from number recognition and first counting skills to adding, subtracting and multiplying numbers.
Colour recognition is an important step in early education, as it gives children a way to observe and categorise what they see. As children develop, they use colour as a means of defining and organising the diverse world around them.
Understanding colour is a tool for learning many skills in all curriculum areas, from maths and science to language and reading. For example, when your child learns to tell the differences and similarities between colours, they are using the same skills they need to recognise the differences between letters and numerals.
Our games introduce ways of organising and categorising colours as a means to match and sort.
When children explore different shapes they are using one of the most fundamental educational processes: the observation of same and different. The early recognition of shapes develops your child’s ability to read symbols and, in time, letters.
The first step in understanding letters is the ability to be able to distinguish between shapes. Playing our targeted games will provide the foundation for children’s early mathematical and literacy development.
Through developing matching skills, children will begin to notice how things are alike and different. They will also learn to make sense of the world by sorting objects by characteristics such as colour, shape and size.
Memory is the ability to store and recall information and experiences. Developing a good memory ensures that a child can retain information they have been given in order to apply it to other areas of their life.
By playing Orchard Toys matching and memory games, children learn to recognise similarities and differences, sort by characteristics, recall sequences and remember instructions and objects.
Observational skills are an important foundation in early learning; encouraging children to concentrate, think, analyse and interpret the world around them. As a child makes observations they are learning to develop and organise information whilst also asking questions – the basics of developing an enquiring mind.
Orchard Toys provide a range of games that develop observational skills by encouraging children to compare similarities, notice differences and group items together e.g. by size, colour or shape.
In learning about the world, children are encouraged to investigate and explore areas which are unfamiliar to them. Children need support in developing knowledge skills as these help them understand the world around them and teach them about all aspects of life.
Orchard Toys games give children a glimpse of experiences unknown to them, extending their knowledge to environments they won’t be familiar with. These vary from travelling to the moon to prehistoric dinosaurs to animal habitats around the world! Our games can also help teach children about everyday experiences such as going shopping, playing football and cooking food.
Hand eye coordination is the ability to track the movement of the hands with the eyes, thus enabling the eyes to send important signals to the brain about hand movement. Hand eye coordination is an essential tool when fitting puzzles together and helps develop a wide spectrum of physical skills, from a baby learning to pick up a rattle to a child playing ball games.
Our puzzles promote children’s hand eye coordination as they are required to observe and match specific puzzle pieces to decide which fit together correctly.
Personal and social skills are developed through activities that involve turn taking, sharing and communicating in small groups. Playing games with two or more players teaches children to work together by cooperating with others, sharing ideas and developing positive relationships.
Orchard Toys games are great to help children recognise and understand the rules of being and playing together, from waiting for a turn to passing a dice to sharing a card.
Imaginative play is very important for young children, enabling them to experiment and test out different scenarios in a safe environment. Imaginative play also has an important role in helping children develop social skills, both through interacting with others and practising how to behave in different situations.
Orchard Toys' games and puzzles such as Money Match Café and Pop to the Shops are ideal for imaginative play, enabling the player to take on the role of waiter/waitress, shopkeeper or customer and act out what they have seen in real life. Mimicking this behaviour helps children to gain a greater understanding of the world around them.