ShamROCK the Holiday with Fun St. Patrick’s Day Games

St. Patrick’s Day Game | Create New Adventures for Kids

Irish or not, St. Patrick’s Day can be loads of fun for kids, and, since spring is right around the corner, it’s also a great time to get outside and explore. Check out these good-as-gold St. Patrick’s Day activities and games: follow the after-school schedule or choose the St. Patrick’s Day game your kids will like best!

Go for Gold
A St. Patrick’s Day game such as a scavenger hunt is a great way to burn off that after-school energy! Make a list of everyday objects you’ve hidden around the house or yard and challenge your child to find them. Add a twist by tasking the kids to find “something green” and “something gold”. Be sure to include the proverbial pot of gold (a pasta pot will do in a pinch, and yes, we know that’s a pot of silver) at the end of your search filled with a fun St. Paddy’s Day surprise—a few coins or candies.

Arts & Crafts, Celtic Style
For this St. Patrick’s Day game, search for a shamrock template online, print, and cut out a master. Then let the kids loose with green construction paper, glitter glue, and markers and watch as your home begins to sparkle like the Emerald Isles. Older kids can even make shamrock garlands! Once the shamrocks are dry, use them for shamrock hopscotch or a good old fashioned game of hot lava.

Read All About It
Your local library is a great place to pick up some Irish folk tales or St. Paddy’s day stories. And while that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow may only live in fairytales, your kids will get a kick out of learning how real rainbows form. Take discovery to the next level and create your own rainbows using a prism at home.

Unicorn & Leprechaun Hide & Seek
Turn a traditional game of hide-and-seek green with Rainbow Prancers & leprechauns! Players start by choosing one “Rainbow Prancer” unicorn. (If you’ve got a Rainbow Prancer Puppet-on-a-Stick, be sure to give it to the unicorn player!) The unicorn hides and the rest of your little leprechauns search for him or her. (If your crew created shamrock art, pin one to each player’s shirt to identify them as leprechauns.) As each player finds the unicorn, they quietly join her and become unicorns, too! The St. Patrick’s Day game continues until the last leprechaun joins the herd of unicorns.

Cheers to a St Patrick’s Day full of fun, luck & a little magic!

Funny Pi Day-Inspired Math Activity Cards

Hot Dots® Laugh It Up! Math Vocabulary Cards, Grades 4-6  -  Educational Insights

Enjoy 360 degrees of fun with these hilarious Pi Day-inspired cards from our Hot Dots® Laugh It Up! Math Vocabulary Cards, available here for 1st through 3rd graders and here for 4th through 6th. These cards are a fun way to drill math basics!

Get radical with these eight brain-boosting challenge cards and find out more about Pi Day below!

Hot Dots® Laugh It Up! Math Vocabulary Cards, Grades 1-3  - Educational InsightsDownload the What is the Fraction? card, HERE.

Hot Dots® Laugh It Up! Math Vocabulary Cards, Grades 1-3  - Educational InsightsDownload the What is a Circle card, HERE.

Hot Dots® Laugh It Up! Math Vocabulary Cards, Grades 4-6Download the Find the Circumference card, HERE.

Hot Dots® Laugh It Up! Math Vocabulary Cards, Grades 4-6  - Educational Insights Download the Find the Diameter card, HERE.

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FREE Unicorn Color By Letter Activity Sheet

Unicorn Coloring Pages
We love the beautiful pastel colors of Spring, and wanted each of these shades to SHINE in this fun coloring activity for your little one! Simply download, print, and then guide your child through each color, coded by letter, to create a magical piece of art (or, let imaginations run wild using all colors of the rainbow)! Once complete, you’ll see our lovely unicorn Shine from the Rainbow Prancers Puppet-on-a-Stick™ line. Aren’t unicorns awesome? This coloring activity is also a perfect addition to any Easter basket.

Don’t forget to stop by our Facebook page to share their work of art.

Download your Rainbow Prancer color by letter activity sheet HERE, and stay tuned for even MORE fun spring time activities!

Highlights from the 2015 New York Toy Fair

EI Members at 2015 New York Toy Fair
The Educational Insights team had an amazing time at the 2015 New York Toy Fair! We were lucky enough to take home a few awards, capture the interest of bloggers and press, and even catch a glimpse of Seth Meyers and Grumpy Cat! We met lots of interesting people – inventors, illustrators, entrepreneurs, etc. It was truly lots of fun!

Open-ended play, Maker and Craft Movements, STEM and STEAM, Under the Sea Adventures, Dinosaurs, Outdoor Fun, and Customization and app-powered/cloud-connected toys have all been cited as top toy trends for this year and the coming year. So, how does EI stack up?

OPEN-ENDED PLAY:
One of our most talked about items in the open-ended play category was the Pete the Cat® Puppet-on-a-Stick™. Even Stephanie Oppenheim of Toy Portfolio tweeted about our adorable Pete!

STEM:
nancy b's space.com winner

Booth visitors, Bloggers, and Press alike LOVE the latest products from Nancy B’s Science Club. Space.com even honored the Stir-It-Up Chemistry Lab & Kitchen Experiments Journal as a “Do it Yourself Science” Space Age Award Finalist!

Design and Drill

Our new Design & Drill® sets have dazzled, blossomed, and brightened their way onto the scene. Working Mother Magazine honored Flower Power Studio™ with a “Best in Play” Award and has featured us on their website!

DINOSAURS:
Our newest Dino Construction Company™ sets had our visitors roaring with excitement! These action-packed additions are vehicles with mini dino action figures included. We have Snap the Velociraptor Forklift, Rocko the Styracousaurus Dump Truck, and Helix the Stegosaurus Cement Mixer! Each one promotes imaginative play and storytelling, encourages outdoor exploration and discovery, and develops fine and gross motor skills.

OUTDOOR FUN:
The GeoSafari® Jr. Sneak & Peek Periscope™ and Science Utility Vehicle™ created quite the chatter among the press and bloggers, such as Popsugar.com and WPIX-TV in NYC (CW network) featured Laurie Schacht , The Toy Insider Mom, who sung the praises of our GeoSafari Jr. Sneak & Peek Periscope

And ssshh… just between us: we might have some new products cookin’ in our EI lab that fall under the Under the Sea and Maker/Craft movement categories. Stay tuned!

We had so much fun at Toy Fair, and are already excited about next year’s show!

CHANGE IT UP! Northshore Foundation, Infant Special Care Unit of Evanston Hospital

Shannon donates to Northshore Foundation, Infant Special Care Unit of Evanston Hospital For the month of February, Shannon made it her goal to raise money for the Northshore Foundation, Infant Special Care Unit of Evanston Hospital for Change It Up! An initiative where each month an employee chooses a worthy organization for which to fundraise and collect spare change. Educational Insights matches up to $100 in support of the effort. Read Shannon’s touching life story about why this organization remains close to her heart:

I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Gage, last June. He was born with a rare birth defect and was born six weeks prematurely.

Gage spent the first eight weeks of his life in the Infant Special Care Unit (ISCU) at Evanston Hospital. The ISCU became a second home to my family. The staff took such wonderful care of Gage and all his friends that were in the ISCU. I would not have wanted him to be anywhere else at that very critical time. I spent each day after he was born inside the ISCU by his side. My husband would visit after work, and most days, my older son would come with me to see his little brother. The wonderful staff would teach me how to care for my son and gave me emotional support during that very difficult time. You know how they say that your hair stylist is your therapist? So are the ISCU nurses. Not only were they taking care of sick babies, but they were also there for me to have a shoulder to cry on.

Each year in the United States roughly 500,000 babies are born premature; however, more babies are surviving today because of special facilities like the ISCU at Evanston Hospital. At one time, there can be as many as 35-40 babies in this facility.

Evanston Hospital is one of at least 10 Level III regional prenatal centers in Illinois. It offers specialty care for high-risk mothers and critically ill babies. The center is staffed by a team of neonatologists, a pediatric surgeon, highly trained neonatal nurses, respiratory therapists, and a multidisciplinary team of pharmacists, dieticians, developmental psychologists, physical and occupational therapists and social workers. The ISCU also serves as a referral center for a network of hospitals extending as far north as the Wisconsin border and as far west as Barrington. In 2014, 527 infants were cared for in the Infant Special Care Unit.


My son is nine months old today, and we visit our friends at the ISCU each month when my son has an appointment at the hospital. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience and will always have those nurses and doctors close to my heart; they were all such amazing people. How do you say thank you to someone who cared for your baby every day with the best care EVER?


Visit foundation.northshore.org to find out how you can help Shannon donate to Northshore Foundation, Infant Special Care Unit of Evanston Hospital.