Travelling with kids? Ways to keep your little one entertained…

Mother and son with a book in the car

Holidays – relaxing in the sun, swimming in the sea and playing in the sand. Fun for the whole family, and a chance to see and learn about the great cultures of the world.

Though the idea is to have a relaxing time, it doesn’t always pan out like that. Particularly when you are travelling to your destination with the little ones!

Here, our friends at Trunki share some top tips on how to keep your tots entertained on longer journeys – whether it is a drive, a flight, a coach trip or even a boat ride, these tips will make things that little bit easier, and much less stressful for parents.

Here we go…

  • Tablets & smart phones – It is the 21st century after all. These gadgets are exceptionally useful for entertaining on the go. Downloading great kids’ films and TV shows should guarantee a bit of rest bite, and you can also download some games and other apps to entertain your kids – such as fun educational apps like Reading Eggs and Mathseeds.
  • Pack their best-loved cuddly toy – ‘Mr Bear’ is always a great companion and comforter, and can be particularly useful at times when flights can be a bit frightening – like take-off, landing or the dreaded turbulence.
  • A children’s magazine – These can be bought at the airport itself, and are full of fun activities, articles and even free toys that should keep your kids occupied.
  • Crayons & drawing – An oldie but goldie! Nothing beats a bit of drawing to kill boredom, particularly when the kids are excited and surrounded by a new environment. You can encourage them to draw what they are seeing and experiencing, and hey, if you get crayon all over your clothes, it washes off easy as well.
  • Finger or hand puppets – When all else fails, time to get out the hand puppets! Fun for your little one when they require mum or dad’s full attention.
  • Finger foods – A tasty snack is always entertaining! If you are on a flight, chewing and swallowing food can also help with changes in air pressure…so little ears won’t suffer as much.
  • A new toy – What is more entertaining than the novelty of a new toy? Nothing! That’s the answer! Even just a cheap one bought at the airport will work. The novelty might wear off eventually, but it is usually long after the journey has finished.
  • Reading Eggs – There is absolutely no reason the entertainment can’t also be educational. Your little one can embark on the fun Reading Eggs programme during their holiday travels, helping to improve their reading skills. You can sign up for a free trail here and have your little ones enjoy our trusted, award winning reading programme for ages 3 to 13.
  • Take a look at Trunki: Trunki are experts in travel for children. They have a range of products that can make things much more comfortable for your little one, and relaxing for you. Take a look at their fantastic range here, including the classic Ride-on Trunki suitcase for little ones on the move!

There you have it, some top tips on how to keep those restless toddlers entertained on long journeys!

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Sincerely,

The Reading Eggs Team

FREE Mother’s Day Themed Math Worksheets!

free math worksheets kindergarten grade 1 grade 2

With Mother’s Day coming up this weekend, we have the perfect way to help your little ones celebrate this very special day – while building essential early numeracy skills!

Download of free Mother’s Day worksheets, filled with fun activities that cover a range of important mathematics skills for children in kindergarten to grade 2.

Our three sets of gorgeously themed worksheets cover topics including number sequence, shapes, fractions, time, length, odd and even numbers, money and more.

 

Kindergarten Math Worksheets

Download US version here
Download AU/UK version here

free kindergarten math worksheets

 

Grade 1 Math Worksheets

Download US version here
Download AU/UK version here

free grade 1 math worksheets

 

Grade 2 Math Worksheets

Download US version here
Download AU/UK version here

free grade 2 math worksheets

We hope you enjoy these special Mother’s Day-themed activities with your little ones this year. Happy Mother’s Day!

Mathseeds is the fun online mathematics program for children aged 3-8. Your child will work through a sequence of highly engaging online mathematics games and activities designed to build essential early numeracy and problem solving skills.

Claim your free trial of Mathseeds, as well as Reading Eggs, the multi-award winning online reading program for kids.

6 Tips for Overcoming Mathematics Anxiety

overcoming math anxiety

Mathematics can produce feelings of dread and anxiety for many children. The thought of solving a complicated sum, or performing mental calculations in front of other people, is often enough to bring on the sweaty palms, racing heartbeat, and a feeling of insecurity and inadequacy.

Research shows that mathematics anxiety can begin as early as the first grade, so it’s important that parents take early measures to prevent their child from developing negative feelings about mathematics.

Here are six ways parents can help their child to overcome mathematics anxiety, and how to help young children develop a positive attitude towards numbers and arithmetic early on.

1. Don’t let your own anxieties get in the way

As adults, many of us have our own insecurities about mathematics, and aren’t afraid to express it. This can send the wrong message to your child, for example: ‘If my parent doesn’t need mathematics, then I don’t’, or ‘If adults think mathematics is hard, then there’s no hope for me.’ Try to avoid talking negatively about mathematics and be conscious of how your perceptions can unintentionally impact your child’s confidence.

2. Embrace mistakes

Avoid getting frustrated or putting a big red X over an incorrect answer. Instead of saying ‘No that’s wrong’, you can say, ‘Let’s work this out together.’ Ask your child to show you how they have tried to solve a problem and say, ‘What might happen if we try this instead?’ A good idea is to use different shaded pencils to show different strategies. Mistakes are a natural and integral part of learning, and it’s important for your child to understand that. Assure your child that even you make mistakes from time to time.

3. Be positive

Positive reinforcement is a valuable tool for helping struggling children to build their confidence and stay motivated to learn. It’s about reinforcing what they do right, rather than focusing on what they do wrong. When your child sits down to solve a sum or shows determination towards understanding a particular skill or concept, be sure to reward your child with encouragement, praise, a smile, or even a hug.

4. Try an online mathematics program

Online learning programs are a fantastic way to build your children’s confidence in in the familiar and nurturing home environment. A research-based education program like Mathseeds is designed to match your child’s individual ability and progress at their own pace with interactive, one-on-one lessons. Online programs are also great for motivating children to learn and improve, with rewards, vibrant animations, and entertaining songs.

5. Express fears in writing

Researchers have found that expressive writing can be an effective tool in helping children overcome feelings of anxiety. In one study, a group of students who were asked to write about their fears before an exam were able to improve their average grade from around a B- to a B+. You can encourage your child to list words to describe how mathematics makes them feel. You can even help them to write a story about a character that overcomes a fear of mathematics, and winds up learning to enjoy it!

6. Relate mathematics to real-life situations

Encourage your child to see how mathematics can be applied to real-life situations, and why it’s so important. This will allow their natural sense of curiosity to take over their fears. Your child will become more eager to learn, ask questions, and look out for more opportunities to show you how well they’ve grasped key concepts. You can integrate mathematics into everyday activities such as shopping, creating a weekly budget, and cooking. Read more ways to help your child apply mathematics to real world situations here.

Mathseeds is the comprehensive online mathematics program that makes learning fun for children aged 3 to 8. It includes interactive games, activities, lessons and rewards that help children learn early mathematical skills and concepts. You can sign up for your free trial of Mathseeds and Reading Eggs today.

3 Fun Craft Ideas to Celebrate Poetry with Your Kids

poetry craft ideas and activities for kids

Poetry is a wonderful way to get young children enthusiastic about books and reading. Not only is it fun to read, it’s also a great way to boost essential literacy skills, such as phonemic awareness and fluency, while building your child’s vocabulary.

Here are three fun craft ideas to help build your child’s literacy skills and creativity, while fuelling their interest in reading and poetry.

1. Make a ‘Poetree’

This is a lovely craft idea to celebrate poetry in your home. Type up short poems on a computer or typewriter (choose poems that your family loves or collect ones that your child has written) and print them onto white sheets of paper.

Prepare your ‘Poetree’ by using small tree limbs tied together with twine and secured in a sand-filled pot, or use an actual tree in your backyard. You could even help your child cut out tree limbs using a large sheet of construction paper, and hang it on a wall.

To make the leaves, gather blank stationary cards, glue, safety scissors, a hole-punch, and ribbon. Help your child to cut out each poem and glue it onto a stationary card. Then help them to draw and decorate a leaf on the back of each card using pencils, crayons, paints, or scrapbook paper.

Punch a hole at the top of each card and secure the poems onto the branches using pieces of ribbon. Over time, your child can continue reading and adding new poetry leaves onto their tree.

 2. Make a shape poem

Shape poems are a fun and creative way to help your child write their first poems. These poems describe a particular object, and are written in the shape of that object (e.g. a poem about the moon may be shaped as a crescent or a circle).

To create a shape poem, you need to prepare a pen or pencil, safety scissors, markers or crayons (for decorating), and some construction paper or card stock.

To begin the poem, help your child think of a shape. Some good options include a heart, a football, a rainbow, a caterpillar, a star, a raindrop, or a kite or balloon with string. Good suggestions for beginners could also include animals, types of food, or musical instruments.

Next, encourage your child think of five to ten ways to describe their shape using words, phrases, or things that remind them of the shape. Outline the shape on a piece of construction paper or card stock and begin writing those words into the shape. Then help your child cut around the shape and decorate it.

3. Poem Petals

This is a great activity which is ideal for beginners, and helps young children to build early writing skills. All you need for this activity is an assortment of pencils or paints and a white sheet of paper. Help your child draw a flower (fill up the entire space of your page), and include five large petals, large enough to write two to three words into.

Help your child brainstorm words or phrases which describe flowers, springtime, gardens, or nature. You can even sit outside with a notebook and pencil and scribble down things you see for inspiration. Experiment with a range of literary devices, such as alliteration (e.g. red roses, green grass, purple pansies), similes (e.g. hot like the sun, sweet like ice cream, pink as candy), and sound words, or onomatopoeias (e.g. buzzing bees, gurgling water, swooshing leaves, chirping birds).

Once you’re finished, help your child write the descriptive words or phrases into each petal and then decorate their flower.

Reading Eggs teaches early literacy skills for children aged 3 to 13 using interactive games, bright animations and one-on-one lessons that they complete at their own pace. Your child can write their own stories and read over 2000 online books, including poetry and classic children’s titles. Register today for your FREE trial of Reading Eggs here.