Children generally start preschool between the ages of 2 and 3, during which time they develop incredibly quickly. From getting to grips with language, learning how to count, recognising letters and perfecting a whole load of motor skills. If you're keen to help them with their early years education at home, we’ve got it covered.

TO ENCOURAGE COUNTING

Jabadabado Abacus

Ok, so no-one expects a Countdown genius at preschool stage, but helping them with their numbers early means they won’t feel so challenged when they encounter proper maths lessons. An abacus ideal for their developing numeracy skills. Jabadabado does a lovely rainbow version: it's the kind of thing that they'll revisit again and again, as their counting skills grow.

HELPING WITH THEIR ABCs

Touch Think Learn books

Before they're able to start reading, they need to figure out the alphabet. Abrams & Chronice TouchThinkLearn: ABC is an interactive board book with scooped-out die-cuts and raised elements that invites little readers to explore the letters of the alphabet in a whole new way. The TouchThinkLearn series also includes shapes and numbers - why not get them the whole set?

FOR COLOUR RECOGNITION (& MORE COUNTING!)

Janod I'm Learning How To Count Peacock

If they’re more of a visual kind of kid, then the Janod I'm Learning How To Count Peacock is great for learning numbers and colours. Each time they rotate the peacock, a number appears on the base - they choose the right feather by matching the number or dots. So as well as being toy with several ways to play, it also looks lovely on the shelf.

SUSSING OUT SHAPES

 I Wood Shapes & Sounds 6 Block Puzzle

Shapes and colours are a big deal at preschool, so give them a head start with the Janod I Wood Shapes & Sounds 6 Block Puzzle that's been designed to develop a range of toddler skills: the varied shapes are great for helping them identify different forms, but for an added bonus each cube has a unique function: bell, kaleidoscope, sound effects, horn, rattle and mirror, to build their sensory skills.

THEIR OWN STATIONERY

Franck & Fischer Mynte Pencil Case

While they don't need to take their own stationery to school yet, it's great to have a set to call their own at home. And for all of those pens, pencils and other crafty bits and bobs, they'll need a pencil case to stash them in.

A PLACE TO LEARN

Janod's Polar Table and Chairs set

Around the preschool age, it's great to set up a quiet zone at home where they can get busy with arts and crafts, small-piece play or figuring out puzzles or games. Janod's Polar Table and Chairs set is a real investment piece for any bedroom, playroom, kitchen or living room. Your child will love having their own space to sit and draw, play or read. The second chair makes it an ideal social area for playdates or siblings, while the lovely colours are sure to complement your interior design, and it even has a removable pencil holder.

PLAYING IS LEARNING TOO

The majority of time at preschool is spent playing, which is no surprise since they pick up and learn lifelong skills through amusing themselves. From pretend play to craft to open-ended play, we have a variety of goodies that will have them building knowledge while they have fun.

They say education is a lifelong journey and they'll certainly be taking their first steps more confidently with any of the above picks. If you'd like more help or inspo, why not check out our Learning Toys or hop onto a live-chat - we're here to help, 9am-5pm, every weekday. Just hit that purple button, bottom right.