As part of my role as a childminder I have to follow the early years foundation stage and one element of this is using technology with the children to help them gain a wider understanding of the world that they live in and to provide learning opportunities that might be slightly different from the norm. For anyone who is familiar with my Instagram page @mamasden I also love to provide the children with lots of creative opportunities.
‘Part of my approach is to use toys that encourage investigation and lead the children to question their understanding and knowledge.’
When I was asked by Hope Education to review their Glow Writer Panel I was excited to see how we would use it.
On receiving the board I was pleasantly surprised on the size of it. Measuring 50cm X 70cm it is almost as big as a coffee table and is lightweight and slim so does not need a lot of space for storage if being used at home. It easily slides behind a cupboard or under the sofa.
This mains operated panel is in my opinion a resource with great value for encouraging early mark making or writing practice. It is dry wipe clean and there is a pack of fluorescent markers provided which can also be bought separately when they need replacing. It is side lit by coloured LeD’s which light up the marks and drawings when switched on. The 28 different lighting functions are operated via remote control which really make the children’s work come alive.
We have had the board for just afew short weeks but have already been able to use it in a variety of ways.
The children have enjoyed using it to make marks and to draw patterns. We used it to create a list of the members of our family and in a colour recognition game.
I think that this glow panel could be used in multiple ways and as it has hooks could be wall mounted which could be really useful in a nursery or childcare setting.
Supporting Early Years curriculum
Buying new resources as a childminder or for anyone wanting to add to a collection at home or in a nursery setting should be mindful of how they are going to use the item. Will it have longevity? Can it be used in multiple ways? Will be be both a fun resource and have learning opportunities? Using these questions in relation to this glow panel I can honestly say I think it would be a great investment. Especially as it also comes in other sizes.
If you are still unsure one of the ways I like to decide whether to invest in a new resource is to think about it in relation to the early years framework and figure out ways that I can combine it into the 7 areas of learning. Here are my thoughts for this product.
• Personal and Social Development
Children can play together and discuss their drawings and the marks they make. They will be able to share their love of creative play and show their friends how to form letters of shapes. Children learn from each other. Younger children may learn new words or ways to play via modelling.
• Physical Development
Fine motor skill development as children use their hands to pick up and manipulate the pens. They could draw around toys and shapes which could also lead to balancing blocks helping them to be able to co-ordinate their movements. Gross motor skills could be included if the board was used in a more active way disconnected from the mains power.
• Communication & Language
You could draw pictures or words onto the board to help the children develop their language skills. Seeing the letters and then sounding them will help them create the links they need for early word recognition and phonics.
Children can count the marks they make, they can draw shapes or around shapes, they can copy symbols they see in the environment or from books, make comparisons between the sizes of the marks they make.
• Understanding the World
Using technology helps children understand the world around them. They will learn to use the remote control, learn about being careful with electrical items and how light can help us see.
The board can be used by older children to create storyboards, for them to write stories on or pictures and the lights enhance these games.
• Creative art and design
Encourage children to explore colour. They can use describing words to show they understand colour names or to describe the property of their drawings… wavy, curvy, zigzag .
This glow panel retails at £39.99. I think this is amazing value for money and there is a smaller option at £24.99. I feel they are definitely worth investing in.
In my setting I have had it out on our play table within easy reach of little hands and it has proved a hit with children of all ages. The chalk pens also easily clean off so not marks left on the skin. It is absolutely amazing.. received it and it has been played with constantly since.
Thank you for reading this review and I hope it has given you some ideas of how I have used this glow panel in my setting.
I was not paid for this review