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Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

Holiday Traveling Games for Learning... and Family Sanity!

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Are you traveling with young children this holiday weekend? If so, here are some easy reading and math games that will keep your children entertained, while reinforcing skills.

  • "Rhyme Time"

    An adult says four words, three that rhyme and one that does not. (For example cat, towel, hat, and mat) Then ask: "Which one doesn’t rhyme?" Help your child say the word that doesn’t rhyme, if they are having difficulty.

    A variation of the game is to say two rhyming words and have your child add a third.

  • "Guess What’s in the Bag"
    Have your child bring some little, favorite objects in a small paper bag. While riding have your child choose one of the objects, without letting you see what he has chosen. Have him use "describing" words to give you clues until you guess the object.


    A variation is to play "I Spy." For example, I spy a small, flying insect that stings...What is it?

  • "The License Plate Game"
    Look for the numbers 1 through 9. When you see a 1 shout "One!" Then shout "Two" when number 2 is spotted, all the way to number 9.


    A variation would be look for numbers on license plates that match numbers in your address, phone number or ages of people in your family.

  • "Spot the Shape"
    While on the road, hunt for squares, rectangles, circles and triangle. Spot them on trucks, signs, buildings, and billboards.


    Simple activities like these can help make a long drive go smoother...at least for a little while!

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Do you allow your children to watch TV or play on the computer before doing their homework?