The Holidays are here (i.e., Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanza, New Year), and with them the usual two-week break from school. However, just because there is no school, does not mean there can’t—or shouldn’t—be learning going on. I’m not referring to the formal sit-at-your-desk learning, but the informal, on-the-spot learning. This will create a natural inquisitiveness in children, making them want to learn about the world around them—not just now, but throughout their lives!
Below are a few ways to naturally incorporate learning, while having fun! See how many more ideas you can come up with, keeping your kids’ specific interests in mind.
If a sledding opportunity arises, time how long it takes for your child to get to the bottom of the hill. How about if your child and a friend ride down the hill together on the same sled? Does the time change? If so, how? How about if a toboggan or saucer is used instead of a sled? Does the time it take to get to the bottom of the hill change? Why?
In addition to singing holiday songs from memory, find picture books with the words to favorite songs or online lyrics that your children can read. Because the words to the songs are well-known, it will aid in the reading of unknown words.
When gifts are received, catalogue the various types of gifts (e.g., clothing, books, games, electronics, gift cards, money). Create tables and graphs containing this information. What can be learned from these displays?
Though it may seem out of date to some, have your child write thank-you notes for her gifts. Not only does this teach etiquette, it also works on writing skills.
If baking is part of your holiday tradition, make sure you allow your child to assist with the measuring of ingredients, timing the baking (e.g., how much time is left?), and even counting the cookies/brownies made (or, if more advanced, multiplying the rows by columns).
As they say, the possibilities are endless--but the opportunities for learning are precious! Keep your kids’ brains limber this winter break, while engaging in fun activities!