Early Learning HQ - Great Learning Resources
by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com
Recently I discovered a great set of online learning resources that support parents and teachers looking for activities to help kids learn. Early Learning HQ offers thousands of free-to-download early years resources. There's no need to sign up or register either. You can search the site thematically or via subjects - literacy, numeracy etc. I'll describe these in more detail later.
It's rare to find free resources of this calibre online without there being some sort of catch. I asked Peter of Early Learning HQ what is behind the site:
My name is Peter. I am not involved in education as such although I did work as a teaching assistant in an early years centre for a time after finishing university prior to starting my graphic design/printing business. The business was started on a bit of a whim....graphic design was always a hobby but I have a masters degree in law so raw business was a step into the unknown.
Early Learning HQ began as a side project but it now attracts thousands of visitors a day. The site offers thousands of early years / pre-school teaching resources, all of which are free to download. These include a selection of literacy, numeracy, and role-play resources as well as numerous resources on various popular early years themes. We’re always looking to increase our content and we love to hear from people who have ideas for new resources.
What will you find at Early Learning HQ?
Literacy Resources, like Alphabet, Display Lettering, High-Frequency Words, Letters & Sounds etc. Numeracy Resources like 2D Shapes, Counting Flash Cards, Counting Games, Display Numbers etc Themes / Topics like Animals & Pets, Buildings & Construction, Castles, Dinosaurs, Farm, Ourselves / My Body, Pirates. Role-Play Resources have great props to stimulate children's creative play and imagination under headings like Airport, Bus Station, Police Station, Shops etc There's a Celebrations & Festivals section, covering major holidays around the world. In Photos & Illustrations there are realistic images and very cute clipart like the moth below.
You'll find lots of Editable Resources, Classroom Displays & Accessories… this website is really worth a browse, especially if you teach Stage 1 kids, Kindergarten, pre-school or homeschool your children.
I love the Stories section, where you'll find resources to support Bear Hunt, Cinderella, Goldilocks & The Three Bears, Handa’s Surprise, Robin Hood, The Gruffalo, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and so many more. Mostly these are colourful backdrops, masks and stick puppets, perfect for extending the literature experience. You can see two Red Riding Hood puppets above. There are also Songs and Interactive Games - phew, this site has it all!
I think what I prize most about ELHQ is that the resources are colourful, attractive and really useful. Yes, there are ads, but they're not too invasive, and we must understand that developers of resources need to make SOME money from products they give away. You just need to pay attention to what you're clicking. For instance, there's a great editable zoo poster. Next to it is an ad with the word "download" in it, but to download the poster, you need to look underneath it at Download Options. I've annotated a screen grab below so you'll see what I mean. You'll also find links to the ELHQ shop which sells educational products.
What does "free" mean exactly? The website spells it out in what I consider to be generous terms: All of the teaching resources & stock photography on this website are licensed under 21st Century Print copyright. They must not be used for commercial purposes and you are not permitted to redistribute them in any way. You are permitted to print, display, alter, transform or add to the digital version of the resource as long as it is not for commercial purposes. You are also free to remove the website address from the resource if you wish, however remember that we rely on attracting new visitors so please help us by spreading the word about our site and / or linking to it from your school website! Most of the planning templates and ideas for activities were submitted by teachers and early years professionals.