Come December, children are all super-excited as Christmas is here. That means cake, gifts, and of course, Santa Claus.

Children love to celebrate this festival as it involves sharing and caring for the people you love. Children love Christmas mostly for the gifts they exchange and the surprises that Santa leaves them.

Christmastime is a busy time for kids. They have to decorate the Christmas tree, select gifts for their family and friends, write Christmas cards, and more. But the best part of Christmas lies when children make gifts all by themselves for their friends and relatives. Let us help children makes some easy and fun gifts for Christmas.

Easy and Fun Christmas Gifts That Children Can Make

  1. Shell Photo Frames

Shell Photo frames are easily-crafted elegant gifts that children can make to gift their parents or friends. Anyone would love to receive this useful gift crafted by a child with such artistry and affection. Children can make these photo frames with the following readily-available items.

Items required

  • Wooden photo frame
  • Shells, pebbles, beads, or feathers
  • Canvas
  • Crafting glue

Method

Take the wooden frame and mount the canvas at its back and glue it on. Now take the shells, beads or pebbles. Arrange them in a nice pattern around the frame. You can even paint the shells or pebbles if you like. Use your creativity to arrange the shells or beads and glue them on, one by one. Your creative and colourful shell or Bead Photo Frame is ready. gift it to your loved ones and watch them jump with joy on receiving this innovative Christmas gift.

  1. Beaded Keychain

Want to gift Daddy, Grandpa, or your brother a trendy handmade Christmas gift? Then make this beaded key chain all by yourself and surprise them with this artistic gift.

Items required

  • Coloured yarn or twine
  • Keychain rings
  • Coloured beads
  • Tassels or Christmas bells

Method

Take  one end of the thick twine or yarn and twist it around the keychain ring and secure it with a knot. at the other free end, insert beads one by one into the twine string as long as you like. Finally, attach a tassel or Christmas bell at the end. There, your cute little-beaded Keychain is ready in no time. Gift this perfect gift for Christmas to your parents, grandparents or friends and watch them use it lovingly each day proudly.

  1. Hand Printed Coffee Mugs

Mummy and Daddy love their cup of coffee. Why not gift them a coffee mug, especially hand printed by you. Let’s do it!

Items required

  • Plain coffee mug
  • Permanent markers
  • Glitters
  • Glue

Method

Take a plain coffee mug. Decide what message you want to inscribe on the mug. You can print messages like ” I love you Mom” or “Merry Christmas” on the mug. Write the message with heart, bell or balloon images in between, using permanent markers. Use glitters on the hearts and stick them with glue to give a special effect. Offer this personalized Christmas gift to your parent and watch them beam with pride.

  1. Spoon Christmas Tree

It’s Christmas time and we need a tree. Make your own Christmas tree with some plastic spoons. How to do It? Take a look.

Items required

  • Birthday cap or Paper clown cap
  • Plastic spoons – 2 dozens
  • Plastic spray paint – green colour
  • Scissors
  • Crafting glue

Method

Take the plastic spoons and cut off the handles using scissors. Now take the paper cone and keep it upright. Start sticking the spoon pieces from the bottom to the top with glue. Fix the spoon ladles in alternate lines without any gap. Now pain them all in green colour. Sprinkle some white birthday cake spray on top for a snow effect. Your Christmas tree is ready and can b gifted to your family or friends.

  1. Christmas Ring

Christmas rings with green moss and ribbons are hung on Christmas trees. Make these lovely Christmas ornaments at home using just pasta! Unbelievable? Just try!

Items required

  • Wooden embroidery ring
  • Raw Pasta shells
  • Green coloured  plastic spray paint
  • A red ribbon tied as a bow
  • Crafting glue

Method

Take the wooden embroidery ring. Start pasting the pasta shells onto the ring with glue leaving some space at the top for the red ribbon bow. Paint the dried pasta shells in green colour. Attach the ribbon bow at the top. Now your Christmas ring is ready. Hang it on your Christmas tree or gift it your friends. They will simply love this creative gift.

Making Christmas gifts requires only some skill and practice. Learn more such useful tips from our practice learning site to upgrade your creative and scholastic skills.

Enjoy your Christmas with these DIY gifts that you can make by yourself and savour the spirit of Xmas. You can use them for New Year and other holidays as well.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from LetsPractise!


Education isn’t something that is left for schools and educational institutions to handle. There is often a misconception that academic learning is something that should be handled only during school hours or by teachers and as a result, most parents refrain from getting involved with their child’s academic affairs.

It is crucial for parents to understand that the child needs an all-around support system both at home and school. Parents play the most important role in a child’s education, performance, and abilities. More than students being educated academically, parents need extensive training on how to do their part by handling and encouraging learning at home and how they could offer their support.

A few educational institutions have always insisted on parent involvement but a simple act of getting all the parents under the same roof has always been a task. But if you are here reading this article you are one step ahead of the other parents, consciously making an effort to be a better part of your child’s education.

1. Identify Their Learning Ability

Parents, get this right. Academic excellence doesn’t necessarily mean good grades and top ranks. Education is about the learning process and not the end results. Therefore, if your kid isn’t a top performer, do not penalize him or her for being so. Instead, take a few minutes to evaluate their learning difficulties, and develop ways to put an end to it and improve their ability to learn. Performance can be dealt with at a later stage. Embrace your child’s individualism; understand the kind of learning he responds to. Have a discussion with his teacher as they are the experts in identifying the students learning abilities and the methods they are inclined to.

2. Establish a Routine

Discipline is the key to organized and effective living. We are creatures of habit and in order to incorporate routine into your child’s life. Establish a set routine and create a schedule with time for learning and time for play. Weekday and weekend schedules will be different. Doing this will create a pattern.  Also, avoid changing plans as much as possible. This gives your child the ability to prioritize based on the importance of the task at hand while also avoid the unnecessary morning hassle of missing school.

3. Encourage Leisure Reading

For a child, spending time with books other than just their school textbooks has its own perks. This is a great tactic as children should not associate books with school but instead with learning. Learning should be made pleasurable and this can only be done with the assistance of parents. Children tend to imitate an adults behavior and there is nothing like setting a good example that leisure reading is a necessary part of life. Ask your child to read novels, short stories, picture books, whatever. It is also better than playing with a computer or phone all night.

4. Be Present

For all those plays, get-together, sports events, PTA meetings, and competitions, be present. This is the best way to show your kids that you are interested in their activities and willingly playing an active role in their academic life. Most parents are prone to disappointment when their kids don’t finish at top of the line. This is the opportunity the parent has to teach the child that winning is the least important factor of an event and emphasis on the fact that they had participated and gave it their best shot. This doesn’t necessarily mean the child should be coddled at all times, but be open at giving them feedback in order to allow them to perform better.

5. The Exam Fever

Exam time is when your child puts all that they had learned to use and what they really need at this point is your full support. Cut off all distractions and celebrations that are nearing and make your home a safe place to learn. Peace and quiet create the best learning atmosphere. Unfortunately, parents often confuse support with pressure and end up stressing the child out instead of helping. Keep calm and help them stay calm as well.

6. Don’t Forget to Ask

Your child may need help in something and it is up to you to find out. However, don’t just pounce on them with your ideas and start imposing your views. If you see them struggling with a project or an assignment, always ask if they are in need of your assistance. When you do so, they are more open and receptive to your ideas and your help is welcomed. You can guide them and assist with the difficult aspects of subjects.

7. Set An example

Children often mimic their parents so it is ideal for you as a parent to be a role model. In your pursuit to support your child in his studies, you need to be consistent. Slacking from your end would only mean that you are alright with the fact that your child is slacking and is inconsistent in his studies as well. Therefore, portray consistency, following of routine and be disciplined and you would see that your child will imitate the same behavior of consistency, routine and discipline in his studies as well.

8. Build a Rapport

Having a good rapport with your child as well as their teacher is especially important. It is good to let your child know that you have a positive and open relationship with their educator. Be sure to attend parent-teacher meetings so you can learn more. This removes the gap between the two most important individuals in your child’s academic life. The teachers let you know how your child is doing in class, and also about their behavior so you can take further action if necessary.

9. After-School Ritual

In homes that have working parents, the child is often left to fend for themselves after school hours. We know that you are busy with work, news, and other activities, but every parent should take time out of the day to help their child.

In order to have your child feel heard and cared for, make sure you have a minute discussion of their day. Talk about their accomplishments, mistakes and lessons learned for the day. A simple “what did you learn in school today?” shows that you care about their academics and also tests their attentiveness in class.

Support Your Child With LetsPractise

Childhood is the most important phase and what happens in childhood will ripple on for the rest of their life. It’s time to take a serious interest in it.

Supporting your child in studies isn’t something that happens overnight. It is not magic, but rather a gradual progression that takes place and the key to successful support is consistency. Keep the interest going over a period of time and you will notice a major difference in your child’s behavior.

One great tactic is to use supplementary tools such as practice papers and mock tests to help your child conquer difficult subjects and master average ones.

Maths, science, history, English, Hindi, take your pick. From 3rd to 9th and CBSE to State Board, we have it all. Talk to us now or take a look at our pricing plans yourself for more information.

It’s never too late to start supporting your child, so do it now!

Eloquence in English is a desirable trait among students that can be developed by reading the newspaper. A newspaper also helps students stay informed with what is going on around them, nationally as well as internationally.

However, most children avoid reading to read the newspaper as they are unable to comprehend its contents. Added to this is the influx of the, especially social media which makes appealing visual content easily available with the touch of a button. Social media content is usually like junk food; tasty, quick, attractive and totally devoid of anything useful. As newspaper reading is a must for students to master the language.

Here are some activities that teachers and parents can use to help students to understand articles in the newspaper and inspire them to read more.

Activities to Help Students Understand a Newspaper Article

1. Find Tough Words

Teachers or parents can take any article in the newspaper that is of interest to the children. Try topics on technology, sports, comic heroes, or short stories. Then, the students can read the article and make a list of the tough words they don’t understand. Once this is done, the parent/ teacher and student can look the words up in a dictionary. Finally, ask the students to read the article once again replacing the tough words with simple ones to test their understanding.

This activity is great for building the student’s vocabulary. You can make it more interesting by using markers to circle the word in the paper and asking the students to draw the words visually. This activity ensures that the students read the article thoroughly and internalize the content and language.

2. Quiz Whiz

Conduct a short quiz listing some tricky questions based on an article that interests the children. Distribute copies of the article to the class and give them time to read it. When they are finished, take the articles away and start the quiz. Only the students who read the complete article properly will be able to correctly answer the quiz questions.

This activity induces a competitive spirit among students and it gets them excited about reading articles. Students must read the entire article and hence have to grasp its contents. If the article is really interesting, it inspires them to read more.

3. Debate

Newspapers are always full of spicy news and controversy. Pick any one article with a current topic which is suitable for children to debate on. Make it interesting. Ask the students to read the article fully, jot down the points and then to align themselves. Divide the class into 2 groups (‘for’ and ‘against’) and insist on every group member expressing his/her viewpoint for just 1 minute. Declare that points should be original and clearly stated.

This activity requires the complete reading and article comprehension. Students love to debate as this gives them an opportunity to express their views and individuality. It tests their persuasion and ability to convince others, and may result in some students switching sides. Be sure to choose a simple topic that is relevant to their level. Politics probably won’t interest 2nd standard kids!

4. What is the Headline?

This is an interesting activity that is apt for article reading in the newspaper. Select an article and remove its headline. Circulate it among students and ask them to come up with catchy and cogent headlines for the article.

This activity requires a knack for writing and a flair for the language. Children can hone their language skills as they have to read the article completely and coin some crisp headlines. You can also let students vote on the best headline and maybe give a prize to students who guess the headline correctly.

5. Match the Word

“Match the word” is a unique activity. Select a newspaper article and ask students to read it. Then, they are given a list of words for which they have to find the matching or equivalent pairs in the article. To achieve this, the student must read the article completely and search for the synonyms of the given word.

You can also choose a word with multiple meaning and see if the student can find the meaning within the context of the sentence.  

Give them options and ask them to select the answer they think is correct. Let the student guess and then look it up in a dictionary or thesaurus to see if they got it right. This ensures that the student understands the meaning of every word or looks for it in the dictionary or thesaurus. This exercise is excellent for vocabulary-building.

Don’t Neglect the News

Newspaper-reading must be made a daily habit for children to develop their language skills and awareness of world affairs. Teachers and parents must work towards encouraging children to read newspaper articles by frequently using interesting activities like the ones previously mentioned. Reading articles must be made a routine habit for children to practise daily.

Sure, comics, cartoons, and computer games are fun. However, knowledge is power and the importance of staying up to date with relevant issues cannot be understated. Reading will never go out of fashion and students must be made to understand the strength of the written word through article reading.

Another way to help children improve their English skills is through practise papers and mock tests. LetsPractise does just that. We are parents and teachers ourselves with plenty of experience in the area. English Grammar for ICSE Board is one of our most popular programmes. Take a look at all our plans and contact us to get started improving your child’s English today.

 

Distractions Abound

Today’s children are distracted very easily. At home, there is the smartphone, computer, TV, tablet, and all manner of electronic technology that ends up wasting their time. These devices should be monitored closely, as we have talked about earlier in Keeping Your Child Safe Online.

At school, distractions abound in the form of uninteresting lessons, other students, mismatched learning levels etc. Keeping children attentive in class and engaging them in educational activities has become a Himalayan task for teachers. Often times, the students are lazy, tired, disinterested, or just don’t feel like listening. To counter this, teachers have to think of innovative ways to keep children focused on their lessons and take special efforts to get them involved in class activities.

One way of ensuring complete student participation in class is to implement some exciting and experiential learning activities like the following to engage students.

6 Learning Activities to Engage Students

Children are interested in anything new. Teachers can use their own original learning activities or look for some tips from online practice learning sites which suggest some novel learning tasks. Keep your students on their toes. If they’re having fun, they won’t even realize that they are learning new things.

1. Out With One Word

Teachers can use this unique and exciting game to make children understand and summarize topics. This game is highly useful while explaining science concepts in class. Let us imagine a situation where you are explaining a chemistry lesson on acids and bases. Each student must express loudly one word which he registered from this lesson. Suppose the student shouts the word “neutralization”, he is asked to explain it in a line. This word cannot be repeated again and the next student has to come up with some other word relating to the lesson.

By this, the teacher understands how much the student has learned from the lesson and also has a chance to correct the student for anything any conceptual gaps. The other students also get to learn all the important keywords in the lesson. This game summarizes the lesson or concept as a bunch of keywords which makes it easy to remember.

2. Up or Down

Use these simple yet successful concepts in trying to make children understand the differences between two core areas. Let us think of a biology class where the teacher is trying to describe the differences between flowering and non-flowering plants. Mention a plant and let the children stand up if it is flowering and remain sitting for non-flowering. The same class can be carried out in the school garden as well. The students get to learn in nature and helps the students get some fresh air.

This is similar to asking students to raise their hands in they agree, but with a twist. This active game not only gives the children some exercise for their minds but their bodies too. This fun game also clearly helps the teacher to understand how well the class has grasped this concept.

3. For or Against

History, politics, law or economics are sometimes boring.  Enliven these subjects by introducing a point of debate in the lesson and ask the students to group themselves as “for” and “against”. Each student must put forth a point and the other team should oppose it. Give each team member a chance to speak on both the sides.

Topics like “Was demonetization necessary for India” or “Has India improved after independence?” are interesting topics that come up with spicy arguments and also help students to remember their lessons. Keep things friendly so it doesn’t get too heated. Invite guest speakers or entrepreneurs to speak about these subjects. Practical examples are better teachers than textbooks.

Alternatively, if it’s a small classroom, you can ask an opinionated question and have everyone in the class answer it one by one.

4. Sum It Up A-Z

This is a great game for summarizing and revising lessons. After completing a lesson, the teacher allots an alphabet to each student from A-Z. The student then starts to summarize the lesson with his a sentence beginning with his alphabet.

Of course, some letters like Q and X will be tricky, but this lesson becomes easy for the student to remember as they have summed it up with alphabets. Children also have lots of fun, helping their friends and coming up with one-liners.

5. Word Linking

Also known as ‘word building’, teachers can use this game for memory improvement and lesson revision. Take a topic like “photosynthesis”. The teacher begins the game with a word like “plants”.

Next, the student has to form a chain with the next word beginning with the ending letter “s”, like “sun”. The next student suggests the next word as “nutrient” and so on. This word-linking and word chain is fun and helps students to master the lesson.

6. Picture It Out

Full of fun, this game (also called ‘pictionary’) gives the class a visual representation of any topic. Like the debate, divide the class into 2 groups. Each group makes a list of 10 words pertaining to the lesson. A member from the first group draws a picture of a word from the list.

The other team gets 3 guesses on what word is being drawn. Next, the second team draws while the first one guesses. The game is basically dumb charades with drawings. It’s fun to watch the children doodle the keywords and have a hard time guessing them!

LetsPractise Will Engage Learning

Al the above activities are group-based and focused on learning. Although most of the examples were for science, they can be used and modified for other subjects as well. These activities are also aimed at maximum student participation and engagement. Think of such fun-filled yet focused learning activities to keep your class engrossed in studies.

LetsPractise is a practise-learning site that is valuable and vital for student engagement. LetsPractise is a group of parents and teachers, so we know how difficult it is to keep students engaged in today’s climate.

We have test papers for a multitude of subjects, school boards, and classes. Look at our learning plans if you don’t believe us. We can help students pass exams with flying colours. More than that, we focus on lifelong learning and permanent knowledge of the subject. Contact us now.

LetsPractise wishes you a Happy Children’s day!

8 Awesome Things You Can Do On This Diwali Instead of Bursting Crackers

It’s time to take a break from studies as Diwali rolls around! Diwali is a festive occasion of lights and colours. Children look forward to getting up early, wearing new clothes and above all, bursting crackers throughout the day. But not this year, as the Supreme Court has limited the time for bursting crackers in India.

Come on, children, why the long face? Diwali can still be fun without bursting crackers all day long. After all, the court’s ruling is only to prevent pollution and protect your health. So, let us all welcome this verdict and plan this Diwali differently. There are many great Diwali activities you can still perform.

Awesome Things to Do This Diwali Instead of Bursting Crackers

1. Visit Friends and Relatives

The Diwali period is usually hectic with most of the time spent in bursting crackers and eating sweets. Why not take time to visit your close relatives and friends? Diwali is the right occasion to seek the blessings of elders. Enjoy this festivity with family and friends and revel in the warmth of their love.

2. Clean the House

Elders clean the house and get rid of all the dust and dirt to purify the atmosphere and usher in the lights and glow into their homes. Why not lend them a helping hand in transforming your house to give off positive vibrations? Help your parents clean the house and decorate it with lights and flowers to welcome prosperity into your home.

You can also volunteer to clean up a neighborhood park or eliminate trash at the beach. Who knows? You might make some friends in the process.

3. Make Your Own Diwali Cards and Gifts

It’s time to get creative this Diwali! We all know that an item being handmade instantly increases its value. This Diwali, make your own special cards and gifts and send it to your friends and relatives. Add your own colours, shapes, and designs. Watch them beam with pleasure as they see your thoughtfulness. They will surely be touched by this kind gesture.

4. Brighten Up Your Home with Colours

Now that you’ve cleaned your house and created colourful cards, why not combine them and colour your house? Spruce up your abode. Decorate your home with rangoli and flowers and place earthen lamps everywhere. Your home will look like heaven on Earth, and will surely amaze any and all visitors.

5. Try Your Hand at Cooking

Diwali is a sweet festival, especially with all those delicious sweets that you can just gorge on. Instead of buying a box of sweets at a store, make this Diwali special through cooking the sweets. You can take pride in making them yourself.

Easy recipes like dry fruit balls, chocolate peda, and more can be done with a little adult help. We found these 15 recipes for sweets that you can make at home. Make sure you cook in a safe manner.

6. Visit a Temple

Diwali is a joyful occasion marking the homecoming of Lord Rama to Ayodhya and the death of the evil giant Narakasura by Lord Krishna. This is why it’s the festival of lights and signifies the victory of good over evil. The religious overtones are very apparent.

Diwali is an auspicious occasion. Make it more promising by visiting a temple or holy shrine with your parents. Feel positive vibrations flow through you as you hear the tinkling of temple bells and breathe in the fragrance of ghee-lit diyas and agarbathis. Get energized in the presence of God during Diwali.

7. Spend Diwali with the Less Fortunate

Diwali is all about caring and sharing. Spend your time at an orphanage or destitute home with people who really need your presence to light up their Diwali. Make this Diwali memorable for them with your presence and presents. Donate to charity or perform other charity work.

You can also visit an old-age home or a hospital and spend time with the old or the ailing. Such people will truly appreciate your gesture as they long for company more than anything else.

8. Organize a Party

Diwali is a time for fun and festivity, and you don’t need crackers for that. Organize a party with a song and dance and invite all your friends and neighbors.  Add some games like musical chairs and antakshari or dumb charades to this event to make it more fun. To make it more electric, be your own DJ and play on some latest numbers from your music system. Rock on, Diwali is on!

Those were 8 awesome things you can do on Diwali that don’t involve bursting firecrackers.

This Diwali, inspire children to celebrate it in a different way with such awesome ideas instead of bursting crackers and causing pollution. Let children romp and play as the festivity takes over.

Let the sound of laughter be more powerful than the sound of crackers!

LetsPractise wishes you a safe and Happy Diwali!