Monday, 27 August 2018

Getting Ready for Going Back To School with Maped Helix {Including Review}

This has been our first real summer holiday. This will be Dylan's first year of going back to school. He will be going in to primary two (Year one) this year andhe is so excited to go back. It's been different this year as he knows what to expect. Last year he was just excited to need a school bag and writing tools so this year is a whole new experience for us all. Back to school shopping has been no exception! Dylan is so excited about going back but with shops literally brimming with products he's had a hard time choosing which look good and which aren't going to stand up to the task. When Maped Helix got in touch about some of their back to school range I knew it was perfectly timed. 

Helix was founded way back in 1887 with the mass production of the wooden ruler. In 1894 Helix invented the modern drawing compass which was quickly followed by the first plastic type ruler in 1899! By 1912 the first Maths set was born and in 1935 the iconic Oxford brand was launched. It wasn't until 2012 that Helix became a part of the Maped Helix Group which has helped to mould the iconic Maped Helix brand that is well loved today. They now ship out to over 65 countries in the world. 

We received three products from the back to school range that range Maped Helix have to offer. I'm going to start with the Oxford Colours Maths Set which was the biggest hit with Dylan. Yes you read that right. He was instantly in love. I'm not sure he really know much about the maths set itself but that fact that it was green, his ultimate favourite colour had enticed him the second he saw it! 

Since Dylan will only be going into his second year at school I don't think they would be using any of the tools inside the Oxford Colours Maths Set but I was eager to introduce them all to Dylan and let him explore it all a little bit. After we opened the set up  we had a look at each piece I was really impressed with the pop of colour each piece had. The green was bright and vibrant while maintaining the professional look of an Oxford Maths Set.  Inside the metal tin which also featured the bright green colour is a compass, two set squares, a protector with a small pencil, a ruler, a letter stencil with small and capital letters, a timetable with maths terms and explanations on the back, a rubber and a sharpener. 

Dylan started out where each child naturally would, with the letter stencils. He of course wanted to write his name with the cool letters. He selected the right upper case and lower case letters to stencil out. 

We took to exploring the individual tools and finding ways Dylan could use them himself or give them a go at least. We didn't get too technical with the individual tools. He most loved the compass which of course makes perfect circles. Seriously impressive to a five year old! He of course wanted to give it a go himself. It did take some practice but he was able to draw a pretty good circle with little help. 

After a while we moved on to the ruler and the protector where I got Dylan to measure up lines I had drawn on page. We tried to keep this part fun and he was telling me all about how they use the rulers to measure in school too. 

We both loved this new twist on the classic Oxford Maths Set from Maped Helix. The addition of the colour makes it more personalised and it lets children of all ages be more excited about the maths set. I highly doubt that Dylan would have been as impressed by the original version. 

We also received this super cute little Bunny Innovation 1-hole pencil sharpener. This bunny shaped sharpener teaches children how to sharpen their pencils by encouraging them to turn the pencil in the right direction which sets the bunnies teeth off to chew along on your pencil. 

The Bunny Innovation 1-hole pencil sharpener from Maped Helix can be emptied by pulling off the see through plastic backing. I do recommend doing this once or twice at home before packing into the pencil case as it is initially a bit stiff but after a try or two it loosens to a smooth pull. 

Dylan loved it! He has used sharpeners before but I'm not sure he's had much success. This time around he was really excited that he got the bunny to chew away on his pencil. He was already telling how funny the little bunny was. This is the perfect tool to help children get prepared for going off to school. Being able to sharpen their own pencils is a big step and the Maped Helix Bunny Innovation 1-hole pencil sharpener helps them to grow this independence and the confidence that they know how to.

The final product we received was the Oxford Large Filled Case from Maped Helix, This case is aimed at children older than Dylan and would be perfect for those who are preparing to start secondary (high) school. 

The Oxford Large Filled Case is a see through pencil case with a zip that contains 2 black perminant pens, 5 high quality HB graphite pencils, 1 metal canister sharpener, 1 30cm shatter resistant ruler, 4 ball point pens in green, red, black and blue along with a geometry set including a 15cm ruler, protector and two set squares. This case contains everything they will need for starting back to school all in one handy pencil case. 

I do have to note that I was really impressed with the HB graphite pencils. Dylan had used the pencils when we drew out the lines for measuring along with doing some drawing but they had hardly been used at all. Since we wanted to use the sharpener to see how it worked I tried to use up the lead before giving up and attempting the break the end. It was pretty much impossible! Even with a lot of force behind it the pencil wouldn't budge. In the end we let Dylan draw for around an hour before it dull enough to let him sharpen. Such a great pencil that will really do great work. 

I also really liked that the canister sharpener was made of metal. I have used it myself a few times now and I like that it feels smooth but it's also easy to clean out.

Disclaimer: We received the products featured. All views and opinions expressed above are my own.


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