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Back to School Hacks: Printable Study Helpers

Back to School Hacks: Printable Study Helpers

One PIXMA printer + a little craftiness + your K-12 kids = the brightest minds of tomorrow. Maybe your kids haven't always gotten along with their schoolwork, but a little play goes a long way. Break away from the books with these printable study helpers - think Bingo, 3-D models, tic-tac-toe, flash cards and the memory game - and show your children that learning can also be a lot of fun.

1. Bingo with Brains

Bingo with Brains

Bingo is a classic, universally accessible game that is also a dynamo for memorization. If your kids have a test on the horizon, just whip up some word bingo cards using a free online template. Print out the master word list, cut and fold the paper fortune cookie-style, and throw the words into a hat. As you call out words, engage your learners by asking for definitions or starting up a little educational discussion disguised as play - this one's great for vocab lists, memorizing the periodic table, or getting familiar with historical figures.

2. 3-D Paper Models

3-D Paper Models

Sometimes, learning is best when it's in 3-D. Take our very only planet, for instance. Why study geography using a map when you can completely create your own globe? That's a no-brainer - just use your PIXMA printer and some educational paper crafts. First, download the template of your choice and print out the necessary pages in photo quality on matte paper. Budding geographers will get plenty familiar with all seven continents as they construct their 3-D globe, and they'll always have the finished project on their desk for reference.

3. Tic-Tac-Know - A Game with Magnetism

Tic-Tac-Know - A Game with Magnetism

Who says studying can't involve a little friendly competition? You remember tic-tac-toe from your childhood, but this version brings in quiz questions for your kids to brush up on their studying. Even better, it's accessible on the go.

First, print out a few tiny, travel-friendly tic-tac-toe game boards from a template, then glue the boards to the insides of two metal mint tins. Next, paste the “X” and “O” pieces to the tops of ½-inch circle magnets. Then bust out that textbook and get ready to emcee.

You can play this game with only two kids, or a group split into two teams. Flip a coin to decide who goes first, and ask that team a study question. If they get it right, they get to place one X or O on the grid. Then turn to the other team and give them a shot at a different question. Remember that wrong answers mean no points, and no magnets on the grid. Winning this game is the same as winning traditional tic-tac-toe - be the first to get three markers in a row. It's quick, smart and portable, so your kids can stay sharp even when they're away from the classroom.

4. Classic Flash Cards

Classic Flash Cards

Flash cards are like jeans and white tees - they don't go out of style because they just plain work. And luckily for bright young minds, the PIXMA printer family comes ready to print in double-sided, four-by-six-inches. Found the perfect factoid on your tablet while sipping coffee? Use AirPrint or Google Cloud Print to wirelessly pop out a fresh flash card on the fly.

And remember, flash cards aren't just limited to text. Try using thematic images printed on card stock paper - like alphabet flash cards with cute animals for early learners - to make durable, eye-catching study buddies.

5. Memory Game Show

Memory Game Show

One thing about flash cards is that they could stand to be a little flashier. So why not turn studying into a game show?

Come up with 15 questions and 15 answers, and print them in big, bold letters on 30 four-by-six-inch flash cards. Tack them up to a bulletin board in random order and cover the text with colorful, numbered sticky notes. Your study squad, in turns, calls out two numbers to reveal two cards, hoping for a question-answer match. Award one point for each match and keep on gaming till the board has been revealed.

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