Oradell, NJ December 19, 2017 —Holiday break is a wonderful time for children to enjoy a reprieve from the daily routine of school and homework, and spend time with family and relax. However, Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center reminds parents that there are many ways to keep children learning and engaged over break—without forcing school work on them. "This break is a great opportunity to get into a few fun and educational activities as a family," says Huntington. Here are a few ideas to help your child keep learning these next few weeks:
Let your child plan a meal. This can combine time-management, and help with math, reading, writing, and art skills. Provide cookbooks or online cooking sites to help choose simple recipes for the meal. When cooking, put your child in charge of measuring. Ask questions, such as "Is two 1/4 cups the same as 1/2 cup? How can you tell?" Model how to create a shopping list. Try to estimate cooking times and prepare a schedule. Search the newspaper for coupons. Do math estimates while grocery shopping.
Break out the crafts. There's no better time than the holidays to create gifts. Check out your local craft center for classes on card-making, or spend time together at home working with your hands. Clay, paint, drawing materials and more are a great way to exercise those artistic, creative muscles. Take those projects a step further and check out how-to books from the library on new crafts or nonfiction books on different artists.
Hit the library. The library is a must-visit destination over holiday break. Your child can enjoy reading for the fun of it as opposed to reading for school, so let him or her choose a few books to enjoy over break on subjects that are of interest to him or her. Don't forget to check out the library's schedule of classes and events for children, teens and families over the holidays.
Books as holiday gifts. Good gifts over the holidays are books or a gift card from a book store. A gift card allows your child to pick out books they want to read so they are involved in the selection process and will be excited for what they will read.
Explore local museums. Call the local art, history, science or cultural museums to see if they have any special exhibits going on this holiday season. And even if they do not, these next couple of weeks are a great time to make a few family field trips to some of the attractions that your city has to offer. As a follow up to the outing have your child write about the activity.
With a little planning and imagination, you can make this holiday break enjoyable for your child—and help him or her learn a few new things, too. "Take time during the break to encourage your child to explore his or her interests and have fun in the process," says Huntington. "Free time is the best time to refresh one's memory that learning itself is a fun activity."