Category: Articles for Kids

Do You See Images in the Clouds?

Pareidolia Images in the Clouds

Flat on the grass, face to the sky, you’ve probably gazed up and picked out shapes in the clouds: dogs, trees, ice cream cones and almost anything else. Or you’ve looked up at the moon and seen a face.

The ability to do this isn’t a sign that you’re seeing things; it tells you that your brain is performing a job that is not only normal, it may have helped keep early human beings alive.

The ability for the brain to see familiar shapes in random things is called pareidolia. No, the clouds aren’t really shaped like lions or two birds kissing. That’s simply your brain trying to make sense of shapes that have no sense.

People who study pareidolia have different ideas on why this is an important skill for our brains to perform.

One theory goes back to when humans lived in the wild. With all the dangers that can lurk in forests and jungles, the ability to spot danger—or safety—can be the difference between life and death. A human who can more quickly spot a predator can get a heads start on running away.

Another theory is found in the eyes of babies. With all the new shapes in the world, babies are instinctively drawn to faces. They will stare at a face for longer and more intently than any other thing in their new lives.

Some researchers say that babies can recognize familiar faces just weeks after being born.

Pareidolia is part of this learning process, because the brain, experts think, looks for faces. It looks for faces in stains on a wall, in clouds, in leaves –in almost anything.

In many famous instances, people have seen the faces of familiar people in food, like the almost infamous example of the image of Mother Theresa found on a cinnamon roll. Abraham Lincoln and George Washington have both been spotted in chicken nuggets. Kate Middleton’s face was seen on a jelly bean. These are all examples of pareidolia, seeing something –or someone—familiar in a totally unrelated object.

Counsellors sometimes use pareidolia to get insight into the minds of clients. This is done using a Rorschach Test.

This test uses totally random ink blotches. Psychologist believe that when clients look at the blotches, the thoughts on their mind will be revealed in what the client says they see in the blotches. If that theory is correct, then perhaps clouds are nature’s Rorschach test.

Next time you are staring at wall paper or embers in a fire or clouds in the sky and suddenly see a face, remember: There is nothing wrong with you. Your brain is doing one of the many extraordinary tasks it is wired to do: use pareidolia to help make sense of the world.

Writing an Argumentative Essay: A Middle School Guide to Writing

Writing an Argumentative Essay

An argument, who hasn’t been in one? We argue on the school playground, argue with a best friend, argue whose best friend is better. We’ve all either been in an argument or tried our hardest to avoid one, but what happens when you have to write about one? Did anyone groan at that question?

Have no fear! This article is here with quick and effective tips that will help you write a great argumentative essay, no matter what you’re arguing.

Tip #1: Pick a side, any side

It can’t be an argumentative essay if you don’t know what you’re arguing for or against. The simplest way to start an argument is to know what side you’re arguing for and to stick to the side until the very end. Sometimes the simplest statements of “I think. . .” or “I believe. . .” are a great way to start thinking about what side of the argument you’re on.

Here are some questions: Should schools push back their start time? Should healthy lunch meals be served to every student? Do you like the color black or blue?

Tip # 2: But Why?

Because I felt like it! If only that could be a valid reason for everything you have to explain (it’s not). But it’s not that complicated either. You picked a side of the argument, but you have to have reasons explaining why that side. The magic number to remember here is three. Any good argument needs to have at least three reasons that support your claim, and you get them by asking why.

  • Why did you pick the color blue—? Give three reasons.
  • Why should school days start later? Give three reasons.
  • Why this School?  Give three reasons.

Remember, your argument is only as strong as your reasons. The sentence that has the chosen argument and three reasons to support the argument is what we call a thesis statement. That is if you want to sound all fancy and impress everyone around you!

Tip # 3: Find A Partner

A key to any good argument is finding good, strong evidence. In other words, find people who know what they are talking about, have been published properly, and now have come to your rescue. It’s an important element in your argumentative essay to have evidence that supports what you’re arguing for. The support could come in many forms: quotes, expert opinions, graphs, charts, or any form of data.

For instance, if you argue that school should serve healthy lunch for reason a, b, and c, then you need to find people that will support those reasons. The magic number here is two. Two pieces of strong evidence to support each reason. (When did an argumentative essay become a test in knowing how to add?)

Tip #4: Know Your Opponents

It’s just as important to know the other side of the argument as well as knowing yours. Wait. . . Why?!

You must address the other side of the argument in your essay, so that you can counterargue it.  The whole mission of the argumentative essay is to make a strong case for your side, and nothing makes a stronger argument than knowing what the other side is thinking. It’s called being prepared with the counterclaim, and having a strong rebuttal to prove your argument is stronger. This takes more good research.

The key here is to be prepared to defend your side till the very end. And yes, all this work is happening through writing. Let’s not forget that while playing mind chess!

Tip # 5: Take A Bow

Here’s the grand finale, time to put it all together. You’ve done all the hard work of thinking of good reasons to support your argumentative essay and then of finding strong evidence to support those reasons. Now is not the time to confuse your readers! Simply leave them with a thought about your side of the argument. Keep it short, neat, and clean!

These are the five basic rules to keep in your back pocket when writing an argumentative essay. Remember, writing is a process, so always be open to feedback and revisions. Happy writing!

Article provided by VSA Future; offering virtual classes for your child.

Best 21 Blog Post Ideas for Kids Creating their First Blog

Blogging can be a child’s play if we look at it from a totally different perspective. Indeed, there’re countless children that’ve started successful blogs around the world. Furthermore, blogging is a wonderful hobby that helps bring out the creativity of a kid in a field they love, no matter their age.

In this article, I will discuss 20 best blog post ideas for kids that’re interested in creating their first blog.

21 Top Ideas for Kids to Create a Blog

Regardless whether you’re a parent that wishes to encourage your kid to create a blog or the child, you might find these ideas interesting.

Your Experiences

Nothing attracts people than reading your experiences. As a child, you can start a wonderful blog by writing about your own experiences in growing up.

Stamps Collection

Maybe you’re unaware but collecting postage stamps is one of the greatest hobbies worldwide. Start a blog that showcases your collection of postage stamps and speaks about how you got them.

Coins Collection

Numismatics might sound a bit foreign to you. All it means is collecting coins from your own country and abroad. Collecting coins is also a superb way to gain general knowledge. Start a blog about coins collection.

Helping Mom Around

Do you help your Mom around the house? Then surely you can help other kids to learn from your experiences. Write these as a personal experience by creating a wonderful blog.

Dad’s World

All kids have some thoughts about their Dad. Why not write about these. It could prove to be an amazing blog for kids around the world. After all, Dad deserves some appreciation too.

School Experiences

Not all experiences we have at school are happy. Nor are they sad. But that’s exactly how you could help other kids to know the ups and downs of school life while helping them to cope up.

Toys

Getting away from toys can prove hard as we grow up. Buzz Lightyear and those Toy Stores, superheroes, all continue to be an integral part of my life till today. Create a blog that speaks about your favorite toys.

Bullying

Now this is something serious. And I wish and pray you never have been bullied by other kids. Give a voice to injustice you’re facing by writing about bullying. Take some assistance from law enforcement officials in your place to know more about this disease that affects countless kids worldwide.

Volunteering

Encourage other kids of your age to do good for someone else. It could be an elderly in your place or someone you care about. Seniors always love kids. And your blog could possibly help bring a cheer on their faces.

Your Brother or Sister

This might sound funny to you. But if you’re fortunate to have a brother or sister, write interesting articles about them. We love and sometimes hate our brothers and sisters but mean no harm. Write funny things about your brother or sister that would help kids of your age. But remember, never to hurt them.

Pets

Having pets is one of the best parts of childhood. Innocent as we are, dogs and cats never stop fascinating us. Write about your pets and how you handle them.

Cooking

Cooking brings to my mind a Scottish teenager called Fraser Doherty. He began making jams from his grandma’s recipes and eventually became famous as the ‘Jam Boy’ in the UK. If you’ve some ideas about food we all enjoy, write about this.

DIYs

As a child I would love doing stuff myself. Juts for the thrill of seeing something I create works or doesn’t. I’m no engineer but just these simple things like building a small radio or repairing a blender would thrill me.

Toothaches

All of us kids undergo toothache at some time. And if you’ve ever been through one, you’ll know it knocks our senses out. Going to a dentist is scary. Write about own experiences when you have one. Not when you’re down but your personal experiences with a dentist and toothaches.

Birds

We often watch birds around. Some of these birds are seen rarely because they migrate. Should you be the one loving birds, write about the. Also, include some pictures if you can take them.

School Lessons

Good at any subject in your school. Help other students to learn more about subjects they lag. Teach them with you experiences and simple words on how to help learn something the way you cope with.

Music

Music is a universal language everyone can relate to.  What is your favorite type of music?  Who are your favorite singers and bands?  A music blog is a great way to connect with other fans that like the same music as you do.

Shopping

Kids are often curious about what their parents buy at stores. Write about your funny experiences in trying out new and interesting products that your parents buy and you try out.

Video Games

I’ve rarely come across a kid that doesn’t love video games. Create superb posts about video games you’re playing. You might find a lot of kids who share your hobby and would love learning more from you.

Picnics

Personal experiences about picnics are almost popular around the world. Other kids also want to have similar experiences and would identity with you. Create a blog with your own experiences or that of your friends.

Make Money as Kid

American labor laws are strict about kids working. Yet, there are some online jobs you could take as a child where possible. Help other children learn this important skill of making money during holidays.

In Conclusion

Before concluding I’ll add that being a kid isn’t any reason why you can’t start your own blog. Try it out and you could definitely create something that helps the world. Personally, I have amazing hobbies that I write about often. Blogging as a kid helps you earn some income. If you’re successful, it’s possible to create a brand image for yourself too. And this can be an asset all your life.

A little extra effort as a kid can help shape your future too. There are great online resources that can help you set up a website, even for a kid.  The younger you start, the higher your chances of success. Never let age define whom you wish to be and what you could become. Remember, successful adults often start small as kids.

Nervous Before an Exam? Here’s How to Feel More Confident

alleviating test anxiety

It is normal to feel nervous before you go for an exam. Exams are important and they weigh heavily on your final grades. Success in life is often directly related to how you learn to handle pressure in a healthy way. It can help you stay focused, improve productivity and enable you to do your best at whatever you set your mind to.

Experiencing anxiety or stress before an exam is completely normal.  However, if it is excessive it can interfere with the performance of any student no matter how much they have studied and prepared. It has also been referred to as test anxiety. So what should you do if you feel nervous before taking exams? Here are some tips to feeling more confident before a test.

1. Take a break from the books

There is such a thing as over-studying. If you spend too much time studying without a break, it will exhaust your mind and bring about fatigue. Fatigue can lead to a loss of concentration and it affects your memory as well. If your memory gets affected it will lead to frustration as you begin to think you haven’t learned anything at all. When you begin to notice this, realize that stress and anxiety has settled in, causing you to become even more nervous about failing your exam. It’s a sign that it’s time to walk away from the books for a while.

 2. Breathing

Stress can result in nervousness and anxiety and it will affect your breathing pattern as well. Test nerves can also lead to this. Concentrate on slow breathing to help manage your nerves and calm your body.  It can also prevent panic attacks for those who struggle with them. Wait for a moment and take a deep breath. Shut your eyes and take ten deep breaths. It only takes a minute but can make a world of difference in calming your mind.

 3. Get light exercise

There is a strong link between a sense of well being and regular exercise. Exercise leads to reduced anxiety and also helps with handling stress. Even while studying, going for a walk or a bike ride can work wonders for your brain and body. Exercise is also responsible for releasing those feel-good endorphins. It takes your mind off nervousness you may feel about upcoming exams. Clinical studies have indicated that regular exercise results in several emotional and psychological advantages that can aid you in gaining more confidence overall. Additional ideas for exercise are jogging, swimming and dancing.

4. Add fuel to the brain

Many times students get caught up in preparation for exams and as a result, they forget about taking care of their bodies. All physiques need food for optimum operation. Even your brain needs energy to work at full capacity.  Nervousness and anxiety can often stem from a lack of proper diet.  Drinking sufficient amounts of water is also important to avoid nervousness and anxiety, along with consuming a well-balanced diet of food that is rich in antioxidants. A light snack and drinking a glass of water while studying can help ease tension.

5. Prepare yourself well

To assist you with your regular studying can also search for online practice tests or study guides to help prepare yourself on the day of an exam.  Online resources can also help you organize your course work and study notes.  It doesn’t matter what level you are at or how old you are, even medical students can get nervous about taking their USMLE step 1 and they need to prepare well before entering the test. Although it might sound obvious, if you are confident about your preparation, you will feel better when walking into any test.  This results in less anxiety which in turn can help you maintain focus.

 6. Sleep

When there is a lot of information floating around in your head it becomes tough to make sense out of it.  Sometimes while studying you may just need to take a break and simply close your eyes. A power nap or even a longer sleep refreshes the brain.  This is why it’s always better for you to spread your studying out over more than one day and not cram it all in at the last minute. Similar to energy from food your body and brain needs recharging.  A sufficient amount of sleep every night is important. Lack of sleep can lead to much negativity such as lower affability, memory issues, depression, and anxiety.

7. Music

Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety and blood pressure and even improve sleep quality, mental alertness and memory.  Other studies have also shown that it is not just one particular type of music, but music that the listener enjoys.  Therefore, it’s the enjoyment of the music that counts to open up your brain and reduce your stress level.  It probably not a good idea to listen to music constantly while studying, but it can be a healthy way to do it in moderation and definitely a good thing to do give your mind a break.  I can also calm your nerves just before taking a test.