Ready For School Superheroes: Optical Illusion Metric Worksheet


Nancy Balter is our math and science product developer here at Educational Insights. Not only is she brilliant in developing educational toys and games in her area of expertise, but she was also a teacher for 11 years! Today she has graciously shared with us a very helpful worksheet to help your kids learn their metric system.

A word from Nancy:
This fun worksheet helps students learn the Metric System. The Optical Illusions worksheet has students using a ruler to practice measuring in metric (using centimeters and millimeters).  Kids love optical illusions so it’s fun to do.

We hope you enjoy them!

Download Ready for School Superheroes: Optical Illusion Metric Worksheet here

Optical Illusion Metric Worksheet

Stick It! Simple Ways to Encourage Your Kids Best Efforts

We All Need a Little Motivation…

A sincere compliment, a kind word, a pat on the back… a little bit goes a long way toward motivating grown-ups. The same is true of kids! Everyone likes to be acknowledged (and rewarded!) for their hard work and contributions. Whether your kids are acing their homework, showing real improvement on that big test, or trying their hardest to tackle a challenging new concept, the final installment of our ABC’s of Back to School series features three easy incentives to—“C” celebrate— and reward kids’ academic efforts and achievements all year long.

  1. Stickers and Stamps – Who doesn’t love stickers? A silly sticker or positive stamped message means a lot to kids. Check your local big box store, teacher’s supply, or dollar store for some fun stickers and stamps.  And don’t forget to share our Facebook post for your chance to win one of our Positive Reinforcement Stamp sets with a new stamp pad!
    Share and Win
  1. Points System – Institute a points system and post it at your designated homework spot. Offer points for whatever you want to encourage – best handwriting, completed homework, improved test scores – and track them toward goals you and your child set together. Your child’s points might earn him a trip to the ice cream shop or movies, a special toy like our Design & Drill® BrightWorks™, or an end-of-year day at the amusement park!Reward Chart
  1. Cold, Hard, Cash – By second or third grade, your child may become especially motivated by money they can spend any way they choose. Work together to set up clear expectations and exact amounts earned when those expectations are met. This is also a great lesson in financial responsibility and literacy.


Preschool and Kindergarten Milestones

Growing Up! 3 to 5 Milestones

Growing Up! What to Expect in the Early Years

Your little one’s brain is growing at an incredible rate in these early years – it’s no wonder she’s so active and inquisitive! In fact, a toddler’s brain is twice as active as an adult’s—forming 700 neurons per second in the first five years of life. All this growth and development enables young kids to do some pretty amazing things! Read on for some of the marvelous milestones to look forward to in the coming years. (Important caveat: every child is unique.  If your kiddo is behind on any of the milestones in our infographic below, it doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong —he or she simply may be developing at a different rate!)

Your Theatrical Three-Year-Old

Three-year-olds are natural explorers, using all of their senses to get a grasp on the world.And with a vocabulary of 900-1000 words, they’ve got plenty to say about it, too! Our infographic highlights some of the wonderful discoveries your three-year-old will make this year.

Your Fact-Finding Four-Year-Old

Watch out! Four-year-olds are curious, creative, confident, and opinionated! You’ll be hearing quite a bit of “I can do it” and “Let me help,” this year. With kindergarten on the horizon, it’s helpful to encourage arts and crafts, math, and reading—you can also help increase your child’s growing vocabulary by simply talking together about anything and everything. Check out just a few of the learning milestones you can expect your four-year-old to achieve in our infographic.

Your Curious 5-Year-Old Kindergartener

Kindergarteners delight in creative problem solving. They also tend to be more social, and they’re not afraid to speak up. In fact, they know more than 2,000 words and they’re not afraid to use them! Discovering the ability to make and vocalize their choices will both delight and empower them.Find out what else these super-smarties can do in our infographic.

Be on the lookout for next month’s post outlining key milestones for bigger kids, ages 6-8!

Preschool and Kindergarten Milestones

ABC’s of Back to School 5 Fun Tips for Getting Kids (and Parents!) Emotionally Ready for School

Are your ready?

Welcome to EI’s ABC’s of Back to School, a blog series designed to help little ones – and their parents! – make the most of back to school time!

Our A— “Are You Ready?”— is all about emotional readiness. Whether it’s your little one’s very first day of school or your older kids are transitioning from lazy summer days back to structured school days, change can be difficult, and can sometimes cause anxiety in children.

In the hustle and bustle of back to school shopping, planning for packed lunches (check out our great ideas on Pinterest!), and sorting of school supplies, preparing emotionally for school sometimes gets lost, but it’s a crucial part of back-to-school prep. Try our five fun tips for getting your kids ready emotionally for school—guaranteed to gear everyone up for a great first day.

  1. Get Some Shut Eye!Don’t underestimate the importance that being well-rested plays in emotional readiness. Starting two weeks before the first day of school, gradually roll back your child’s bedtime, remembering that most young children need between 10 and 12 hours of sleep nightly. As you roll back bedtime, also roll back the time you’re waking your kids in the morning until you reach your ideal school day wake up time. Turning off electronics several hours before bedtime and offering calming activities like arts and crafts – try some squishy, squashy, shaping fun with Playfoam® – makes the transition to bedtime easier.


  1. Talk It Over! Starting a few weeks before school begins, talk up the fun things your child will be doing at school. From arts & crafts to story time, recess to new friends, there’s a lot to love about school! Try acting out a typical school day with your child – use one of our playful Puppet-on-a-Stick puppets as the teacher and you’re sure to get some smiles. For some kids, having information prior to a new event helps them process; for others, it stresses them out. Consider the amount of information your child is comfortable with and adjust the conversation accordingly. Some kids will take comfort in understanding the exact flow of the day – others might do better with the highlights.

Pete the Cat Puppet on a Stick

  1. Take a Walk – If your child’s school offers an orientation, go. A clear picture of the campus and classroom goes a long way to calm first day jitters, as does meeting the teacher and soon-to-be-friends. If there’s no orientation, take a stroll through the school together a few days before school starts. Locate the classroom, bathrooms, and drinking fountains and check out the playground. Discuss how your child will get to school in the morning and how he or she will get home in the afternoon. Answer any and all questions your child has.
  1. Make the Mornings Meaningful! Starting a few days before school, begin practicing your morning routine, from waking up to actually getting out the door. Leave enough time to make the mornings calm and relaxed, not a stressful scramble. Preparing as much as possible the night before is a big help – have your kids help you get backpacks loaded, lunches made, water bottles filled, and clothing selected. Make sure your child has a nutritious breakfast before getting dressed, brushing teeth and hair, and gathering her things.
  1. Goodbye Routine! It’s easy to get caught up chatting with other parents, but a solid, focused, goodbye routine is the foundation of a great day at any age. Come up with something special for your child and stay consistent – plant a kiss in his palm to hold all day long, see you later alligator/after a while crocodile, a kiss and a hug and squeeze you like a bug… Whatever you choose, do it with conviction, make eye contact, and tell your child you love them and that you know they’re going to have a great day.

Raising Money for a Dog-Gone Great Charity!

In July, EI’s fundraising efforts went to the dogs… literally! Kent Brings, our VP of Sales, selected Freedom Service Dogs of America to receive last month’s Change It Up team donations.

kentfreedomservicedogsFreedom Service Dogs is a nonprofit organization that betters the lives of children, veterans, active duty soldiers, and adults with disabilities by pairing them with custom-trained service dogs, free of charge. The organization rescues dogs from shelters and trains them to open doors, pick things up, pull wheelchairs, get help, turn on lights, and follow more than 50 other helpful commands, and also provides support for the dog’s lifetime.

In addition to servicing those with autism, traumatic brain injuries, Cerebral Palsy, spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and post-traumatic stress disorder, Freedom Service Dogs of America also participates in programs for humane education, disabilities awareness, at-risk youth, and rehabilitation therapy.

To learn more about Freedom Service Dogs of America or to make a contribution, visit