Thank you, Jackie Z.

Jackie Zeman was a shining light. You couldn’t help but notice her when she came into a room. Sadly, the world gained her as an angel this past week. And, I am so thankful that our paths crossed.

I first learned about Jacklyn Zeman when she appeared in General Hospital (GH) as the popular character, Bobbie Spencer. This show was my “guilty pleasure” – faithfully watching it throughout high school and college. I loved her as “Bobbie”. She was feisty, fun, and a “ginger” – and you know- “gingers unite”!

As my life became too busy to watch “the soaps”, I would try to stay abreast of GH news by reading online stories or skimming the Soap Digest I bought at the local grocery store. But, then a funny twist of fate happened just a few years ago- I walked into a friend’s private event and literally found myself seated next to Jackie. We immediately hit it off! We talked about a variety of topics, including fashion and the reason we were there- to celebrate our friend Margaret McSweeney of Kitchen Chat TV and the recipient of special recognition at the March 2020 Taste Awards. And of course, there was a fair amount of chatting and showing of photos throughout the night of her family – she was a very proud grandmother.

I recall this event vividly as it was the last one I attended before the Covid pandemic put a lock on all of our lives. Jackie was one of the last people I saw before we were all “housebound.”

After the pandemic restrictions lifted, Jackie and I met up again – this time at the pre-event party for the 2022 Indie Series Awards. She had been starring in THE BAY – a show produced by Kira Reed Lorsch – a friend we both had in common. I was definitely the outsider – but was so honored and thankful that Jackie and Kira made me feel so comfortable at the party and introduced me to many others there. The night was full of laughter and a very messy pizza. In fact, the pizza became a bit of a running joke.

Sadly, in all the time we were together I never stopped to snap a “selfie” of us together. But, a few candids did make my camera roll. I love this one of Jackie who was simply engaged in great conversation with friends.

Life is made up of little moments. Snapshots in time. And if you are lucky- it will be filled with people who are clever, full of humor, and make you feel that you matter. Jackie was that person.

Jackie, I didn’t know you well – but I am so happy that our paths crossed and we shared some memorable moments. You were fun, funny, and kind. And you will be missed by many.

Discover Lake Louise, Canada

There are few places on this earth that leave me speechless. Lake Louise is one of them.  The water is my favorite color- teal blue.  On the day we arrived, the sky was overcast and then turned to a brilliant blue – with hardly any clouds. There is a walk from the parking lot and Fairmont Hotel around the lake to a “beach” and then a bit further to an area called the “Tea House”.  Most of the terrain is smooth and paved, however, the further you walk the more likely you will encounter some bumps along the road- literally. 

A Canada Park Pass is required to visit, as is either a bus fare or a parking fee for your car.  There are ample bathrooms at the lake and a few miles from this area awaits cafes and shops for tourists to visit.

The only sour note I have to share is being declined from dining at the Fairmont’s breakfast establishment (the sitdown restaurant vs. the quick grab-and-go cafe.)

The restaurant at the Fairmont at Lake Louise is apparently for guests only unless you hit it at a lull.  We tried to have breakfast at the restaurant and were told to come back several hours later. I still am confused why we were turned away from having a quick breakfast at 7:15 a.m. from an empty restaurant.  It had always been a dream of mine to eat at sunrise on the shores of Lake Louise.  Well, I guess not every dream comes true! 

So the lesson is to pack a meal and drinks and enjoy a picnic at one of the most loveliest places to dine – on the banks of Lake Louise!

For those of you who are yearning for a bit more outdoorsy activities – there is a gondola and other activities and attractions near Lake Louise.  Also, there are other area lakes that are stunning in beauty and worth a visit. Sadly, these many were “off-season” and closed when we visited. 

To learn more about Lake Louise and the Banff, Alberta area please visit this website.

Enjoy the photos- but please don’t “snatch them”. 

photo by Louise Sattler 2023
photo by Louise Sattler 2023

Discovering Banff, Canada

This past week hubby and I arrived in Banff, Canada to take in the area sights. I had always wanted to visit the Canadian Rockies, including Banff and my namesake body of water- LAKE LOUISE!  This blog will focus on the attractions and parks within Banff – including the Sulphur Summit, the Cave and Basin, the downtown region, and the Bow River waterfalls and trails. 

Before you venture out – check out the Park Pass requirements for Banff and all parks within Canada.

Downtown Banff

Downtown Banff has a feel to it similar to Lake Placid, New York or Park City, Utah.  It is a small town that caters to the needs of tourists.  From their very efficient transportation system (ROAM) to the helpful visitor center.  Museums, parks, stores, and lots of restaurants help to create Banff’s amazing vibe. Plus, it is bordered by magnificent mountain ranges. However, the true “secret” to Banff is its wonderfully kind and generous residents. 

Below I listed my favorite places that we visited in Banff. While they are in no particular order – I will say that the gondola ride was indeed a huge highlight of our trip!

Bow River Falls

The Bow River Falls can be easily accessed from the downtown main street – Banff Avenue.  There are also entrances near some of the hotels on the perimeter of the park.   It is a lovely place for a walk and to get acclimated to the elevation of Banff before venturing to even higher elevations – such as at the Sulphur Summit. This attraction is FREE! A little preview video I created is below.

Banff Sulphur Mountain Gondola and Hot Springs

The Banff Sulphur Mountain is home to a spectacular gondola, viewing platform, small educational center, theater, and restaurants.  Nextdoor you will find the Sulphur Mountain Hot Springs.  Both are worth taking the ROAM #1 bus to visit and spend quality time relaxing, learning about the Banff National Park, and enjoying the vistas! 

Link to learn more and obtain tickets

The Hot Springs was a ton of fun and thankfully not much of that “rotten eggy smell” – common among natural springs. Phew!  Instead we found a very pleasant place to relax and meet people from all over the globe!  The hot springs has bathing suits and towels for rent along with lockers and showers.

A few things to know about this area: 1) When you go to the Hot Springs bring sandals as it is a communal locker room and is a bit slippery 2) The ticket to the Hot Springs has an add-on option that is worth the few extra dollars – entry to the Cave and Basin (across town).  3) When riding the gondola know that it is steep and if you are afraid of heights you may wish to reconsider.  However, I felt totally safe and never scared. It was an exhilarating ride up and down the mountain. If you wish to take the  Sulphur Mountain trails know that bear spray is required and for obvious reasons- bears are the owners of the mountain and people are simply guests!

Once atop the summit, you will find paths to go even higher! But, these paths require walking up and down wooden steps and on ground that can be uneven. Thus, not conducive for a person with special mobility needs – such as a wheelchair. 

Note: We did not eat at any of the restaurants at the summit. But, people do say that the Sky Bistro is extra special and the buffet at the Northern Lights offers a wide selection of food.

Banff Cave and Basin

The Cave and Basin truly was the biggest surprise of our trip. I was expecting a rather drippy, dark, and damp cave.  It was not at all! And we went on a rainy day!  Instead, we found a super accessible and inclusive attraction that was very interesting and great for all ages!  I want to give a shoutout to the gift shop buyer- the items at their store were very unique and reasonably priced!

To get to the cave take the ROAM #4 bus from the Banff downtown main hub.

Entry to the cave
Inside the cave - a bit "stinky" due to the sulfur smell

Recommendations & Tips

Banff restaurants represent cuisine from around the world.  While we sampled many of the local establishments – one made our “we would come back” list!


This eatery is fabulous! And, I must not be the only person who thinks so – because there was a long wait if you didn’t have a reservation.  Hubby and I circumvented the line by eating at the bar.  Here we met bartender, Derek G.  He is a prime example of the nice, kind, and helpful Banff residents! I saw many traditional Greek dishes being served and each looked AMAZING.  We opted for the Greek Bowl.  It was exceptional and if I had more time in Banff, I would have returned – again and again!

Check out the local Rundle United Thrift Shop! 

This place was filled with great finds. I scored three wool scarves (new!) for only $5 each.  Books, home goods, and much more filled this store located at the end of Banff Avenue (and close to the trail for the Bow Water Falls). 

I feel compelled to give a few random travel tips.

  1. The busy season starts in late May/ early June. Plan accordingly as there are only so many buses and hotels in this area.
  2. Check out Lake Louise and other main attractions EARLY in the day – before the hordes of people arrive.  We arrived by 7 am and it was very busy by 11 am. 
  3. Bring Canadian money if traveling from outside of Canada.  There were some places that did not take credit cards or non-Canadian money. 
  4. Dress in layers. The weather seemed to change every hour!  The morning in late May was quite chilly only to be 40 degrees warmer by lunchtime! Rain was on and off throughout our week in the Alberta province.
  5. If you are flying WESTJET know that the international terminal for this airline is not the same as the national gates. We spent an hour online to check in bags only to find out we were at the wrong part of the airport.  A 15-minute walk got us to the right place – but all could have been avoided if there was better signage from the rental car return building. 
  6. Visit other places en route to Banff- such as Canmore ( a charming town about 20 minutes away) and of course, Calgary.   In this city, you will find the home of the 1988 Olympics. Also, the Calgary Stampede happens every summer in this little city- so plan your trip with care if you don’t want to be in the thick of huge crowds!

The BEST birthday present doesn’t come in a box – see what it is!

I don’t know about you – but after 60+ years on this planet, I don’t need any more stuff! So, instead of receiving birthday gifts I flip the scenario and ask for people to donate to a charitable cause in lieu of gifts or cards. It has been my birthday tradition to “give and not receive” for at least ten years or more. Typically, I pick out a worthy charity and request donations to be sent to this worthy organization. But, this year was different as I decided to offer a different approach- one where my friends and family can pick a charity of their choice and then add the information on my Facebook wall so others can support it, too. The results were astonishing! People donated time, money, and much more to so many different charities worldwide.

Want to participate? It is never too late! Simply add in the comment section a worthy (and legitimate) charity. This blog is often shared, so it is my hope that we can sprinkle our generosity throughout the globe!

Here are just some of the fantastic organizations that friends and family supported (in no certain order):



MANOR HILLS ELDER HOME (Wellsville, New York)

DAVID A. HOWE LIBRARY (Wellsville, New York)



Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Society

MAZON- hunger relief

RVC Education Fund – helping teachers to support their students

STANFORD MASIN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP – (Donations to be sent to the Wellsville Central Schools – New York- State Street, Wellsville, NY 14895)

Several went through their closets to donate clothing and home goods to local organizations, including Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity

As for me, I sprinkled my “love” with many of the charities listed above. I also refinished several pieces of furniture and gave them away to families and individuals in need. People often ask about the designs. They are transfers embedded in the wood. The ones used below are from Maika Daughters.

Here is a peek at some of what was donated.

The Lady Pacific – Calming Photos

Nearly 11 years ago Hubby and I packed up our lives and moved across the United States from Maryland to California. While others may have thought this was a very arduous assignment – I gladly grabbed the opportunity to trade the “burbs” for a chance to live in a community that borders the Pacific Ocean. (And for the record, we don’t miss the snow, leaf raking, or buggy summer nights with heavy thick air due to the humidity and hot temperatures!)

Since becoming a “left coaster” – I have been snapping more than my share of photos. Today, I chose to post a few recent photos of “The Lady Pacific” (as I like to call her). And, if you keep scrolling you will even find a video. I hope they bring you thoughts of calm and peace.



All of these are my personal photos- so please respect my creative work and don’t “hijack” them. Thank you.

Southern Utah – Put it on your 2023 Travel List!

I Love Utah! In all honesty I love most of the Southwest of the United States. From the vastness of the Grand Canyon to the small state parks sprinkled throughout the area. But, in all honestly, it is Southern Utah that is one of my “happy places” on this planet. First – it is GORGEOUS. Just when you think you have seen the most amazing formations of rocks you drive around a bend and there is one even more stunning!

If you have only a few days to spend in Southern Utah then I recommend the following as a route that is family-friendly and full of adventure. Please keep in mind to do your due diligence before venturing out as parts of Utah are at a pretty high altitude and some of the trails that I may mention are not for the novice hiker.

Start your adventure in St. George and Ivins

St. George ,Utah is a very charming city just a few miles north of the Arizona border and about 75 minutes from the Las Vegas airport. It has something for everyone! From adorable vintage, antique, and thrift shops to outdoor sports to please nearly everyone. One of my favorite places to stay is actually a wee bit north of St. George at the Red Mountain Resort. This place is not your typical hotel (and adults only)- but rather a resort that insists you relax and unwind. There are just so many spa treatments to indulge yourself in, healthy eating, and a pool and several spas to help you rejuvenate. While it is not cheap- it is worth every penny.

When you are in the area of Ivins- drive over to the Snow Canyon State Park. It will take you less than 10 minutes to get there. The price of entry to the park is $15 per carload. We stopped at nearly every area that had trails of mild to moderate degrees. My favorite is Jenny’s Canyon. Oh gosh, this place was amazing. Hubby really loved the Sand Dunes. And the area known as Lava Flow was very popular – especially with kids hopping the lava rocks. Johnson Canyon also was popular. The walk was not extreme, but pleasant. Sadly, very little of this park is wheelchair accessible. There are some paved areas near Johnson Canyon – but not much more than that. Two areas for restrooms are available and park rangers are in the visitor’s center to assist you.

Fall in Love with Zion National Park (ZNP)

Arizona may have Sedona and the Grand Canyon – but Utah wins the beauty contest in my book with Bryce and Zion. There are trails to hike at both places, but in the snow it is a bit dangerous and necessary equipment is needed for safety. Frankly, I was lucky to have my winter coat during this last trip.

There is something about Zion that makes it indescribable. I have been three times and each time I fall more in love with this park. Maybe because it appears differently each time I visit. This past trip the park was slightly dusted with snow. It was magnificent. I have written about Zion before and you can read more here.

To enter Zion NP you either need to take a shuttle bus from the various spots along the main route leading to the park in the town of Springdale or pay $30 and up to drive through. There is a third option for those who wish to drive through the park and that is to have the America the Beatiful National Park Pass. This pass allows you entry into the 2,000 federally owned recreation sites, such as national parks in Utah! The park opens early – 8 am. Be there when it opens to maximize the grand effect it will have on you with the quiet and stillness of the early morning. The River Walk is for novice hikers and accessible for wheelchairs. There are many more adventurous areas to explore such as Angel’s Landing. (not for the faint of heart or this writer.) A list of the trails, their ratings, and when they are open (some are closed due to weather, etc.) may be on this up-to-date website.

Below is a picture that hubby snapped while we were driving through the twists and turns of Zion.

We stopped to snap this lovely mountainside. Sadly, my shot doesn’t quite capture the grandness of this area.

Make sure to stop at the Visitor’s Center in Zion NP and also if you drive all the way out the east exit – keep going. There are so many wonderful little shops and places to visit within a few miles of the park. PLUS… it is the back route to Bryce Canyon National Park – a “short” 90 or so miles from Zion NP!

BRYCE CANYON – So much to say – so little time!

When you enter Bryce you may think it will be a nice little drive through a wooded area. But, then you are nearly gob-smacked with the awesomeness that surprises you around each and every corner. This is the majesticness of Bryce Canyon National Park!

I prefer visiting this park using a system that my family calls the Disneyland method! Start at the end and work your way to the front of the park. The drive from the entrance gate to the end is about 20 miles. Be sure to stop at the visitors center on your right-hand side right after passing through the gate. The price is pretty much as Zion – so getting that America Beautiful Pass is really worth it! At the center there is a preview movie about the area and a nice walk-through set of exhibits. The gift shop is really filled with practical items – like sunscreen and water bottles.

The map of Bryce is easy to find and also available here.

My favorite area is called the Rainbow Bridge. It is a marvel to look at. Hubby really enjoyed exploring the region call The Apitheater – and it truly does look like one!

While it is possible to cover both Zion and Bryce in a day- I don’t recommend it. You made it this far to visit two of the most beautiful parks in the world – why rush it? Stay a few days and enjoy!

And, meander around the local area as well. There is the town of La Verkin that has the River Rock Roasting Company – a must for those who love to eat! This place has awesome pizzas, quiches, and of course – COFFEE! Springdale also has numerous shops and restaurants for most palates. Hurricane, “known as the gateway to the parks” – is great to stock up on supplies and explore some antique shops.

Need more convincing as to why you should travel to Southern Utah? Well, I just happen to have a few more photos to show you! Enjoy and Happy Travels!

2022 – move over – it’s time for 2023

As 2022 is about to come to a close – I breathe a sigh of relief. This was the year that the Covid 19 pandemic was supposed to take a backseat and our lives were supposed to be moving forward. In some respects that did happen. A little. But, as this year ends a “trifecta’ of viruses (RSV, COVID, and INFLUENZA) has been surging – leaving many realizing that 2022 was not the year of “going back to normal” we had hoped.

But wait – so much GOOD and perhaps GREAT DID happen during 2022. We need to applaud the “wins” of 2022. During this year some people found love. Couples who postponed their nuptials during the pandemic got married. Babies were born. And kids were playing outside with other kids again! Movie theaters opened their doors, events were “in person”, and we all were thrilled to hug friends and family!

2022 also saw vaccines that were made available for younger age groups. We dusted off our passports and traveled abroad (as well as locally). Restaurants (re)opened. Many went back to work. We laughed. We danced. We celebrated. We learned to LIVE again!

So, let’s say BRAVO to all who survived and perhaps thrived during the year that was fraught with its share of sadness. And, let’s jump into 2023 with positivity!

I’m ready! Are you?

Enjoy the photos snapped during 2022!

Happy Holidays!


  • created by Louise logo

Themed Gift Ideas for Kids for the 2022 Holiday Season!

It is that time of year when parents and grandparents are looking for gifts for their cherubs that will remain of interest long after the last holiday cookie is eaten. For me, those gifts are ones from the heart and usually have a “theme”. This year I would like to propose giving the gift of “exploration” to a child. 

Imagine your child learning about the world beyond their front doors. Where they can learn about different states, countries, or even space! Package books, a globe, a telescope, maps, arts and crafts activities, and even games for a multidimensional gift that will bring enjoyment (and sneak in learning) for years to come!

Maybe take these ideas for a “spin”

Travel to the stars and beyond!

Have you ever spent more than a few seconds looking at the stars? Wondering what happens on other planets? In other solar systems? Here are some ideas for kids to learn more about the world beyond Earth.

A primer book about space for preschool and early readers. Great illustrations to help stimulate learning! Familius Publishing
Montessori System and Planets puzzle/ TouchwoodDesign via Etsy

A little “planetary” humor! This t-shirt can be a conversation piece and a party favorite! via Quality Appearance on Etsy

Pack Your Bags!

Traveling can be a challenge for children and their parents. After all, who loves the chorus of “Are we there yet?”. Not me! So, here is an idea to keep kids busy and parents sane. Wrap up small ‘gifts” to be dolled out during the trip on the half – hour of hour mark. Intersperse what kind of activity is presented. Coloring books, small electronic games, clever puzzles like a Rubric cube, card games, magic activities, and games that are a spin-off of family favorites such as “license plates” – all work! Here are some of my favorites –

Special Places to Visit!

It is no secret that I love, love, love to travel! That is why when I found out about the Familius’ travel series for young readers that teaches interesting facts about states and fundamental skills (such as counting or the ABCs) – I am more than willing to share that information with all of you. (Yes, the publisher sent me copies of the books – all that I will give away!) Each book is different. There is no formula that is repopulated for each version. Instead, the author highlights key places such as ZION National Park for the Utah edition. This is a great gift for kids who are traveling to these states to “prep” before they land. Note that colors are matched with the “state theme”.

This year, Familus Publishing, gifted me with books that had Christmas themes, as well. These are not your ho-hum little kid’s books. Like many titles from Familius, these are written on two levels – with grownups AND kids in mind!

Case in point … The 12 Little Elves series is a hoot! I laughed for quite some time when I saw the Little Elves negotiating freeway traffic inside the California edition. (If you have ever sat in traffic on “the 405” you would be hysterical laughing, too!) For their full state collection click here. I also asked our friends at Familius to consider other holidays with slightly different characters, too!

Under the Sea!

Sneak in learning through technology

Here are some ideas to keep your teens and tweens happy, including while driving. We all know that this age group is glued to their phones – so why not give them constructive tech activities? Consider having your ‘co-riders’ track distances between points along the route, thus sneaking in some math and reading skills. Next, have them snap photos and organize them into folders with the goal of creating a memory album or photo book at the end of your journey (executive functioning skills are the bonus here!). And, to help with these endeavors try CANVA (education tab) and photo companies such as Shutterfly or Snapfish.

Now Your Ideas?

Do you have a great gift idea that maybe has educational and is large on the “fun value”, too?

Special Note: I do not receive payment for any promotions you see on this page. The most I am afforded are a few free games or books from publishers for review. I only add these books, games, etc. if the products are deemed of fun and educational value. If you see them here – they passed “my test”! Amazon is where yu will find the majority of what you see here. Familius Publishing is a company that I have an ambassador relationship with – but in all honesty – their products are TOP NOTCH!!

From Both Sides of the Table – Why is third grade so hard for some students?! (Includes suggestions for parents to help their child with reading and written language.)

I always say that third grade is a very important year in the life of a child. It is the year that so much brain development happens within the classroom, at home, and on the playground. Parent’s may not realize it – but this is a year that a child with subtle learning problems will all of the sudden start to “stick out”.

School Psychologists often receive a great many special education referrals for third graders. Maybe even more than any others. It seems that this is a time when teachers start to advise parents that their child is “not learning as they should be” or perhaps is “dyslexic”. As a School Psychologist I use to dread the week following the first set of parent-teacher conferences. It meant that I would be flooded with referrals.

WHY THIRD GRADE? I have a theory… or two…

Up until the third grade many of our books included loads of photos and pictures. So, a child who had difficulty with reading or comprehending passages could maybe “fake it” by using really good scanning skills or guessing. Plus, a child with good memory may recall a story or bits of passages if they were read to the child prior. But, in ,good ‘ol third grade the pictures greatly reduce compared to early reading books. The vocabulary becomes harder. Common words used in the first primer years now are transformed to bigger words. We sprinkle synonyms, and antonyms all over the text. There may be introductions to unique or new parts of speech or … wait for it… idioms! Plus, the content can be abstract. A child may need to rely on prior knowledge or imagination. Thus, a child who is very literal may really start to become quite frustrated and exhibit learning issues.

And as with reading – the expectations of written language also increase. No longer do we accept the three-sentence paragraph. We now need to write and write and write… a little at a time or maybe a whole entire page. There may be some prompts or “story starters” – but, by the middle to the end of third grade, our little authors need to be pretty fluid with basic sentence structure. The reversals of letters are no longer acceptable and in fact, a red flag for possible dyslexia.

That brings me to my next point – what is DYSLEXIA? Some people think it simply means reversing letters or numbers. Nope. That is not all true. It is perhaps one of the characteristics of dyslexia- but this disorder is a bit more complicated. Here is a snapshot of what dyslexia “may look like” and please keep in mind that professionals can help you – but please don’t “self diagnose”.

A person with dyslexia may demonstrate a few of the following challenging learning behaviors:

  1. Reads without fluency. Often will mispronounce words, omit words, substitute words or hesitate and need to start over.
  2. Has a hard time knowing what letters make which sounds. This is called phonemic awareness. Some children with read letters wrong and thus identify their sounds incorrectly. A child who reads pal instead of gal because they read the p for g and then identified the wrong sound, is one example. It also shows some letter confusion visually. Also, a child who hears the “p” sounds instead of “b” sound may think they heard pad instead of bad.
  3. Reversals of letters or words. In younger children, we consider reversing letters a developmental stage. After all TOYS R US made it clear that this was a “kid thing” by flipping the R between TOYS and US… But by the THIRD GRADE, this is something we don’t expect students to do.
Free share logo.

So, what can parents do?

Here are some strategies that I recommend to parents to help spurn a love of reading, writing, and even math in their child who struggles. Let’s face it- a child who hates to read or cannot write may miss out – especially as they grow older. So let’s try to prevent this from happening by incorporating reading and writing into our everyday lives!


My parents use to say I could read anything I wanted to read. If I wanted to read a magazine instead of a storybook before bedtime -that was OK. In high school, I would find all the scary novels on the library shelves and take them home devouring them as fast as I could turn the pages. So my philosophy is to allow your child to read just about anything.


Parents who demonstrate their appreciation for the written word pass on that behavior to their children more times than not. Perhaps setting a time each week as “family read time” would be a great way to have a shared family experience that will transcend beyond your home and into the classroom.


Did you know that many board games involve reading and often writing? Games that are trademarked and have withstood the test of time are often current family favorites. They also have invaluable lessons. So grab Monopoly, Scrabble, Boggle, Risk, Scatterfories, Code Names, Trivia Pursuit (and the “junior” edition) and the countless other games available and play, play, play!

Here is a list I have posted before of common games and what skills they teach. This is by no means an exhaustive list and you may note that many of these games are for 8 and up. So they start around the second or third-grade level.

Trivia Pursuit – helps with turn-taking and general knowledge

Monopoly teaches reading, about money, strategy building, and for many – disappointment!

CLUE is a game that teaches reading, memory and deductive reasoning skills. The same is true for GUESS WHO.

YAHTZEE teaches great math skills – from addition to multiplication. Also a visual discrimination exercise.

MEMORY – well it teaches just that!

CONNECT 4 helps with visual memory and perception.

SCRABBLE is all about word building.

SCATTEGORIES is hones in on language skills like categorization and associations.

CODE NAMES is a fairly new game in comparison to some of these others and it too teaches about memory and word usage.


If the opportunity for creativity arises – shake up learning by using unique online programs, different color paper, or templates for cartoons! A diary or journal can spark writing in many kids.

I recently discovered CANVA’s EDUCATIONAL WEBSITE. Here are some examples of what you can make using this dynamic site. There are many pricing options you can pick- some are free.

AND… a few more tips

*Play classical music in the background as your child is working or reading.

*Have your child read a recipe to you and cook that meal!

*Go to museums, art galleries, national parks, or any place that is culturally rich and reading is needed to enhance the experience

*Ask a relative or friend to be your child’s pen pal!

*Invest, if you can, in art materials. Yard sales are great to purchase used items that can be turned into artistic masterpieces!

*Have your child read in a different place than where they do homework. Like on a porch chair or in a special reading nook – just for them!

*Have your child read to you or teach you new words. Playing teacher is a very instrumental way for your child to actually LEARN!

In closing, I love third-graders. In fact, I love watching children of all ages learn. But, I recognize as a psychologist and a parent that third grade was one of those “tough years”. So, if you feel that your child really is having difficulties with learning or your child’s teachers are continually concerned – then consider asking for a referral to see if support could be offered. Know that usually there are many steps before a special education referral is made. Such as RTI- tiered intervention to help a child struggling with academic attainment. Also you may be told about a 504 plan – something discussed earlier in this series.

I wish you all a happy school year –