FREE Cursive Handwriting Worksheets

Disclosure AffiliateFREE Cursive Handwriting Worksheets

With Computers, phones and all the rest of the technology of today, it seems that Cursive has sort of taken a back seat for kids. Our kids are going into 6th grade this year.  The only time I saw cursive being taught was in 3rd grade.  They learned how to write all the letters in cursive.  Now almost three years later, I rarely see them use it except for a signature.

I remember it was also in 3rd grade that I learned how to write in cursive.  I think it is a beautiful way of writing.  I am on the fence for how long it should be taught in schools, but I believe at a minimum, the cursive alphabet should be taught to each child.  I liken it to learning how to drive a manual stick shift vehicle, when learning to drive.  We may not have to drive one very often or ever, but we should still know to do it.  Yes an automatic vehicle is much more common, but you would hate to get into a vehicle at some point in your life as an adult and not know how to move it, help someone or be able to get to your destination. Cursive is the same way, there might be a time in life where we have to read something written in cursive. Or perhaps we might want to stand out a bit when sending something to someone and cursive could very well be the way to do it, such as sending a thank you card after a job interview.

The Argument to Teach Cursive

Some parents and educators want cursive handwriting to be included in students’ lessons. Here’s what they said about that:

  • How will they ever be able to read historical documents such as the constitution, etc if they don’t learn to read and write in cursive? -Sara J.
  • I don’t think it has been taught in our school for at least the last 10 to 15 years. Cursive writing will become a lost art in America. I think it should still be taught. -Claudia A.
  • Yes! It’s part of my children’s 2nd grade homeschool curriculum. They just started doing it, and they are so excited about it. :) -Angela M.

Cursive - Educents Blog

Download FREE cursive handwriting worksheets on Educents!

The Argument Not to Teach Cursive

Some say cursive is no longer an essential lesson to teach kids, here’s their reasonings for that:

  • No, it’s not relevant anymore. Learn typing instead. -Robert C.
  • Honestly, it’s no longer important. Teach them to sign their name; then teach them to convey their thoughts, and be persuasive, via oral and written communications. Why would we want to spend valuable school time, beyond a day or two, teaching someone to sign their name in cursive? Why don’t we spend time teaching calculations via abacus or slide rules? -Gary F.
  • I can read Shakespeare, Mark Twain and the Bible among other things all without ever needing cursive. Just don’t get the hype. -Mike E.

Handwriting Resources for Kids

Are you an educator or parent who wants to spend time teaching your kids how to write in cursive? If so, these resources from Educents will make it a lot more easy and FUN to learn cursive. Super Cursive Freebie - Educents Blog

Web Learning Resources for Kids

Online learning is becoming even more important for the next generations. Educents also has affordable resources that helps children develop their typing and coding skills.

Writing Programs - Educents Blog

  • Learn to Mod with Minecraft – Did you know kids can learn how to code by modifying (or “modding”) Minecraft®? Kids learn how to code in Java® and apply it to Minecraft® themed problems!
  • The WriteWell App – A simple and intuitive web-based tool that makes writing fun and effective. With its unique visual and tactile interface and library of interactive essay templates, WriteWell is a convenient tool for teachers and students at home or in the classroom.
  • Handwriting Worksheet Wizard – StartWrite helps teachers, homeschoolers, and parents create handwriting lessons quickly and easily. This program saves hours in lesson preparation time, yet allows you to easily create fun, meaningful worksheet to teach handwriting.

What do you think? How much time should schools spend teaching cursive to kids these days?  

Shop Gymboree’s Labor Day Sale & Score 40% Off Everything + Up to 70% Off Clearance!

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The Gymboree Labor Day Sale is happening now through September 7th with lots of savings to be had.  Take 40% off EVERYTHING at Gymboree.com, and up to 70% off clearance items!  This is a great time to get more school clothes, Christmas gifts, or even buy some inexpensive play clothes from the clearance section.

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If your kids still need an outfit for Halloween, the Gymboree Halloween Shop is on sale for 40% off!  Prices start as low as $3.60 after discount for really cute Halloween socks, and there are good deals on really adorable costumes.

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The clearance section is one of my favorite places to get basics, pajamas, play clothes, or clothes that kids are too little for right now that they could possibly grow into next year.  Prices start as low as $5.99, or as low as $1.79 after discount for socks.  Shop the Gymboree Labor Day Sale now!

CLIF Kid Zbar Protein Back-to-School Reader Giveaway

Sample DisclosureZbar Protein 3 Flavor fan

With back-to-school looming in the near future (or for many started already) it’s time to think of easy and nutritious lunchbox options, as well as simple grab-and-go alternatives to power the kids as they race from one extracurricular activity to the next.

When considering options, do you consider protein? If so, check out CLIF Kid Zbar Protein. Ideal for lunchboxes, after-school or post-practice snacks, Zbar Protein contributes to kids’ daily intake of protein (5g), which is important for growth. And, made with organic whole grains, Zbar Protein offers necessary nutrients that are essential for growing kids but are often lacking in their diets – it is an excellent source of calcium and a good source of fiber, iron, zinc and vitamin D.

CLIF Kid Zbar

Zbar Protein balances portions of protein, carbohydrates, fiber and fat to keep kids satisfied throughout the schoolday and when you’re all running around from place to place. They’re also quite yummy in varieties including Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Chocolate and Chocolate Mint.

CLIF Kid Zbar Protein

Reader Giveaway: One lucky Jinxy Kids reader will win a box of each flavor of CLIF Kid Zbar Protein. To enter, just complete the entry form below by 11:59pm ET on 9/21/15. Good luck!

CLIF Kid Zbar Protein

The Importance Of Encouraging Kids To Play

Disclosure CompensationGenius-of-play

I grew up on a farm, but am now raising two kids in the suburbs. We are close enough to the city to experience many cultural things, and yet still within biking distance of a corn field or a park to wander through the woods.  My parents still have the farm, but the barn is not full of cows anymore.

I had a childhood that is rare these days – A childhood where I played for hours out in the woods building forts and getting dirty, or building things with my dad’s tools.  It seems life has sped up a bit and people are rushing here and there.  There has been a huge decline in unstructured play time. There are screens everywhere we look, even fast food places have several TVs.  It’s like we can’t quite escape the need for screens in our lives.

Genius of Play

When we had kids I was determined to let our kids play and to experience life, perhaps at a slower pace than most kids.  Sure we have a TV, but only one in our house… I can almost hear the gasp from all of you.  Also the TV is in our basement and not on our main level.  No TVs in the bedrooms either.  Our kids have access to iPads, but their time on them is limited as is the TV time. During the school year there is no TV during the week.  We have really encouraged our kids to have independent play time and to be creative.

If you’re not good at coming up with ideas, there are great resources to give you play ideas and tips. Encourage your kids to play. Playing gives them an amazing imagination, as well as independence, and a sense of adventure. The benefits of play are endless.

genuis of play pledge

I hope you will all take the time to join families across the country in  “Taking the Play Pledge”. Urge your children to play and make the extra effort for play time – for kids of all ages!

August Book Roundup + Reader Giveaway

Disclosure AffiliateJinxy Kids August Book Roundup

Are you looking for some new books for the kids to read?  Although summer is coming to an end, there is still lots of time for reading! We’ve put together a list of some of the best kids books for August 2015!

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#1 – Mommy Loves Baby by Troy Muilenburg (Author), Andrea Dickkut (Illustrator), $7.99

The baby board book Mommy Loves Baby presents an easy way of sharing a beautiful time with little ones. Author Troy Muilenburg has created a lullaby that sets the mood to comfort and strengthen the bond. These simple, flowing words can be spoken or can be put to music on the page. With lively animal illustrations, this interactive opportunity engages adults and children together. This sturdy board book is easy for little hands to hold while flipping through the artful vibrant animal family pages. Andrea Dickkut, the talented illustrator has amazingly captured the animals showing love and affection in their natural habitat. Together the author and illustrator demonstrate how animals, like humans show affection toward one another. The addition of 9 black and white sketches and 9 finished colored pictures are displayed at the end of the book to build cognitive skills.

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#2 – Night Buddies Go Sky High by Sands Hetherington, $6.52

Kids will be looking for UFO’s everywhere with this wonderful, exciting adventure tale filled with suspense, laughter, and fun so good they’ll happily go to bed with their flashlights underneath the bed covers, giggling with delight. Night Buddies Go Sky High revolves around the nighttime adventures of a young boy named John, who is not ready to go to sleep, and a bright red crocodile named Crosley who turns up under John’s bed each night. With an imaginary language unto their own and a unique set of technological gizmo’s this unlikely pair sneaks out of John’s house using Crosley’s I-ain’t-here doodad, which makes them invisible to John’s parents. In Night Buddies Go Sky High, John and his red crocodile buddy, Crosley, show up at the Pineapple Cheesecake Factory. They find Big Foot Mae lying on the floor, staring up at her Great Star Puzzle on the ceiling. Of course, they expect something’s afoot. Crosley only wants a new supply of pineapple cheesecakes, but what Mae points to on her ceiling will start the Night Buddies on a totally new fantasy adventure.

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#3 – Castle in Danger by Karen Rita Rautenberg, $7.99

Castle in Danger by retired NYC teacher Karen Rita Rautenberg is a richly evocative historical fiction novel set in the time of the Middle Ages in the 14th Century.  It tells the story of Emma, a very pretty and kind-hearted girl, who lives in a castle with her rich father, Baron Geoffrey. She meets a handsome, young peasant, Thomas, when he saves her from a frightening accident. They become friends and are thrown into many adventures. Thieves try to steal Emma’s and her father Baron Geoffrey’s jewels.  There is mystery and adventure with battles and a siege in her uncle’s castle and a harrowing journey through the forests and countryside searching for Emma’s missing cousin Helen, as well as personal intrigue and friendship involving the main characters. The story weaves jousting tournaments, town fairs, scrumptious feasts, holidays, Christmas and All Hallow’s Eve, and Medieval traditions. Well-crafted and laden with entertainment and learning value, Castle in Danger is intended for children ages nine to twelve.

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#4 – Charlie’s Cream Tea by Victoria Hart, $13.26

Charlie is a very happy-go-lucky crocodile. He decides he would like a cream tea and goes shopping, only to discover the scones come in packs of 10. He buys them along with the cream and jam. On his journey home he meets some of his friends and invites them to join him for tea. A couple of his friends invite a friend of theirs too, which doesn’t go down very well with Charlie. Charlie’s Cream Tea is a happy story that reinforces positive behaviour, numbers, kindness, and sharing with groups of friends.

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#5 – Lights Out!: Helping Your Kids Overcome Their Fear of the Dark by Chad Cramer, $16.13

Lights Out! is packed with real-life examples from the author’s life as well as his children’s, as he challenges the prevalent fear of the dark in a courageous duel. After dealing with this fear for over a decade and then again with his children, Chad determined to help others overcome this fear from the things he learned. If you’ve ever struggled with this fear or your children currently do, then dive in and discover how your children can win through Scripture and the scores of “fearbusters” listed at the end of each chapter. Victory can start immediately, and your children don’t have to wait any longer to enjoy the wonders of the night instead of being afraid of them. They’ll learn to rely on the “God who sees” and the one who created darkness for a reason. Whether your children are in their toddler years or in college, this book delivers the message in an amusing yet strategic way, to help your children trample fear with faith. Sweet dreams and peaceful nights await the courageous child who learns to rest in the shadow of the Almighty!

Reader Giveaway: One lucky Jinxy Kids reader will win a copy of Night Buddies Go Sky High.  To enter, just complete the entry form below by 11:59pm ET on 9/17/15. Good luck!

August Book Round-Up

Volcano Science Experiment for Kids + Fun Volcano Facts

Disclosure AffiliateVolcano Science Experiment for Kids - Educents Blog

Volcanos are fascinating! There is no wonder there are so many movies that feature volcano explosions. It’s also a little freaky that something that causes such extreme damage can also be so beautiful. That might be the reason they are so intriguing for kids too. There is a lot to learn about volcanos and kids can even get some hands-on learning experience recreating a volcanic eruption using household chemicals.

Volcano Facts for Kids

Before you jump into the volcano science experiment, share these interesting facts about volcanos with your little learners:

  • There are about 1,900 active volcanoes on the earth. This means they have erupted recently or they might erupt. Some volcanoes are extinct. Over 80 volcanoes have been found in the ocean.
  • Most volcanoes happen on fault lines, or cracks in the Earth’s surface.
  • Most of the earth’s volcanoes are in the Pacific Ocean, in an area called the Ring of Fire.
  • The word “volcano” comes from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.
  • Lava from volcanoes can reach temperatures of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Volcanoes spew out ash and toxic gases, as well as lava and lava boulders.

Volcano Science Experiment for Kids

Check out these kids use household chemicals to recreate a volcanic eruption!

Using the Volcano Kit from the video, little scientists are asked to mix chemicals to make the volcano erupt! This will be an experiment that Young Scientists will want to repeat again and again!

Want to get a discount on science experiments for kids? Save 50% on the Magic School Bus Science Kits on Educents! Offer ends 8/26.

Magic School Bus Science Kits

Get an exciting new Magic School Bus Science Kit delivered to your doorstep every month for a YEAR! These science experiments for kids include hands-on experiments with magnets, water, bacteria, fungus, lights, rainbows, and more!
Educents has the award-winning Science Kit subscription for 50% off (Get free shipping within the U.S. and $2/kit shipping to Canada)!

Want to get a discount on science experiments for kids? Save 50% on the Magic School Bus Science Kits on Educents! Offer ends 8/26.

Protect your Kids with Puffs this School Year + Reader Giveaway

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Kids everywhere are heading back to school and many of them have been given a back-to-school list of supplies that they need to bring to help stock their classrooms.  One of the most requested items by every teacher in schools across the land are Puffs.  Puffs are a great way to prevent the spread of germs during cold and flu season, plus they can help dry those crying eyes of the homesick kids their first few days away from home.  Cute packaging makes Puffs a great brand because kids can show off their personality and sense of style while staying germ-free!

Don’t trust your little ones’ noses with just any brand of tissues.  Puffs Basic and Puffs SoftPacks are the two key phrases you need to look for on packaging this back to school season.  Puffs Basic Facial Tissue is 50% stronger than most brands but without the tough feeling.  These soft tissues are dermatologist tested to be gentle on sensitive skin, plus they come in a variety of fun and fashionable boxes.

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Puffs SoftPacks are a travel-friendly and durable package.  Much like a wet wipes container, now you can have the comfort of Puffs wherever you go without having to tote around a standard tissue box.  Keep a pack in your purse, in your glove box, in your child’s desk, in their locker, in your diaper bag, and more.  This soft tissues will leave your face feeling great while taking care of your sniffles, your tears, or even makeup touch-ups.  Where do you plan on keeping a package?

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Characters always make things more fun, and Puffs are no exception. And what characters are more fun than Minions?!?! Puffs has partnered with Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart to feature specialty Minions packaging (available in-store for a limited time). These are so cute and are perfect for back to school.  They’re always ready for touch-ups, pick-me-ups and life’s little mishaps. Puffs is the only national brand dermatologist tested to be gentle.

Coupons: For a limited time, you can print coupons to save on Puffs and Puffs SoftPack!

Reader Giveaway: One lucky Jinxy Kids reader will win a Puffs prize pack including a box of Puffs Basic, a Puffs SoftPack, and a box of Puffs in the Minion packaging! To enter, just complete the entry form below by 11:59pm ET on 9/15/15. Good luck!

Puffs Back to School Giveaway

Orkin Back-to-School Prize Pack Reader Giveaway

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It’s time for back-to-school and class will soon be (or already is) in session. Orkin is also back with Household Pests 101 – featuring some of Orkin’s scientific knowledge of pests. The Orkin Man is here to help you #LearnWithOrkin so you don’t get schooled by pest problems in your own home.

But Back-To-School doesn’t just mean for the kids. Orkin knows that moms, dads, aunties like me and other caregivers are on the go more than ever and wants to make sure you’re all set when driving the kids to band practice, attending sports games, racing to make it to school on time and just maybe getting a minute for yourself!

Take the Pest Prevention Pop Quiz below to find out if you know how to think like a pest and then enter our reader giveaway!

 

Reader Giveaway: One lucky Jinxy Kids reader will win an Orkin Back-To-School Prize Pack including:

One (1) Silver USB Portable Charger – We know you’re on the go from sun up to sun down and you can’t afford not to be accessible. This emergency charger is small, sleek and can help your phone keep up with your busy lifestyle!

One (1) Double Wall Stainless Steel Travel Mug w/ lid – Your car isn’t the only thing that needs fueling up in the morning … this stainless steel travel mug is a great way to ensure your morning coffee is always within arm’s reach.

One (1) Orkin “Protect Your Home” PDF Checklist – This handy checklist from the experts at Orkin will help you think like a pest in order to help protect your home from pests.

To enter, just complete the entry form below by 11:59pm on 9/14/15. Good luck!

Each household is only eligible to win Back to School Prize Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Orkin Back to School

Printable Word Girl Word Scramble Puzzle

Printable Word Girl Word Scramble Puzzle

How about a little pre-back-to-school fun? Your kids can grow their vocabulary and get ready for an A+ school year with a little help from wordsmithing superhero WordGirl, star of the Emmy Award-winning animated TV series from Scholastic Media! Discover some of the vocabulary words presented in the show by unscrambling the letters in this Printable Word Girl Word Scramble Puzzle. And don’t forget to tune in to PBS KIDS (check local listings) to catch the newest episodes of WordGirl® and boost your own word-power!

Free Fun Family Activities this Weekend

Fun, Free and Cheap Activities for the Weekend

It’s here! It’s the weekend! If you are looking for something fun to do this weekend withou having to spend a lot of money,  fun on a budget, we have a great list from More With Less Today featuring national retailers with hands-on workshops, classes and free in-store events for this weekend and many more that are coming soon.

 

Share this fun,money-saving list with your friends and family. And, if you know of any others to include, please let us know! It is always best to call ahead and make sure that your local store or retailer is participating to avoid disappointment.

Hikers on the Cerro Grande Trail at Bandelier National Monument. NPS photo

Hikers on the Cerro Grande Trail at Bandelier National Monument.
NPS photo

Free National Park Entrance

August 25th – National Park Service Birthday

Find out the list of participating parks (over 405 of them) right here.

american-girl-store-events-125x150 American Girl Special Store Events

Special events differ by location. During August, they include Grace’s Apron Craft & Cookie Decoration, Discover Truly Me Event, Doll ‘Dos & How-Tos: Bright Highlights, Meal & Memories with a Grandparent and more.

Many of the American Girl in store events are free, however some have a fee and some have age restrictions. Get the details here and find participating stores. Call ahead and make sure that your local store or retailer is participating to avoid disappointment.

Crayons-Came-Home-2Barnes & Noble

Saturday, August 22nd at 11:00 AM

Storytime and activities featuring The Day the Crayons Came Home

Find the times and participating Barnes and Noble stores here.

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