Fun and Easy Tips to Keep Kids Learning during the Holiday Season
Sleigh bells ringing, chestnuts roasting, snow is falling—it’s the most wonderful time of the year! The holiday season is an opportunity to spend quality time with our loved ones, give thanks to one another and celebrate the arrival of a new year.
It also means that the kiddos are out of school for an extended period of time, which may interrupt the learning structure of school. Don’t worry, we are here to help! We’ve come up with simple and fun ways to sneak a little learning into your holiday traditions.
With some creativity, the holiday season can be both educational and memorable. Give these easy activities a try:
Use holiday baking to bring classroom lessons to life. From pumpkin pies to gingerbread houses to sugar cookies, your time in the kitchen are perfect learning opportunities. Measuring is a great way to practice fractions, while mixing helps children learn about the chemistry of baking. Plus, following a recipe is good practice of following instructions.
Have your children help create your holiday menu by finding recipes in a cookbook together. They can practice their math skills by comparing prices of different brands of ingredients at the grocery store.
Make the most of holiday travel by turning car rides into a learning opportunity. For the older kids, test geography knowledge by trying to name all 50 states and their capitals. You can even have them point out license plates from different states. Younger kids can count the number of different colored cars.
Turn dreams of a White Christmas into meteorology fun. Children and adults alike, who doesn’t like waking up to a beautiful snowfall? Have your children research how many times it has snowed on Christmas day in the past 10 years. They can collect data on temperature, precipitation and snowfall amounts.
Build math and measuring skills into wrapping presents by asking your children to measure the gifts with a tape measure or ruler to determine how much wrapping paper is needed.
Explore your family heritage by creating a family tree. Many families spend the holiday season with extended family, so it’s a great opportunity to encourage your children to take an interest in learning more about their heritage. Have them come up with a list of questions to interview grandparents and other family members. It’s a unique way to hear family stories and learn about the childhood experiences of older relatives. Everyone will enjoy going down memory lane.
Mix-up your nightly reading routine. Pick out some holiday-themed books to read by the fire place, your Christmas tree or make a nice cozy pillow fort. If you’re traveling, take some audiobooks to keep the kids engaged in the car.
Whether you do one or all of these activities, you and your children are bound to have fun creating wonderful family memories this holiday season. And keeping your children’s skills sharp will make the transition back-to-school after the New Year a smooth one.