Winter break is a great time for students to relax, enjoy some freedom, and spend time with family and friends. However, keeping students busy, engaged and energized during this time requires some creative thinking and planning. Below you will find a few tips for keeping young minds active and learning during this holiday season.
Practice Math Facts
We certainly want children to keep working on developing their fact fluency over the break. Playing mental math-counting games while traveling or playing math war can support children as they continue to build their efficiency and accuracy.
Create a Survey
This is a great time of the year for children to create holiday surveys by collecting data from family members. Children can ask questions that range from holiday traditions to favorite songs and gifts. Once children have the data, they can create a bar graph or pictograph to display the results.
Learn While Traveling
Invite your child to become a part of the travel plans by having them become familiar with the map of the area you are visiting. Children can look for road names, find towns in the area, and even locate major landmarks or places of interest for your family.
Create a Holiday Reading List
Together with your child, create a special list of books for your child to read over the holidays. Let them choose books and write down the list together. Find a good place to display the list so that your child can cross off each book once they have finished reading it. You can create some rewards for books that have been completed.
Talk About Books on the Way
Airplane rides and car trips are part of the holiday season and a perfect time for a family to enjoy a long chat together. Encourage your child to talk about what happened in the book they are reading. Ask questions such as, “How did the story start?”, “What was your favorite part?”, “How did the story make you feel?” or “What other story does this remind you of?”
Find a new genre or a new book series with your child. The holidays are a good time to explore new genres with your child, or pursue new topics that your child is interested in. Additionally, exploring a new series with your child could help to create excitement for new challenges within the series.
Follow a Recipe
Cooking together is a fun activity to do over the holidays. It provides children an opportunity to read out the ingredients and steps out loud. After the cooking is done, have your child write a review for the item that you made together. Encourage them to use as many describing words as they can.
State Your Opinion
Children have strong opinions about many things such as food, toys, gifts, and games. If children make a statement about something they have seen or heard, ask them their opinion and encourage them to give reasons to support their opinion. Oral practice or written practice are both helpful.
There are learning opportunities all around and can be tailored specifically to your child and their learning needs. Creating exercises to strengthen their skills can be very helpful as they continue to learn in fun and creative ways over the holidays.