Let Them Know You Love Them Even When You’re Not There!

Keep the Valentines love going all month long with these adorable, downloadable, lunchbox love notes! From sweet to silly, they’re a simple way to show you care and remind your children that you’re thinking of them even when you’re not there. Just print, cut, and drop into your child’s lunchbox!

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What are the little things you do each day to let your family know you love them? Let us know in the comments below!

Valentines Fun You Can Count On Free Downloadable Preschool Worksheets

How do I love thee? Let me count the… candy hearts! Print our FREE, Valentines-themed worksheets for some sweet preschool fun you can count on! From sorting and matching to counting and coloring, our worksheets are designed so little ones can practice key foundational skills critical for future academic success. (But kids just think they’re fun!) So go ahead, print them out for your students (or your kids!)and give a little Valentine’s love (and learning!) this week!

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What’s your favorite way to sneak some learning into the holidays? Share your tips and tricks with your fellow teachers and parents in the comments below!

Spread the Love! Free Printable Valentines

‘Tis the season of love and a great time to teach your kids how to show their love for their friends! Our free, downloadable Valentines are perfect for passing out to classmates, cousins, neighbors, and anyone else your child values. Simply choose from the color-your-own or pre-colored cards below, each featuring a favorite EI friend. Then print, copy, cut, and sign. It’s that simple!


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What’s your favorite family Valentine’s tradition? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to share your kids’ colored creations on our Facebook page with hashtag #EILove.

Five Fun Careers for Curious Kids

Kids do some curious things—mostly because they’re, well, curious! From following pets around the house to bashing pots and pans together, kids are exploring and discovering the worlds around them, and they’re all drawn to different things. Read on to find out what your kiddo’s specific curiosity might mean for his or her future and the unique career options that may await!


Kristen Kline, Associate Veterinarian

Is your kiddo curious about pets? Most kids love anything furry and four-legged, but if your little one’s appreciation for pets goes beyond a passing interest, he or she might be inspired by the wonderful world of veterinary medicine!

Florida-based vet Kristen Kline admits to being a curious kid (she’s still a curious adult!) and that curiosity serves her well at work. She’s treated everything from a Bactrian camel and an elephant, to dogs and cats, and sometimes the diagnoses are not straightforward. In those cases, Kristen sets her curious mind in motion to research possible problems and solutions. Her everyday responsibilities include seeing appointments, reviewing medical records and lab results, and prescribing treatments and medications, but she’s also had some spectacularly exciting moments in her career. She’ s even performed CPR to successfully revive a dog in complete cardiac arrest. Talk about job satisfaction!


Kimo Morris, Marine Biologist

Got a beach baby? He or she may be harboring an interest in marine biology, like Marine biologist Kimo Morris! Kimo spends many of his workdays scuba diving. From the frigid waters of Iceland to the tropical depths of Tahiti, Kimo has explored the oceans around the world! Part of his job is describing the amazing sights he sees to others and trying to understand why animals prefer certain habitats over others in the ocean.

Kimo is also an associate professor of biology at Santa Ana College and an environmental consultant, and says curiosity plays an important role in all of his work. He encourages his college students to ask good questions to help them grow and learn and finds that curious scientists are able to think more creatively. Kimo himself has been curious about the ocean ever since his first SCUBA outing with his father at the age of 14.


Nina Schau, Professional Facepainter

If your kiddo loves to color and draw, perhaps he or she is headed for a career in the arts! Artist Nina Schau still remembers what it felt like to layer and blend the colors of her set of 72 colored pencils as a child, and puts some of the same techniques to use as a professional facepainter.

Nina paints faces and bodies at special events and parties, designing custom creations for each of her subjects. She particularly enjoys painting children and adults with special needs, connecting with them, putting them at ease, and designing something special just for them. When she’s not painting, Nina is busy marketing her services, networking with other artists, sending contracts and invoices, and stocking her traveling supply chest of paints. Curiosity keeps Nina creative and she enjoys dissecting the works of other painters to understand the layers, colors, and techniques they use. She advises kids who are interested in becoming face and body artists to study color theory as well as human and animal anatomy, and to do something artistic every day!


Steve Zuckerman, Mega Musician and More

If your little one loves banging and bashing pots and pans, don’t despair! He or she could be headed for a career in music! After all, one of Steve Zuckerman’s most memorable projects included dragging a superball (yes, those super-high bouncing balls from the ’80s—many modern orchestrations actually call for the use of these surprisingly musical toys!) across a 15-foot sheet of metal for the crazy, experimental score he created for Disney’s Black Hole trailer. Steve has composed music and songs for countless commercials, TV shows, and movies, including beloved Capital I and Lower Case N of Sesame Street fame.

Composing, orchestrating, writing, directing, producing, sound-designing, and commercial editing are just some of Steve Zuckerman’s many musical responsibilities. Being naturally curious helps Steve keep one step ahead of emerging technology and tools, enabling him to offer his clients the very latest before it becomes mainstream. Steve advises kids to explore all of their interests, to be eclectic and curious, and to jump right in to what they love. And he’s got secret weapon for competing against those who might just be a little bit better than you are—work harder than they do! It’s the ultimate competitive edge.


Mary Jo Reutter, Game Inventor

If your kiddo can’t stop asking questions, you may be looking at a future game inventor! Mary Jo Reutter, the inventor of dozens of best-selling adult and children’s games, is constantly asking herself “what if?” As in, what if we changed the theme, the way the game plays, the size of the parts, etc. Mary Jo’s constant questioning and curiosity leads to fine tuning that ultimately makes her games even better. Ask her what her favorite part about being a game inventor is and she’ ll tell you it’s using her mind in creative ways all day long! Whether it’s coming up with brand new game ideas, fixing a part of a game that’s not working, or considering the graphics for a new game, she loves spending her days solving problems. Mary Jo recommends that kids who want to pursue a career as a game inventor study music, play sports, get artistic, and pursue anything and everything they’re curious about!

6 Kid-Cool Stations for a Super-Successful Career Day

It’s a brave, new world, and the jobs out there prove it! From Chief Google Doodler to Pet Behavior Consultant, there really is a job to suit every unique skill set. Students love career day, so this year, why not shake things up by supplementing your traditional stations with some surprisingly modern choices? Read on for the supplies and info you’ll need for a super-successful and engaging career day stations in your classroom—and don’t forget to ask parents who do these jobs to help man your stations!

Tried-and-True Kid Favorites – Traditional Career Stations



A career for kids who are curious about…science and the human body.

In a nutshell – Doctors and dentists provide medical and dental care to kids and adults, including giving check-ups, prescribing medicine, and treating various medical and dental problems.

Pros and cons – Doctors and dentists get to help people feel better every day and teach people how to take care of themselves and live healthy lives. Developing these skills doesn’t happen overnight! In order to become doctors and dentists, one has to study, and stay in school for a long time.

Props – Doctor’s kit, chair, cot, scrubs, dolls, stuffed animals, plastic skeleton, plastic skull, bandages, wraps, toothbrush, toothpaste, crutches, small flashlight, prescription pad

Activity Ideas – Play the Operation game, dress a doll’s “ wounds” with wraps and bandages, practice proper brushing on a mouth print out or plastic skull, or introduce the basics of CPR.


Police Officer/Firefighter

A career for kids who are curious about…the law and helping others.

In a nutshell – Police officers and firefighters help protect our community from crimes and are there to help us when we’re in danger.

Pros and cons – Police officers and firefighters are trusted, respected members of our communities, but their jobs can be dangerous and they can get hurt doing them.

Props – Police and fire hats, rubber rain coat, blue button up shirt, gloves, vacuum hose, badges, play phones, walkie talkies, whistle, flashlight, clipboard and pencil, steering wheel

Activity Ideas – Learn to dial 9-1-1 and your home phone on a play phone (or download our worksheet here!), make a masking tape intersection and practice crossing with the signals, or introduce fire safety—crouching low and checking door knob temperatures.



A career for kids who are curious about…everything!

In a nutshell – Teachers help students of all ages learn specific things, from the alphabet and phonics to physics and chemistry.

Pros and cons – Teachers take great satisfaction in seeing their students master newskills and concepts, but they must be able to work with all different types of personalities and learning styles.

Props – Mini white boards or chalk boards with white board markers or chalk, pointer, glasses, mug, apple, calculator, books, calendar, map, globe, bell, stickers, stamps and stamp pads, red pen

Activity Ideas – Provide simple matching worksheets that kids can complete and grade (with a red pen, stamps, and stickers, of course!), teach the ABCs and CVC reading with white boards, markers, and magnetic letters, or read books aloud to each other.

Cutting Edge Careers – Modern Day Career Stations


Game or App Programmer

A career for kids who are curious about…technology.

In a nutshell – Programmers write directions in a variety of computer languages that turn designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions a computer or smart phone can follow.

Pros and cons – Bringing written directions to life on screen is exciting and rewarding, but programming can be tedious, too.

Props – Wooden blocks, pitcher, water, tablet with coding games for kids, like the Foos

Activity Ideas – Play coding board games, play coding tablet games, or pair students in coding challenges with one giving and the other receiving step-by-step directions for a simple task, like building a tower of blocks or filling a pitcher with water, to demonstrate the precision and detail needed for programming.



A career for kids who are curious about…art.

In a nutshell – Animators are artists who draw, paint, sculpt, or design images on the computer that can be put together to show illustrated movement in cartoons, movies, and computer games.

Pros and cons – Animators get to create art and use the computer all day long and their work turns into something really cool but there isn’t much room for growth or change in their jobs.

Props – Blank flip books and markers, plastic overlay sheets cut in quarters and printer paper

Activity Ideas – Provide multi-page, stapled “ flip books” and encourage students to draw a slightly changing scene on each page—then flip to animate or have students draw a scene on a piece of printer paper and a character on a plastic overlay and slide the overlay across the scene to see their character “move”.


Organic Farmer

A career for kids who are curious about…science and agriculture.

In a nutshell – Organic farmers raise fruits, vegetables, and meats without the use of man-made pesticides or herbicides.

Pros and cons – Organic farmers are outside all day, tending to their crops and stock, and take pride in producing healthy and safe foods for their communities, but sometimes things that are out of their control can affect their work, like weather, bugs, and diseases.

Props – Shoebox “crates”, plastic fruits and vegetables, plush farm animals, table with checked cloth, pot with dirt and seeds to plant, flannel shirts, plastic gardening tools

Activity Ideas – Plant seeds or bulbs in egg cartons full of dirt, harvest your school’s garden, provide various root vegetables and seeds to explore, have an apple taste test.

And there you have it! Six great center ideas for career day at school—from traditional to cutting-edge. Which career day stations have your students most enjoyed? Share your tips and activity ideas with your fellow educators in the comments below and let us know how career day goes!