Students absolutely deserve a breather from school work and studying over the holidays, and there are many benefits to embracing this time as a chance to relax and recharge. However, Huntington reminds parents how easy it is to keep children engaged and having fun during break. There are so many great ways to keep the mind active while spending time together as a family. And best of all, including a few educational activities in your holiday break schedule can keep your child’s brain active, minimizing regression that can take place even during a short break from school.
Library visits – An easy and highly beneficial educational outing for holiday break is a family trip to the library—and you can go as often as you like. Most libraries offer a range of activities during holiday breaks that might pique your child’s interest. At a minimum, however, you and your child can pick up some reading material to enjoy during the lazy days that school is out. Make reading a daily activity for the whole family.
Museum outings – If you have a favorite art, cultural, science or other museum or have wanted to visit one for the first time, holiday break is an ideal time to do so. Be sure to view the website ahead of time to see if there are any special exhibits or events. And take your child’s lead—perhaps he or she would enjoy art over science or a fireman’s museum over the baseball museum.
Documentary or film – If your child was fascinated during his or her class’s unit on Egypt or loves learning about nature and weather, check out the selection of films and documentaries at your library (or through Netflix if you’re a subscriber). An at-home movie afternoon is certainly fun, but you could also make it a day outing. Browse the showings at your local science museum—maybe you’ll discover an exciting option at a nearby IMAX theater or planetarium.
Musical performances or theater – This time of year generally means lots of cultural events and activities if your family is interested in music, theater or dance. If The Nutcracker doesn’t grab your child’s interest, check out the local high school or college for plays or other performances, nearby jazz or other music clubs, or even your local coffee shop to see what types of entertainment might be on the holiday calendar.
Holiday break is a great chance for your child to unwind and do the things he or she wants to do, but it is also a perfect time to enrich the mind and explore different topics. This is a rare opportunity free of school obligations when parents and their children can delve into some interests and enjoy learning something new together. Get out and expand your horizons. Offer your child ideas and then let his or her curiosities guide you.