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Little Learners equipment hire and classes

Updated: Jun 28

Want to attend a different kind of online class with your child? Check out Little Learners online 'At Home' sessions that involve exploring textures and mark making through messy play. What's more, you can hire the equipment for an extra treat too! Read on for Mummy & the Ruggies' review.

Little Learners At Home classes and equipment hire

Online classes with a difference: involves messy play and mark making


Little Learners for Windsor, Maidenhead and Slough got in touch a few weeks ago to see if the kiddies and I would be interested to review its hire equipment. Because Erin and I enjoyed the Little Learners Reading classes last year I instantly said, "Yes." The idea that we could recreate the experience in our own home sounded great!


What is Little Learners Windsor, Maidenhead and Slough?

Little Learners is a class for babies, toddlers and preschoolers that's run by various leaders (many who are Early Years Teachers) across the UK.


The wonderful Bernice, who is an Early Years Teacher, runs the classes for Little Learners across Windsor, Maidenhead and Slough. However, after Covid-19 forced many classes to take place online, anyone can access Bernice's virtual classes and Facebook page filled with activity ideas.


What do the online classes entail?

Bernice's online classes are held via Zoom and include fun interactive activities to help little people with their mark making and fine motor skills.


The classes start with a warm up song and a bit of dancing before getting stuck into a messy play activity. Bernice did point out that she's made her online classes slightly less messy than the real ones to save everyone's living rooms!


At the end of the session there's a calm cooling down activity, before tidying up together.


Every family that signs up to the class also gets access to a private Google folder with extra resources and a mark making guide. Siblings of any age are more than welcome to join in too!


You can hire the equipment

Because a lot of Bernice's equipment is not being used throughout lockdown, families can now hire it for a week at a time. The hire pack includes:


- a tuff tray (1m x 1m)

- a selection of 12 tools

- playdough

- sand or sensory rice 

- a guide to messy play at home



Our review of Little Learners At Home hire equipment

Since being in lockdown, the kiddies are more excited than ever when a new activity or toy enters the house. After Bernice kindly dropped off the Little Learners hire equipment, Jack and Erin instantly started jumping up and down!


I couldn't believe the amount of items that came with the hire including the sand, sensory rice, dough and moulding soap. As a parent I loved that everything for the tuff tray play session was given to me. There was no hunting around the house trying to find appropriate props and materials. We could just unpack it and get stuck in.


Great fun exploring new messy play materials

I laid everything out on the tuff tray - which we did in the kitchen as the floor is easier to clean. It was interesting to watch as the kiddies held back at first while they worked out what to do with each item. But, it wasn't long before they got stuck in and used their imaginations to mix and make things out of the different materials.


Jack liked 'baking' cakes

Jack told me he wanted to bake a cake. He loved using the moulding soap to make a cake and decorated it with sensory rice.


He then went onto the sand and realised if he mixed the sensory rice and sand he could make 'rainbow sand', which followed on to be a rainbow cake.

Erin liked adding her plastic animals to the tray

Erin saw something completely different to Jack when playing with the equipment. She wanted to add her plastic toy horse and Elsa to the set up. She made them jump in the sand, buried them under the rice and swim in the moulding soap. She then asked for water so she could clean them, and then the process started all over again.


She also enjoyed getting the sensory rice and using each individual grain to make a picture on the dough. She really spent her time on this activity. It was nice to watch her choose different colours of rice, pick them up and push them delicately into the dough.


Perfect for entertaining siblings of different ages

There's 3 and half years between Jack and Erin and one of my challenges as a mum is finding an activity that's suitable for both of them. We tend to end up doing an activity for Jack and Erin potters around it. It was nice (for once) to see Erin get stuck into something she was interested in and watch them enjoying an activity together.


Normally they both - especially Jack - ask me to play with them. However, they were both happy to play while I sat back and watched. It was a first! Probably because they were enjoying it so much and didn't need my guidance to help work out what to do with the activity.

The mess wasn't actually that messy!

One thing that might put parents off about messy play at home is the mess! I totally get this. We're in the middle of decorating our house and when you pay for 'nice' things you don't want to see messy hand prints and stains all over them. However, because the messy activities were in the tuff tray, it meant we only had a bit of sand and rice on the kitchen floor. Not much to tidy up at all.


Leave the tray out for them to go back to

Jack and Erin both asked me not to tidy away the tray once they had finished with it. I ended up leaving it out for four consecutive days as the kiddies kept going back to it throughout each day. If you hire the equipment I'd definitely recommend doing the same - you'll certainly get a week's worth of play out of it!



Details about hiring the equipment, online classes and birthday parties


WEEKLY CLASS INFORMATION

When:

Thursdays at 3pm (suitable for 18 months - 5 years).

Every other Wednesday at 10am (suitable for ages 2-5 years).


How long:

Each session lasts 30 minutes.


How much:

£3.50 per family, per session.


Where to book:

You can book your family's place each week here.


Follow on Facebook for free activity ideas:

Follow Bernice's Little Learners page on Facebook too for even more free activity ideas.



EQUIPMENT HIRE INFORMATION

What:

The Little Learners Messy Play packs can be hired for 1 week.


Includes:

  • a tuff tray (1m x 1m)

  • a selection of 12 tools

  • play dough

  • sand or sensory rice 

  • a guide to messy play at home


Delivery and collection:

These are arranged directly with you. The cost of the hire includes delivery and collection.


Cost:

£22 for one week's hire. Includes delivery and collection.


PURCHASING MESSY PLAY PRODUCTS

Bernice also has a variety of messy play and mark making products for sale including:

  • paint sticks

  • egg crayons

  • sensory scarves

  • crazy soap

Email bernice@littlelearnersuk.com for more details.


BIRTHDAY PARTIES

Bernice hosts messy play birthday parties for children and tailors each activity and tuff tray to a theme perfect for your child.


If you are holding a socially-distanced gathering, Bernice can also come and set up messy play activities in your garden to entertain the children.


Email bernice@littlelearnersuk.com for more details.

Thank you Little Learners!

I want to finish by saying a big thank you to Bernice. We loved borrowing the Little Learners messy play set for a week. It was great fun!


Abbie x



Please note: Mummy and the Ruggies was gifted the hiring of Little Learners Messy Play equipment in return of an honest review. I promise all views are my own.



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