The winter break is a time for decorating, last-minute shopping, family gatherings - and two weeks of bored kids lounging around the house. How can we prevent kids from becoming one with the sofa while binging on their favorite show as their school skills slowly wither away?
Although the winter school break gives kids a well-deserved pardon from homework and daily obligations, you don't want to let their school skills completely slide during the holidays. Try these 5 family-friendly activities to turn that winter break idleness into an adventure for the whole family, guaranteeing kids’ minds stay keen in the process.
Take the kids to the library on the first day of break and have them pick out a handful of holiday books.
Let the Games Begin
Your children may be looking forward to time off to engage in marathon video games sessions, but too much gaming is not healthy for body or mind? As well as monitoring their total screen time, research shows that directing their digital time to certain interactive games may actually help kids develop skills that pay off in the classroom.
As the holiday season moves into full swing and kids are home from school, it's easy to forget to keep children on a regular reading schedule. However, cracking open a book is one of the greatest ways to work on school skills over the holidays. Take the kids to the library on the first day of break and have them pick out a handful of holiday books. Reluctant readers? Sweeten the pot by giving kids an incentive such as extending bedtime or an extra dessert for finishing each book.
Keep Them Puzzled
Crosswords, puzzles, and sudoku books are the perfect way to challenge kid’s minds while on holiday break. The process of trying to solve a problem and work through the steps needed to reach a result keeps your child’s brain stimulated and occupied. Make it more fun by making these solo activities into family-friendly games by putting together a large puzzle together or having a timed word search contest.
Turn Up the Heat
From gingerbread houses to sugar cookies, baking is one of the best parts of the holiday season. And let’s face it, not much piques a kid’s interest more than freshly baked goodies. But did you know that having them take part in the baking process you can also sneak in a little learning? As the adage says: cooking is an art, but baking is a science! Enlisting the kiddos to help make cookies or a cake from scratch introduces your child to science in a fun and rewarding way, teaching them skills that will help them understand better how things work and the world around them.
Put Pen to Paper
Does it seem like your child’s iPad has officially become one with their hands over the winter break? Kick it old school and swap out the devices for some good old-fashioned pen and paper by creating holiday thank you cards. Make a list of family and friends, then grab the pens and blank cards and let them get to writing. It’s a great way for them to practice their writing skills, try out some new vocabulary words, and express gratitude for all they have received this holiday season.