Get the kids ready for starting school with Start School with Topsy and Tim

20th September 2016



Recently Ladybird books have developed a number of Start School with Topsy and Tim books and we were delighted to be offered the chance to test them out.

Start School with Topsy and Tim: Who are Topsy and Tim?



Topsy and Tim are a set of young fictional twins created by Jean and Gary Adamson who wrote a series of easy to read books chronicling the adventures of the twins. They were originally created in 1960 and have been a family favourite ever since and our family is no exception. The story books often mirror what is happening in the lives of your own children such as getting on a plane for the first time, going on holiday or starting school. The books then show just how much fun those things can be but at the same time that it is ok to be a bit scared.

Start School with Topsy and Tim: What is it?



Start School with Topsy and Tim is a collection of activity books based around the characters from the Topsy and Tim books and recent hit BBC TV show. Each book is full of fun activities for children to complete with minimal guidance from Mum and Dad. Children can write directly on the activity book as the pages are made from a shiny card material and each book includes a dry wipe pen with a velvet rubber to clean the pages so they can be used again and again.

Start School with Topsy and Tim: Who is it for?



The books are best suited to children going into Year 1 primary or coming to the end of their Reception year. The content is linked to Key Stage 1 and requires children to be able to read and write simple words, understand the structure of words and solve simple maths problems. Children in year 2 will find the books enjoyable but may find it too easy but it would certainly kill a hour during a plane journey.

Start School with Topsy and Tim: Topsy and Tim First Sums



This activity book focusses on maths with activities looking at additions, subtractions and understanding which number is the greater. All activities are centred around the twins and here is an example from page 4.

“Topsy has found lots of ladybirds in the garden! Add extra dots to each ladybird so that there are 7 on each.”

Start School with Topsy and Tim: Topsy and Tim First Spellings



This activity book focusses on spelling and writing. It contains activities where children can complete, add or trace words to improve their reading and writing. The activities get harder as children work through the book. Unlike First Sums book this one does not use as many Topsy and Tim related scenarios which is a shame, but the book does contain plenty of pictures of the pair.

The following is an example from page 1 which contains a number of pictures with words underneath with missing letters.

“All the words below have their vowels missing. Use the pictures to help you choose from a, e, i o, or u to fill in the gaps. Can you write out each word again afterwards?”

Start School with Topsy and Tim: First words sticker activity book



This book is best for children aged between 3 and 4. It contains a number of pictures on each page with some pictures greyed out that the children must place the correct sticker over. Also within the book are a number of opportunities for children to start writing by tracing over letters at the start of words.

Start School with Topsy and Tim: Overall



Overall these are a good set of books that the children will enjoy and will help with their schooling at the same time. They would be particularly useful during the school holidays to keep the children busy and keep practicing their lessons from school.

Start School with Topsy and Tim: Mobile App



Ladybird books have also developed a Topsy and Tim Start School mobile app with six games to play and an interactive story for going back to school after the summer holiday. This is a clever little story that allows your children to join Topsy and Tim by customising a character and entering details such as their own school’s name. The story then takes the children through their first day. The app is easy to use and children are likely to find it interesting and fun.


Start School with Topsy and Tim: Useful links



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