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Tuesday 19 October 2021

Learning through play Ideas with Jaques of London | Review

In this blog post I will be showing you some simple 'learning through play' activity ideas using the Double Nine Dominoes and the Teaching Clock from Jaques of London who specialise in Toys for Kids with multiple benefits - particularly educational. These items were gifted for the purpose of this review but all words, ideas and opinions are my own.  

jaques of london learning through play review

Disclosure: Ad - paid partnership with Jaques of London

The play ideas within this post can easily be adapted to suit your child and your own resources at home, but should you wish to purchase your own products from Jaques of London, I can offer 15% off for my readers here.

About Jaques of London:

Jaques of London is a family business which has been passed down from father to son for eight generations. As the oldest games company and sports manufacturer in the world, the Jaques name has a longstanding history in British family fun, having invented many well-known games, such as Croquet, Ping Pong, Snakes and Ladders, Ludo, Tiddly Winks, The Staunton Chess Set, Happy Families, Snap, and many more.


Unboxing the Jaques of London products:

The first thing that struck me about these products was the beautiful way in which they were packaged. Each item came in it's own individual box with gift wrap ribbon as shown below. Inside each box was a personal note from the individual who wrapped up the item which was a really nice touch and added to the family friendly feel of the business!

Jaques of london gift wrap

Of course, we love to reuse and recycle packaging in this house and so we decided to 'gift wrap' our ikea flisat desk ready for play! I do love that this company focus on quality wooden items and eco friendly products for play which are built to last. The kraft cardboard packaging suited the brand well, but I would love them to go one step further eventually and look to eradicate the single use plastic wrap on the product itself. This is probably easier for items like dominoes which come in their own wooden box anyway, than the wooden teaching clock which has lots of loose parts and will need to be kept together...

Using The Teaching Clock for play based learning:

jaques of london tell the time toy clock

The teaching clock has so many different elements and ways of using it to aid learning through play:

  1. Shape recognition - each number on the clock face is made from a different shape, this enables the learning of shape language and shape recognition, as well as shape matching the object into the correct sized space.
  2. Number recognition, matching and ordering - children are able to work on number recognition by touching and counting their way around the clock to reach the correct number name.

  3. Picture matching - to aid number and shape recognition, each piece has a picture printed on the opposite side of the shape, which corresponds with a picture within the shape space...for example, the monkey on shape 1 matches a banana within the space!

  4.  Fine motor skills - the shapes all have a threading hole, and the clock comes with a shoelace attached to a wooden needle. This is perfect for fine motor skills, however, I found the wooden needle was wider than some of the holes and it got stuck...now I'm wondering if it is in fact a needle, or if you are supposed to thread from the other end and the wooden part is to stop the shape beads falling off? I'm confused by this part, but don't do what I did and try and force it through if it doesn't fit easily.

  5. Counting in 5's - The inner circle displays the 5 time table, obviously this is to aid time telling but it is great for older ones who are learning to count in 5s.
The teaching clock also has removeable pegs at the back which work as a stand so that the clock can either be upright or lying flat.

Double Nine Dominoes:

Of course, one of the first things my children did was start to balance the dominoes on their side ready for the domino effect! I was surprised to learn that this is what they believed the sole purpose of dominoes to be, and they hadn't considered that it was also a game!

building dominoes to knock down

Dominoes are a brilliant learning through play tool because they aid mathematical concepts such as subitising ( being able to recognised how many numbers are in a set by quickly looking at them) - most of us would be able to look at a domino ( or dice) and instantly know the amount. Younger children may still need to touch and count using 1:1 correspondence and this is a brilliant, purposeful way of encouraging children to do this...

playing dominoes

Playing a game of dominoes is also a brilliant way of aiding 'turn taking' and works especially well for children within smaller groups or alongside one other child.

After I demonstrated how to play dominoes, I left both Arthur and Charlotte to play independently, which they loved! Arthur was able to support Charlotte if she got stuck and they both loved the challenge of the game. 

The double nine dominoes are different to regular dominoes as they have an extra set of higher numbers up to 'double 9' rather than just double 6. I only used the dominoes up to double 6 with Arthur and Charlotte, but this means that as they get older they will be able to be challenged further with the higher numbers. 

children playing dominoes

Using the dominoes alongside the clock:

Dominoes are a great resource to use alongside a clock face as children can be challenged to match the number of spots to the number on the clock. 

Older children will also be able to progress past number 6 to think about number bonds using dominoes and addition calculations. You can see in the photos below, how we matched different dominoes to the corresponding numbers. This means that children are not just recognising a number, they are also seeing an amount and making those connections with regards to what numbers actually mean!

dominoes matched to clock numbers

matching dominoes to clock numbers

All in all, I feel these products are high quality and offer so many learning opportunities and ways to play! They are also compact once packed away which means they are easy to travel with or take out and about. 

If you would like to purchase your own of either of these products, scroll back up to the top of the blog post for the link to get 15% off. 

Sarah x 

dominoes set and toy clock from jaques of london

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