Twinkl is one of my favourite teaching resource sites; I’ve been a Twinkl subscriber for a long time, and I highly recommend it. The range of resources is unmatched anywhere else, and the PlanIt section is a great time saver for structured educators. (I love using Twinkl PlanIt when I’m tired or run down because the entire lesson is mapped out for me – it’s like a little lift that helps me through the day!)
I generally like to use PlanIt for key sections of my Social Studies topics and mix in standalone presentations, worksheets, and display resources. For other school subjects, I use Twinkl for additional explanatory or practice work. (Sometimes, you just need that one extra worksheet as a confidence boost before returning to your main workbook.)
While we don’t mirror England’s National Curriculum, it is nice to know how my students are progressing in line with national guidelines. Twinkl has assessment tests for Maths, Reading, and SPAG (English) that correspond to NC checkpoints.
The homeschool day doesn’t always run like clockwork and I do have those “early finisher” moments, depending on the current activity. Our favourite time fillers are colouring sheets and word searches. The Twinkl mindfulness colouring pages are simply gorgeous, and equally attractive to my son and my daughter. Word searches are available for many topics, sometimes differentiated by difficulty, and – if you can’t find one for your theme – you can always design your own word search with onsite tools.
There isn’t really time to talk about everything on the Twinkl website, but I especially want to mention some of the Twinkl online tools.
Twinkl Create allows you to design your own resources, with a slick point-and-click interface. From posters to word searches, flash cards to handwriting sheets, the Twinkl Create tool is so much fun to use and perfect for custom resources.
Twinkl Motivation is a cute owl with words of wisdom to cheer you up on a tough day. Sometimes, you feel as if the days are too long or hard, you’re not being appreciated, and you’re drowning in planning and prep. Listen to the owl. You are doing a great job, an important job, and there are ways to make it easier.
If you want to try before you buy, or your budget is under strain this term, Twinkl do have some lovely freebies (which you can access with a free subscription). Most of the good stuff is obviously only available to paying subscribers but I’ve listed some example free resources, under topic headings, on this page. The Twinkl search engine is pretty good, and the resources are categorised by subject, topic, type, level, and more. However, the one thing they don’t do is categorise by subscription type; if you want freebies, you have to hunt through the Twinkl website – or browse their (limited) Twinkl TpT store.
All About Me [KS1]
This topic has a lot of free resources. It quite popular, and very accessible for young students. You could adapt some of these for EYFS students.
- Blank Faces Templates – draw your face, or a friend’s face
- Parts of the Body (A4) Labelling Sheet – label body parts
- How to Draw a Face Art Instructions – how to draw a face
- My Body Word Mat – body parts vocabulary sheet
- My Family Word Mat – family vocabulary sheet
- My Family Tree Worksheets – family tree activity
- My Family Tree Booklet – draw and label your family members
- Families Around the World PowerPoint Presentation – what other families look like
- My Family Page Borders – write about and/or draw your family
- Ourselves Page Borders – write about and/or draw about yourself
- All About Me Writing Frame – fill in the blanks to write about yourself
- Worlds Best Mum Newspaper Writing Template – write about your mom
- Eye Colour Survey Pictogram – record the eye colour of family and friends
Stone Age [KS2]
This is a fun topic for older primary students. There’s a lot of cross-curricular links, and the Art and Design Technology opportunities are great. However, this isn’t a topic with a ton of Twinkl freebies. (If you have a paying subscription, there’s lots of Stone Age resources; we’ve used many of them for our homeschool.)
- Stone Age Planning Overview – topic suggestions
- Stone Age Display Banner – wall or bulletin board display
- Stone Age to Iron Age Timeline Posters – wall display, or sequencing cards
The Rainforest [KS2]
If a topic doesn’t have a lot of freebies listed at the level for which you are planning, it’s worth thinking outside the box and looking at lower and higher level areas. (It’s even more worthwhile thinking about purchasing a Premium Plus subscription, if your budget allows it.)
- The Rainforest Display Banner [KS1] – wall or bulletin board display
- Tropical Rainforests World Map Reference Sheet [KS2] – wall display, or reference sheet
- Map of the World Reference Sheet [KS2] – label rainforest locations around the world
- Jungle and Rainforest Display Posters [KS1] – wall display, or research prompts
- Jungle and Rainforest Word Mat [KS1] – vocabulary sheet
- Jungle and Rainforest Page Borders [KS1] – write about the rainforest
- Jungle Page Borders [KS1] – write about the rainforest
- Jungle and Rainforest Colouring Sheets [EYFS] – print on thin card for mixed media art, with chalks, pastels, paint, etc
- Draw Peg Name Labels Jungle and Rainforest [KS1] – create fact cards for each illustration, or make your own “I Have Who Has” game
Finally, just for the record, this blog post is entirely my own unsolicited opinion. I may not love Twinkl as much as Damon Salvatore (TVD), instant coffee, and those mornings when my kids sleep in slightly later than usual… but it’s fairly high up there!