As kids scurry home to enjoy the wonders of the holidays and a well-deserved respite from a hectic school schedule, it’s important to add some learning opportunities to the mix. While the rigors of school may be placed on the backburner, there are some fun and sneakily educational ways to keep kids cognitively active during break. This collection of ideas is the perfect way to keep boredom at bay and create some fun-filled family time.
Anytime is the right time for reading, and an extended break from school should never be a break from books. The holidays are an excellent opportunity to make family reading time a priority. Discover some go-to family favorites to be revisited annually, or enjoy sharing new titles together. A designated snuggle up and read time will be a welcomed addition to the hectic nature of the season.
Have kids compose more than abridged text messages over the holidays. If gift exchanges are a part of your break, a hand-written thank you would certainly be well received and time well spent. These Thank You Note Tips from Real Simple can help you get started. If gifts aren’t on the agenda, a thank you to the troops, a kind neighbor, or a civil servant would be equally well received. A few other writing ideas:
- Create a family traditions scrapbook with descriptions and photos of holiday celebrations and other family gatherings.
- Compose a family goals and/or to-do list for the upcoming New Year.
- Have kids co-write a family message/update for holiday cards.
Math & Science
Turn to the kitchen for some fun and learning with math and science. Pull out a cherished family recipe or search for a new dish and let the kids do the cooking. Following step-by-step directions and working with measurements keeps the brainwaves active while the palate reaps the rewards! These extension ideas can pack in even more learning:
- Double recipes to add a mathematical challenge.
- Have kids plan and prep a family dinner by choosing a recipe, making a grocery list, shopping on a budget, and preparing the meal. After working out the kinks during an extended break, this could become a routine occurrence throughout the year.
- Pair up and complete a cooking challenge with a unique basket of ingredients.
Time off from school usually coincides with more activity opportunities in the community. This is the perfect time to attend a live performance, visit a museum, or peruse the wares at a local craft or art show. Enjoying the arts doesn’t require leaving the house though. Try any of these at-home ideas:
- Listen, sing along, or dance to holiday classics and/or a family favorite playlist.
- These 38 Easy Christmas Crafts from Woo Home are easy and affordable. They’d make great additions to your home or a décor decoration to a retirement or nursing home.
- Grab some window markers or paints and add a festive scene to patio doors or windows.
Learning at home shouldn’t be about workbooks and activity pages. Help kids see how it can be an exciting and educational part of everyday family life. By completing a few fun-filled activities, kids get to enjoy family time and keep their minds educationally engaged outside of the classroom.