5 Tips to Help Manage Back to School Anxiety

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While some kids can’t wait to start school, others are dreading the first day. Feeling anxious or nervous about the new and unknown is totally normal, particularly for first-time students or those starting a new school. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to help calm your child’s concerns and get them geared up for the first day of school.

1. Talk It Through – Depending on your child’s age, they could be worried about anything from being away from you and coping with mean teachers to finding friends and fitting in. Encourage your kiddo to articulate their fears so that you can discuss each one. Go beyond simple reassurance and role play ways they might respond to and overcome some of their biggest worries. Then shift gears and help your kiddo see some of the positives about school, like making new friends, learning new things, playing, creating music and art, and so much more.

2. Visit the School – In addition to participating in your school’s open house, where your child can tour the classrooms and meet his teachers, take a walk around the school together a day or two before classes start. A real-life run through of the first day goes a long way toward eliminating the unknown. Walk or drive the route your child will take to school, take a peek through the classroom windows, and find the bathrooms, lunch tables, and drinking fountains. Walk to the spot where your child will be picked up from school and talk about who will be there waiting for him. Eliminate as much of the unknown as possible.

3. Set the Scene for Success – Nothing causes stress like rushing, so be sure you leave plenty of time to get ready on the first days of school. Pack your child’s bag and pick out an outfit the night before. Roll back bedtimes and wake times so that your child is well-rested for the first day of school. Leave plenty of time for a calm, quiet, nourishing breakfast together. Then, check off everything your child needs, out loud, before you head out.

4. Stay Calm – Kids pick up on adults’ emotions, so be sure to keep yours in check. Keep your concerns and worries to yourself and focus on the positives. Know that your child is in safe and capable hands and exude excitement and joy about this important milestone in your child’s life.

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Most likely, your child is likely going to love going to school. They’ll have a chance to develop social skills and make new friends, acquire the knowledge needed to grow and thrive, learn to manage successes and failures, and take the first steps toward independence. With a little preparation and a lot of reassurance, you can help make back to school an exciting time for all.

Something Fun For Summer Smarties

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Prep your kids for school with our FREE, weekly summer worksheets! With plenty of learning to last all summer, we’ll work on shapes, colors, letters, numbers, and so much more. Start the school year right, with a little help from EI! And, if your kiddo loves these pages, check out our complete line of Hot Dots Jr. card sets for an interactive way to encourage little learners.

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Worksheet 9: Numbers & Counting — Download here

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Worksheet 8: Practice L Blends & Practice Short and Long Vowels — Download here

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Worksheet 7: Practice S Blends & Make a Word Slide — Download here

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Worksheet 6: Practice R Blends & Review Digraphs — Download here

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Worksheet 5: Read Short Vowel Phrases & Practice Word Families — Download here

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Worksheet 4: Practice Digraphs & Long Vowel Phrases — Download here

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Worksheet 3: Beginning Consonants — Download here

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Worksheet 2: Long Vowels + Long Vowel Words — Download here

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Worksheet 1: Short Vowel + Soft C and Soft G — Download here

Summer Savings at Toys”R”Us

Give your kids a head start on school success with Hot Dots® and Math Slam™ both on sale now at Toys”R”Us! Enjoy this coupon and take $5 off any item from  Educational Insights or Learning Resources, offer expires 8/31/17. Find a Toys”R”Us near you here!

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Toys (and Games!) to Make Your Kids’ Summers Sizzle

Nothing makes summer sizzle like brand new toys and games and we’ve got the hottest lot around! We’ve hand-picked a few of our faves to help your family turn lazy summer days dinto unforgettable adventures.

Toys for Little Kids

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Kids can collect all kinds of critters in the GeoSafari® Jr. Critter Habitat! This watertight, wet/dry habitat features a locking lid with air holes, rotating feeder, and magnification spots to study finds up close. Better here than in your purse, right?

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Your Pete the Cat® loving preschooler will go bonkers for the Pete the Cat® Playfoam® Set! Including 8 fun colors of squishy, squashy Playfoam, a Pete the Cat mold, a skateboard with rolling wheels, cardboard accessories and a Pete the Cat playset backdrop, it’s arts and crafts meets pretend play with maximum fun, minimum mess (Playfoam won’t stick to carpet or clothing).

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Take a moment to rest your eyes as your preschooler assembles and decorates his very own Design & Drill® Robot – all. by. himself. Kids snap on the arms, use the included kid-friendly screwdriver to attach multicolored bolts, decorate with stickers, then… play! Unscrew the bolts and remove the parts and start all over again.

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Replace recess with Magic Moves® and keep kids active all summer! With 90 fun, physical commands, 26 musical tunes, and flashing lights, Magic Moves gets kids up off the couch (or the floor or under the table or who knows where) and moving.

Toys for Big Kids

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Curious kids can take a closer look at nature with the GeoSafari® Handy Microscope. This portable, easy-to-use scope features 40x magnification, built-in collection vial, and belt clip. Good for hours of outdoor investigation (cut to you, reading a mag on the patio).

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Take advantage of the summer sun to power the GeoSafari® Solar Rover! Kids use their hands to block the sun and control a real solar vehicle. Set includes cones for obstacle course challenges.

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While the summer days away with the Nancy B’s Science Club™ Binoculars & Wildlife Activity Journal! These sturdy binocs come with 4x magnification for up close views of nature and a 22-page activity journal is packed with writing, drawing, and science activities. If she loves it, there’s a full line of Nancy B’s Science Club tools and activities to keep her engaged all summer!

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When the sun goes down, the fun comes up, with the GeoSafari® Night Explorer. Check out nighttime nature and discover nocturnal creatures in the dark using this red-light flashlight perfect for secret summer missions.

Toys to Take on Vacation

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Keep little kids busy in the car, on the plane, or on the train with Kanoodle® Jr., a perfectly portable, solo-play, puzzle game. All pieces fit easily into the case and with 60 kid-friendly puzzles to complete, hands – and minds – will be occupied. (Older kids might appreciate their own, pocket-sized Kanoodle, Kanoodle Genius, or Kanoodle Extreme.)

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Outdoor explorers can stay in touch with each other – and with you – with the GeoSafari® Jr. Walkie Talkies! With a range of 300 feet/90 meters, this set of 2 speakerphone-style units is perfect for communicating on camping trips, hikes, and backyard bonanzas.

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Unplug your next road trip with Travel Blurt!® This handy, portable version of best-selling Blurt includes 450 definition clues and a magnetic scoreboard perfect for tracking your family’s boisterously bellowed guesses.

Fun for the Whole Family

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Ready? Set? SMASH! Players choose a challenge card, set up their trajectory, then launch their balls in to the target to win Smash Pong!™ Perfect for filling those after-dinner hours, family barbecues, and more.

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Make this the summer of the stars with a GeoSafari® Omega Refractor Telescope! This powerful, 700 mm refractor scope includes 30x, 60x, 120x, and 200x magnifications so you can explore the universe with one eye tied behind your back.

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Ride the tide to big time summer fun with Surfside Scramble™ Word Game! Players race to line up their letter flops to make as many words as they can, scoring points for the longest word or most words; paddle in last and get wiped out!