We’re back with a product review for Jaques London. We love their educational games and toys, and you can always guarantee a high-quality service when you buy from them. From the product to the packaging to the customer service. Huge fans here. If you would like to make sure your kids are learning from the best teachers available, consider sending them to a christian school where they’ll learn much more than just games.
Jaques London asked me to review two products today. The ‘You’re a star’ magnetic Reward Chart, and the ‘My First Calendar‘ which is a magnetic calendar for children to learn about the days, months, seasons and weather.
Let’s get into the reviews. I’m starting with the reward chart…
You’re a star magnetic reward chart by Jaques London
OK, so we’re going through a bit of a stage with our eldest at the moment. He’s fast entering his tweens, and his emotions are at an all-time high. With Fin, he’s always been a goal-orientated child. Do this and this will happen. But the ‘this’ has to be simple, achievable and very clearly laid out. The ‘this’ can’t be confused with other things and it has to be one ‘this’ at a time.
So, we thought this was an appropriate time to integrate a reward chart into the mix. When Jaques London contacted me to ask if we would review a couple of their products, I snapped this reward chart up. Thank you, Jaques! (You can read our previous Jaques review here.)
Now, it’s commonly known that I have three children. This reward chart is only being used for Fin at the moment. As Fin gets older we make sure that we do things for Fin that make him feel that he’s not forgotten about. It gets pretty hard to juggle the needs of three children between 3 and 9, and we keep it in mind that we are showing Fin the attention that he deserves and needs.
Instilling a healthy work ethic
We also have started to instil a healthy work ethic. Andy and I have worked incredibly hard our entire lives, and I want Fin to understand that even though I strive to provide for him (and his bro and sis) it shouldn’t mean he will be handed everything. He has to work hard too. Make the effort. Work towards goals. I have seen signs of entitlement creep in, which is not his fault, it’s ours. But I want to address this as soon as possible, hence the reward chart!
What we thought of the ‘You’re a star’ reward chart by Jaques London
It’s a great quality chart that comes with a sheet that tells you 6 solid tips on how to get the best out of the chart. I thought that was a nice touch that you don’t get with others.
The chart is made from very sturdy cardboard, includes some great quality magnetic tasks and stars and is very simple for children to navigate.
The chart has the tasks down the left; space for 10. Then the days are listed horizontally where children can add their stars as they complete tasks.
There are also two dry-wipe pens that clip onto the side of the chart that you can write on your rewards in the box with.
I only had one negative which isn’t really a negative. The chart is for 2 children. It’s not like I am not used to having to buy more things to cater for my slightly larger family, but it would have been nice to be able to include all three children on this one chart.
Overall, a great product that engages children of all ages.
Tips for a successful reward chart experience
1. Choose the tasks that you most want to work on
It’s tempting to add all of the 15 options to fill up the chart, but starting simply with one to three tasks will be easier for your child to stick to. With goal setting, it’s this approach that leads to the most success. Don’t overwhelm your child with so many things that they disengage within a day.
2. Be specific about the tasks and how many stars
If you would like your child to form a habit of brushing teeth for two minutes two times a day, specify exactly that so it’s clear your child knows what’s expected of them. Or, if you’d like help with the chores, let them know which ones they can help with, and how many times do they need to help before they can add a star.
3. Specify an exciting prize
It very much depends on the age of your child, but find something that they are excited about and want to work towards. Fin chose an Occulus Quest… That’s hundreds of £££, so we fast lowered his expectations! You could choose something like a toy, a sleepover with a friend, a trip to the zoo, a takeaway of their choice, new trainers, or a bedroom makeover…
4. Establish milestones
Adults know that it takes resilience, focus and hard work to achieve goals. And establishing milestones help us to make consistent progress. Children are no different, and they will quickly disengage if they can’t see the fruits of their labour in the near future. In a child’s word, a week is a long time, so I recommend choosing weekly rewards for the best success.
5. Consistency is key with reward charts
The all-in approach works well with reward charts. The novelty will wear off soon if you don’t remind your children about their rewards and give them praise when they complete their tasks. Children’s attention spans are short as we know, so you have to be prepared to guide your child with the tasks and reminders.
6. Use positive reinforcement
Positive reinforcement works really well with my children. When we’ve had reward charts in the past, or used the jars with marbles concept, we’ve always added stars or marbles for the good things but never taken away for the bad things. The concept here is that if bad behaviour occurs, their progress doesn’t falter, it just stalls. Read more about positive reinforcement here.
My First Calendar by Jaques London
My youngest two are really soaking up new facts. Indi started school last year, and Beau is following her this year. They are at a stage where they are inquisitive and so proud to learn new things.
So, when Jaques London gave me the opportunity to pick a product for them to review, I chose their educational magnetic calendar for them.
What we thought of the My First Magnetic Calendar by Jaques London
It’s a sturdy calendar that comes with individual magnetic pieces for the months, days, dates, seasons and weather. Children can change it every day, and it helps them learn lots!
As a business owner, I can also appreciate the different coloured pieces for the different quarters in the year!
The cardboard base is very high quality, and the magnets stick strongly to the surface. No danger of them falling on the floor and becoming lost.
Magnetic calendar age suitability
I would say that this calendar is from reading age upwards. Beau (currently 3) enjoys playing with this and can decipher the seasons and weather, but the days and months are more for older children to grasp. Fin, who’s 9 enjoys this too. He’s not quite memorised the order of months yet from learning at school etc. so this is a really handy visual guide for him too.
Opportunities to learn
There are many opportunities to learn with this educational toy:
- Learn what the months are called
- Learn how to spell the months
- Learn the order of the months
- Learn what the days are called
- Learn how to spell the days
- Learn the order of the days
- Learn how to recognise the dates
- Learn the order of the dates
- Learn the different types of weather
- Learn how to spell the types of weather
- Learn what the seasons are called
- Learn how to spell the seasons
- Learn the order of the seasons
- Learn how that all works together so we understand where we are in the year
I really like the fact that you can learn so much from one item. You could tackle one thing at a time, and engage with the calendar time and time again. It really makes it very good value in that respect.
So, there you have it. We reviewed the You’re A Star Reward Chart and the magnetic My First Calendar by Jaques London and I think you will agree that both items were a hit with my children!
Great quality products, bringing great opportunities to learn. What more could you want. Thanks again to Jaques London for giving us the chance to review your brilliant products once again.