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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.

Family-Friendly Games for School Vacation (that Keep Learning Skills Sharp)

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After the hustle and bustle of the holidays it’s great to relax with some family games that will keep learning skills sharp.  Here are two family-friendly games that are easy and fun to play:

Game 1 “Find the Match”

  • Needed for the game:  Sets of matching objects, such as earrings, shoes, socks, cups, crayons, spoons, etc. (Start out with about six sets, then add more as the matching becomes easier for your child.)
  • Directions:  Have your child close their eyes.  Randomly scatter the objects on a tray or table top.  Have your child find the objects that are exactly the same, and put them together in pairs.
  • To increase difficulty:  Put two similar objects with a subtle difference, such as two socks with a slightly different pattern, in the mix.  Have your child explain why they don’t belong together.


Game 2:  “Act out a Rhyme”

  • Needed for the game:  Small index cards or slips of paper and a pencil.  
  • Directions:  This can be played with up to six players. Adult writes two rhyming words on the card; for example, hat and cat or pen and hen.  A player picks a card and says “I’m looking for a word that rhymes with hat.”  The player then acts out the rhyming word as other players guess the rhyme.


These two simple games help sharpen visual, auditory and tactile skills while having family fun!



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