Maths on the go

The summer holidays are nearly upon us and for kids that means six weeks away from the classroom, homework and tests. And of course, that’s no bad thing, but just because school’s out for summer doesn’t mean your kids’ education needs to grind to a halt.

With the possibility of long car journeys ahead, or the inevitable delays waiting for planes or trains, why not grab the moment and sneak in some fun but educational games.

Steve Humble, aka Dr Maths, is the man behind many of Green Board Games’ maths related books and puzzles, and also teaches trainee maths teachers at Newcastle University. He believes that it’s important parents try to keep the learning process going when kids are out of school, and that maths particularly lends itself to learning on the go.

“It’s a great opportunity to show kids that maths is all around them,” he says, “and not just something that they have to learn at school. Numbers, patterns, shapes, they’re all there outside of the classroom and in the real world.”

So as well as packing one of Dr Maths’ books, or the fantastic BrainBox maths game, what else can you do to while away those long journeys?

One simple game, not unlike the numbers round in the Channel 4 programme Countdown, is to spot a number with at least four digits – it could be a flight number, a shop sign saying when a firm was established, that kind of thing – and then try and use the individual numbers to make a target value.

Targets with lots of factors like 24 and 32 are good ones to start with. So, for instance, the challenge could be to use 2651, the numbers on the side of a train, to make exactly 36, with a bonus point if you use all four numbers.

Another game Steve suggests is to see how many different shapes you can spot. Squares, circles and rectangles are easy, but what about more obscure shapes like pentagons, or even all the different types of triangles such as equilateral, isosceles and scalene*. Set a time limit and the person to spot the most is the winner.

Basic counting games can also help the time fly. In the car, everyone (best not to include the driver!) picks a colour and then records how many cars of that colour they see over a ten minute period. This also touches on issues of probability, with those looking for yellow cars, for instance, unlikely to be as successful as those spotting silver or red ones.

You can also play this game in the departure lounge, spotting people with different coloured coats, wearing glasses, on the phone etc. And if the kids are really into it, they could even illustrate the results with a simple graph or pie chart.

This is, of course, a variation on pub cricket, a game for the back roads which wend their way through the countryside, when you score runs each time there are ‘legs’ on a pub sign, and are out when there are none. So the White Hart would net you four and the Dog and Duck six, although it was never clear what you scored if you happened to drive past the Beehive…

So there you have it – a few ways to keep their brains switched on during their summer off. Have fun!

* To save you a Google search, an equilateral triangle has three equal sides, an isosceles has two and a scalene none.

If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a maths surprise

It was snowing leaves in the park earlier today; great flurries of reds, golds, yellows and greens, as the first winds of autumn started to bite and one of our most magical seasons got well and truly underway.

Best whisper it, but leaves are great at adding a bit of autumnal fun to maths too. So with October half term upon us, why not pull on some wellies and a warm coat and set off with the children on a woodland treasure hunt – with a mathematical twist at the end.

You’ll also need to take some squared paper and pencils, as well as a ruler, some tape or other sticky stuff, and a few short pieces of string.

First you need to collect some leaves, either by simply picking them up as you wander along or by finding a good spot and then letting the kids have a free for all. Make sure they get a good random collection, though.

Get them to sort the leaves into colours – there should be a mixture of browns, reds, yellows, and the odd green too. Next, start counting, making a note of how many of each colour they’ve found. Once they’ve got their data, it’s time to plot the number of leaves of each colour on a simple graph. Or, if it’s not too windy, why not create a ‘living graph’ on the ground using sticks as the axes and the leaves they’ve actually collected, or even take the whole lot home and create a masterpiece for the kitchen wall?

You can also use leaves to help learn about perimeters and area too. Ask the kids to pick one leaf each and have a rough guess about how many centimetres they think it is round the edge, or how many square centimetres the whole leaf takes up.

Put the leaf on a piece of squared paper, carefully sticking down the stem to hold it in place, and then draw round the outline. Lift the leaf away and take one of the pieces of string and use it to trace around the leaf’s outline. Keeping your thumb and forefinger as a marker, lift the string away and measure it with the ruler to find the leaf’s perimeter. Who came closest with their guess?

Try it with different sized leaves – how big is the difference between a long thin leaf and a short fat one?

Now, using the outline of the leaf they’ve already drawn, see if they can work out how to find its area. First explain to them what size each square represents; then they’ll need to count up all the full squares and estimate how many extra ‘whole’ squares are made up by all the little fiddly bits round the edge. Add them all together and all of a sudden they know the area of a very random shape, and something which is a million miles away from the straight-edged squares and triangles they’ve drawn in class.

Of course, it’s not just leaves you’ll find on the forest floor at this time of year. Nuts, conkers and acorns will all have plummeted from the canopy and they’re all excellent for playing simple counting games – and so much more fun than using a boring pen and paper!

From Maths hater to Maths lover

Dave, a friend of The Green Board Game Co, recalls his journey from Maths hater to Maths lover and shares some thoughts on how to get your child on the same road…

So your child hates Maths. I can understand that, I really can. That was me; a skinny, playful boy who just wanted to get outdoors or get stuck into a great book.

What was the point of Pythagoras’ Theorem? Who really cares about natural numbers and integers? And don’t even get me started on that Maths teacher favourite: “Can you explain how you reached that answer?”
Frustrating. Impenetrable. Pointless.

Those were the three words that my 9-year old self would have used to sum up Maths. In fact, in my mind the only ‘point’ of Maths class was to find new uses for my fountain pen. I’ll let your imagination run wild on that one…

Reversing the equation
Wind the clock forward 25 years and here I am – a (slightly less skinny) young man busy poring over budgets, analysing quantitative survey data, devouring website statistics, and calculating odds based on previous trends.
And absolutely loving it.

So what happened to turn this self-confessed Maths ‘hater’ (who languished in the bottom Maths group throughout Secondary School) into a self-styled Maths ‘lover’ (who’s happy to admit he gets quite excited by percentages)?

Along the yellow brick road to my Emerald City of Maths there have been a number of essential signposts; big things that helped me gain a new perspective on those previously unfathomable numbers. If your child is anything like I used to be, they might find them helpful too.

The constant companion of statistics
Want to know what made me first realise that Maths could be friend, not foe? Baseball. Strange as it might sound, growing up in America as a boy with a natural interest in sports meant that before long the numbers behind the game began to capture me.

Watching the rise and fall of batting percentages, tracking win/loss percentages, working out the Average Earned Run ratio (OK, I’ll stop now) – it was all part of the fabric of the sport I loved. When my focus turned to football (of the round and kickable variety), my accidental friend followed me too. Now it was about points needed to qualify for Europe, goal difference, goals per game ratio… you get the general idea.

Because of my love for sport, I learned to love statistics – the constant companion of pretty much any competitive activity.

Show me the money!
I remember standing at the sweet shop – sweets counted and in the bag, coins in hand… and not having enough of one to pay for the other. It was gut-wrenching, embarrassing even. I had made a miscalculation – a school-boy error, if you will – and my sweet tooth would end up paying for it.

It was the beginning of a dawning realisation that there was a point to Maths: budgeting. Since that early coinage faux pas, I’ve learned to master the money I have in my hand in order not to be caught out – whether pocket money, student loan, early marriage budget, or workplace sales forecasts.

I’m pretty sharp on the numbers now, because I know that they matter – for my stomach, and other important areas of life.

Making numbers beautiful
On my bookshelf at home is a book called Information is Beautiful. It’s a collection of some of the most beautiful, clever and interesting pictorial depictions of data. Sometimes unimaginatively called ‘Infographics’, these pieces at their best can be a magical blend of cold, hard data with warm, soft art forms (click here to see some examples).

They serve as a reminder that the world of Maths, when touched by the world of Art, can in fact be beautiful. What at first seems so literal, linear, and limited can actually be lovely. It’s a revelation that has allowed a number of people I know – those who see the world in picture form – find a doorway into another world.

That’s a quick glimpse of the journey I’ve been on with this strange companion called Maths. Let’s be clear, I’m not about to take up an Applied Mathematics professorship at Cambridge, but I can genuinely say my perspective on this subject has been turned around 180 degrees.

So, if outbursts like “I hate Maths!” are common in your home, my hope is that your child might follow a similar trajectory to mine – from Maths hater to Maths lover.

Maths: No More Fear and Loathing

Jenny Laurie is an advanced skills teacher in mathematics and leader of The St Marylebone School Maths Hub – a national centre of excellence in maths education and training. She shares her thoughts on how parents can shed their apprehensions about maths, and help their children do the same.

“I simply don’t have that elusive maths gene”. This is what many of us parents are tempted to think when facing the challenge of helping our child with their maths homework.

Contrary to popular belief, the skills that you need to be numerate are not actually inherited – they are grown through practice. Evidence from the American psychologist Carole Dweck reveals that it is our mindset, rather than our ability or talent, that leads to success in maths.

Dweck’s basic idea is that there are two types of mindsets that people adopt when learning – fixed or growth. When we view our ability to do maths as ‘fixed’, it has a negative impact on our performance. So when we cannot solve a maths problem, we interpret it as confirmation that we have reached our mathematical limits, and assume there is nothing we can do about it. By contrast, when we adopt a growth mindset, we move from “I can’t do it” to “I can’t do it…yet”.

As a teacher, I meet many children who have been turned off maths at a young age simply by being told that they just “don’t have what it takes” to be good at the subject. We work hard in our school to change this mindset and, by following a few simple tips, you can combat this message at home – ensuring maths doesn’t become a subject filled with fear and loathing.

Point out the maths in the everyday
Take every opportunity to include your child in everyday activities involving maths and numbers. Get them to help with paying for shopping and counting the change. Get them to measure out ingredients for cooking; ask them to read timetables when you travel on public transport. This will not only get them to see the maths everywhere they go, but will also get them asking questions about how life is organised with numbers.

Be positive about maths!
I meet many parents who have had a bad experience with maths; some say things like “I hated maths at school” or “I was never any good at it”. This leads their children to take on many of those same feelings.

Students who have the most success in maths are those whose parents; despite their own experiences, are positive about maths. They are not scared about maths and are willing to learn alongside their child, showing them how important it is to their child’s future. You may feel that your skills are not up to scratch to be positive in helping with maths homework. Help is at hand though, through the National Numeracy Challenge ( – set up in part to enhance parents’ skills and get them feeling more confident in supporting their child’s learning.

Praise effort rather than talent
This shows your child that, by working hard, they can always improve. You may be surprised to know that as a maths teacher I still get stuck with some bits of maths. Getting stuck with a problem is not a bad thing – it’s an opportunity for you to sit down with your child and figure out the solution to the problem together. Remember no one can know all the maths in the world; sometimes you just have to know where to go to get help. Search online for the solution – there are heaps of self help videos and websites ready to help you and your child fill in any maths gaps.

It may take time, but the sense of achievement you will both feel by learning together will take you into your next maths challenge full of confidence – with fear a thing of the past.

An unexpected benefit: BrainBox games for autism and dyslexia

Don’t you love an unexpected benefit? You know, when a decision or a course of action has positive consequences that you didn’t intend or foresee. Like when you give in to the incessant requests of your children and buy a cat, only to discover that you no longer have to worry about birds eating your grass seed. Or when you switch to an own-brand pasta sauce to save a few pence each week, and find out it tastes better than what you used to buy.

We had our own unexpected benefit moment at BrainBox HQ recently. We’ve always set out to design games that combine learning and fun, and that can be enjoyed equally by families playing together or children playing alone. But we were delighted to discover that our games are also a big hit among children with learning differences such as dyslexia and autism.

It was customer reviews that gave it away initially. Here are a few of our favourites:

• “For our son with special needs… I think this will help enormously with his development”
Joy, Mummy blogger of children with Aspergers, reviewing BrainBox Dinosaurs

• “Fantastic and fun. My two children have dyslexia, and we play it to help their short-term memory”
Clare, reviewing BrainBox Dinosaurs on

• “Excellent product for my son who has ADHD with autistic tendencies. He enjoyed the game and it also helped to calm him on some of the down time occasions over the holiday period”
Deirdre, reviewing Brainbox Football on

• “The instructions were very clear and D especially enjoyed giving the cube shaker a good shake to start the game”
Jeannette, Mummy blogger of two autistic children, reviewing Square Up

• “It’s fairly simple and my 6 year-old can play it … it’s great as it’s very non-confrontational”
Daisy, posting about Qwirkle in an online forum discussing games for dyslexic children

• “This is a great game: almost as challenging as Scrabble but without the need to be able to read and write. If I hadn’t just left teaching, I would love to have tried it out with teenage dyslexic students”
Mrs Grace, reviewing Qwirkle on

• “Both my children loved this game and great fun was had by all! I am still amazed that it kept Xaviers attention for the duration!”
Lucie, Mummy blogger of children with autism, reviewing Corner’d

Our suspicions were confirmed when Dyslexia Scotland highlighted BrainBox in a report called ‘Supporting Pupils with Dyslexia at Primary School’: “The games are simple, compulsive and great fun for one or more players.”

In her book The Autistic Spectrum: A Guide for Parents and Professionals, Lorna Wig says: “Children with autistic spectrum disorders tend to prefer toys that involve visuo-spatial skills such as shape and colour matching, jigsaw puzzles or constructional materials.”

We’re not quite sure what the magic ingredient in BrainBox games is. Maybe it’s the vibrant colours, or the tactile elements, or the emphasis on visual and memory skills.

Whatever the reason, we’re very pleased that our games are making learning fun for so many children and families – and perhaps you might just find some unexpected benefits when you come to play them.

How to make revision fun

From SATs up to GCSEs and beyond, like it or not, tests are now a big part of our children’s lives. They come thick and fast, and it’s easy for them to feel bogged down in getting ready for tests. But it needn’t be a slog, full of angst and arguments, and with a bit of thought and imagination revision can, dare I say it, actually be quite enjoyable and give your children a real sense of achievement.

Get online
There are ways to revise that are much more effective – and fun – than having your head stuck in a book for hours on end. Take the internet – children love it, so why not encourage them to use it to help their revision? Teachers will be happy to point you in the direction of the best sites if you’re not sure where to look. An online video, an activity, even a multiple choice test are great ways to help those facts sink in.

Bring some colour to it
Any excuse to use a variety of coloured pens is also a good idea. My eldest has created some elaborate mind maps to help with her revision, carefully colour-coded and written in her best handwriting.  And while sticking these up on the wall temporarily may mean obscuring Ben 10 or Niall from One D, it will help to reinforce the message.

Rhyme and reason
Making up silly rhymes or mnemonics to remember things is another fun idea. “Big elephants can’t always understand small elephants” is the classic for “because”, while I still use the sing along spelling of “necessary” that a friend’s mum once taught me – n e, c e, double ss a r y.

Points mean prizes
It’s a good idea for parents to get involved in revision too. You can take your children on in a head-to-head quiz about what they’ve learnt – a bit of chocolate as a prize can have dramatic effects on how hard they work.

You can take this a step further by having friends round to revise before taking part in a ‘University Challenge’ style quiz with two teams and you taking the role of Jeremy Paxman!

Making learning fun
And of course, there are a whole range of BrainBox games that are perfect for revision. So why not help your children brush up on their French vocab with a BrainBox Let’s Learn French, for instance.

For older children, it’s worth having a chat about why exams and revision matter and why it’s important to get a good, all round education, including learning about things such as quadratic equations or tectonic plates, which they may never come across again .

There are a few basics worth considering, too. Whatever they say, Twitter isn’t a revision aid, and older children might want to come up with a revision timetable. Regular breaks are important, as is getting out to play, getting fresh air and meeting up with friends. Revision shouldn’t mean a complete shutdown, a battening of the hatches to the exclusion of other things they enjoy.

And remember, at the end of the day, it is just a test.

Earlier this year a letter from an Australian head teacher to her eight and nine year old pupils in the run up to their first tests caused an internet storm – for all the right reasons. “There is no one way to ‘test’ all of the wonderful things that make you, YOU!,” the letter concluded, having talked about all those skills the test wouldn’t cover, such as singing, dancing or speaking with confidence in front of the class.

In this day and age, tests do matter, and parents have an important role to play in helping children to revise. But we also have to help keep things in perspective, too.

Types of Learning Styles: An Overview

Our friends at share their insights on how our children learn, with a great little learning styles quiz you can complete with your child. Enjoy!

For years now, psychologists have agreed that there are distinct ways that children and adults prefer to learn.

A learning style refers to a person’s unique approach to learning. Everybody looks at and understands the world in slightly different ways. This means that individuals pick up, learn and remember information in different ways. How an individual learns important information is known as their learning style.

The most common learning style model that teachers and parents tend to be familiar with is the VARK model. This refers to Visual, Auditory, Reading/writing and Kinaesthetic learning styles. Here we have based our seven learning types on a recognised model that takes a broader view of the well-known four styles.

The seven different learning styles are: visual learners, auditory learners, physical learners, verbal learners, logical learners, social learners and solitary learners. It is likely that one of these styles will be a best fit for you or your child. However, it is common for children to have a mixture of two or more learning styles. Additionally, children may change their learning styles over time. There is no better or worse learning style for your child to have. Equally, it is not better or worse to have one learning style or a mixture.

Visual – Look and Learn

Visual learners prefer to use pictures, diagrams and images and have good spatial understanding. Such learners tend to visualise information and will easily remember something that they have seen, such as writings on a whiteboard or drawings.

Auditory/Aural – Hear and Learn

Aural learners enjoy listening to sounds and have a good sense of rhythm. Often, aural learners will speak or read out loud to help them remember information. Aural learners’ ability to hear different sounds easily might make them good at music or foreign languages.

Verbal – Learn with words

Verbal learners are those who use either spoken or written words to help them learn information. Such learners also tend to think about the meaning of words and prefer things to be written in an explanatory paragraph, rather than in a chart or diagram, which a visual learner might prefer.

Physical – Do and Learn

Physical learners like to use their hands, body and sense of touch when they are learning. Physical learners may be able to remember the details of an object or model they have held in their hands or been able to touch.

Logical – Learn with systems

Logical learners tend to follow a rational approach and easily understand systems and sequences. Such learners thrive when they see how things link to each other and work together.

Social – Learn with others

Social learners may lack focus when they work alone but do well when they work in a group or with a partner. As group work helps children to develop good communication and listening skills, social learners can also be very engaged when simply listening to a person give a presentation.

Solitary – Learn when alone

Solitary learners may struggle to work in a group but thrive when they work by themselves. Such learners may enjoy teaching themselves new skills or finding things out for themselves, rather than asking another person.

It is helpful for each child’s current learning style or styles to be identified. Knowing your child’s learning style can help you to support your child, allowing them to get the most out of their education. Each learning style lends itself to different learning techniques and using a variety with your child can only enhance their learning.

Identify your child’s learning type by reading the descriptions above or discover your child’s learning type now with our fun learning style quiz!

Then start thinking about how you can help your child to learn in the style that best suits them.

“I’m not naughty – I’m autistic”

How can you tell the difference between a naughty child and a child with an Autistic Spectrum Condition? What kind of things upset a child with autism? How should other children interact with children on the spectrum?

It’s Autism Awareness Month, and we’ve been busy showcasing our games at the ‘Anna Kennedy Online’ Autism Expo. Autism affects up to 1 in 64 people, and here at BrainBox we’re really keen to understand more about it.

There’s so much information in so many places it can seem daunting, so we’ve pulled together six great tools to help us all get better acquainted with the A-word:

6 tools to help you understand autism better

Video: Too much information

This new video from the National Autistic Society shows how 10 year old Alexander feels when he tries to walk through a busy shopping centre. He gets sensory overload, so the plethora of sounds, sights and smells can be very confusing and upsetting, and people brushing into him can sometimes be too much. Watch the video and see if you can make it to the end.

Game: Pick a character

Autism can affect people in so many different ways. This interactive animation from Autism Scotland lets you choose a character to understand more about how their spectrum condition affects their daily life:

Article: Talk about it

Children are accepting of differences but they don’t always understand them, so it’s important to talk honestly about autism with all children, whether they’re on the spectrum or not. This blog gives 10 ways to talk to children about autism:

Programme: The A-Word

Many of you will have seen the BBC drama The A-Word. Here’s what it’s all about: “How do you respond to attempts to change you when change is the thing you fear the most? The series follows Joe’s resistance and his response to those who demand things from him he cannot give. And his manner of dealing with the family around him and their ever-changing needs provides us with a dramatic journey that is emotional, funny and real.” Watch it on iPlayer.

Blog: Autism in the family

Back in May 2014 we featured a blog from Lucie Aiston who has two children with autism. She told us how she uses play to help her son learn to share and interact. Read more about it here:

Parents View: Games that help

Here at BrainBox we want to help and we think our games do just that! Here, parents tell you which games hit the mark for children with learning differences like autism and dyslexia:

Whatever you do for Autism Awareness Month with your children, we hope you’ll keep learning – and keep it fun!

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Chinese New Year is one of the biggest events in the Chinese calendar and considered a major holiday for Chinese people around the world. The New Year festival is centuries old and comes about because of several Chinese myths and traditions. It was traditionally a time to honour the gods and ancestors. Chinese New Year celebrations last for 15 days, starting on the rising of the full moon between 21st Jan and 20th Feb and ending on the 15th night with the world famous Lantern Festival.

Do you know the story of Chinese New Year? According to tales and legends, the Chinese New Year started with a mythical monster called Nian, the dragon-like figure featured heavily in the celebrations, who would eat villagers, especially children. One year the villagers decided to hide from the monster, but a single older man decided to stay back and try to protect the village. He placed red papers in the windows and set up firecrackers in order to scare the monster. When the villagers returned to their homes the next day, they were still standing and no damage had been done at all. The man was declared a deity, a god, and it was thought he was sent to save them. From that moment on, the villagers thought that the Nian was afraid of the colour red and loud noises, which is where the fireworks and window displays come from. We can hear your brains saying ‘ahhhh I seeeee’ from here – interesting, isn’t it? There are loads more myths and monsters stories about; check your knowledge of them in the BrainBox Myths and Monsters game.

This year (2017), the first day of the Chinese New Year is on Saturday 28th January and we will be entering the Year of the Rooster. The Rooster? I know, not the type of animal you’d think was that interesting but this little fella is the only bird in the Chinese Zodiac so is very important. The Rooster is tenth in the Chinese Zodiac. Each year is related to an animal sign according to a 12-year cycle. Years of the Rooster include 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017 and 2029. To find out what Chinese Zodiac animal you are and what it means check out

How much do you know about China? Can you answer the questions on this card from the BrainBox The World game? Go on, test yourself and your family and see what you know.

Crafting is a huge part of celebrating this festival. Houses are decorated with traditional Chinese New Year decorations such as dragon (Nian) masks, homemade paper lanterns, puppets to reenact the story of the Nian and the windows and doors are often decorated with red paper cut outs representing Good Fortune, Happiness, Wealth and Longevity. The decorations are made with all generations getting involved, just like Christmas here.

Following with the crafty tradition, we have gathered some fun crafts to do with all the generations of your family, to celebrate Chinese New Year just like the Chinese do.

Red Ted Art, our go-to easy craft website, has kindly designed a FREE printable to help you create a quick and easy dragon (Nian) puppet to act out your Chinese New Year with.

Jen from Jennifer’s Little World has created some cute little Paper Cup Lanterns on her blog. They will hang beautifully from the tree outside or just in your windows.

Liz at Me and My Shadow has been creating Fire Cracker Junk Models with her little girl. Check out how they did it here.

Cat from Yellow Days has gathered her own list of her favourite Chinese New Year crafts over on her blog, 12 to be precise, so check them out too.

Don’t forget to show us your creations on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

World Book Day

In the UK and Ireland, World Book Day is on Thursday 2nd March 2017, however did you know that the rest of the world has it on a different date? The small independent charity who run World Book Day in the UK have to arrange the event around school term dates, religious and public holidays etc, so that everybody can get involved without it clashing. A great deal of thought and organisation goes into the day, from designing the packs they send out to schools, to getting the companies to finance the £1 book tokens they give to each child, and all for the love of books and getting our children to love books too.

Most schools across the UK will be taking part in World Book Day in one way or another. Many will be having the traditional fancy dress day, letting children dress up as their favourite characters. There are so many characters to pick from, and therefore parents all over the land will be doing a bit of DIY crafting, creating some masterpieces for their loved ones to wow their teachers and friends with.

We can hear your panic already! Luckily for you our friend Boo, Roo and Tigger Too is a super Book Day costume creator and has some amazing ideas to keep it fun and effective. Whether your children want to be Darth Vader or Little Miss Muffet, she’s done it. Check out all of her ideas on her site –

On the other hand, if they’re Roald Dahl fans, Mummy, Mummy… Mum has some great ideas by herself and others over on her site –

Do your kids love books or do you have a reluctant reader? There are so many ways to get children reading and learning, even those who really don’t want to. For little people, books are all about fantasy, imagination and listening more than reading, so things like Story Cards will help them create their own stories. Older children can use the story cards too of course: try giving them a task of writing you a story based on the five shuffled cards they picked from the pack, then read it together before bed; you never know, you may have the next JK Rowling on your hands. Or you could make the Brainbox Once Upon a Time game a daily game within your household; it is so quick but such fun and gets everybody’s imagination flowing.

FYI:- your Book Tokens can only be used from Monday 27 February–Sunday 26th March 2017 (inclusive), so make sure you plan a trip to the book shop during those times.

Where to use your tokens –
Check out Booksellers Association; they have a list of participating book shops. All major supermarkets including Asda, Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s, most large bookshop chains such as WH Smith, Waterstones, Eason etc and many independent booksellers are participating, as are a number of school book clubs including Scholastic and Usborne Books At Home.