Fun and Easy Winter Break Learning Activities

By Dr. Raymond Huntington

Winter break is upon us and for most students, that means sleeping in and chilling out. A break is good, but it doesn’t take a lot of effort to keep your child’s brain fresh. These activities are educational and fun—and best of all, easy to administer for Mom and Dad. Try one or a couple!

Reading – For all the obvious reasons, reading is one of the easiest ways to keep your child occupied over winter break—and one of the best learning activities too. Plan a trip to the library the first day of break and let your child choose whatever they want to read. For younger children, stock up on winter-themed books and make reading a fun, nightly activity. For teens, consider picking a book that you both can enjoy—maybe a book-turned-movie that you can plan to watch at the end of break together.

Museum trips – Many museums have special exhibits around the holidays that are worth checking out, but even if they don’t, art galleries, science museums, history museums and other museums are always fun to visit. Maybe there’s a sports museum for your athlete or a music museum for your singer that you’ve been meaning to explore.

Documentaries – Teens are a great audience for documentaries, especially if you take care to choose subjects that might interest them—like music, animals, sports and well-known historical events. It won’t take much searching to find options that could appeal to your child. Make it a nightly activity to enjoy over break!

College research – Busy high school students don’t have a lot of time to put toward college research when school is in full swing, but winter break is a great time for juniors especially to start this process. That might include starting to browse college and university websites, getting familiar with different scholarships they might want to explore next year, or asking students they know who are a year or more older (and home for break) how they like the schools they attend. Seniors who are still working on applications and planning to turn them in soon might want to finalize their materials or fine-tune their admissions essays.

SAT/ACT prep – Another task for the college-bound student is to prepare for the SAT and ACT. For juniors, starting an SAT or ACT test prep program during winter break has many advantages. Not only will they master test-taking tips and tricks, but an SAT/ACT prep program will help them improve their knowledge, skills and problem-solving abilities that they learned in high school. This will help them keep their grades high throughout the remainder of the school year and earn them higher scores on the SAT/ACT. Also, if your student is in AP classes, testing is in early May. Your student might want to get a jump start on SAT or ACT test prep now so they can focus on AP exams come spring. Contact Huntington to learn more about our proven test prep programs.

Science – Science experiments and projects are fun for kids of all ages and ideas are a Google search away. Kitchen science is fun for the family and experiments often require items you’ll have in your cupboard, pantry or refrigerator like salt, cornstarch, eggs, dishwashing liquid and oil. But don’t stop there. Your student could chart the daily weather or something similar for an engaging daily science activity.

Online classes – Many educational websites offer free classes for students of all ages, and there are likely some that have virtual winter break camps that would keep your child engaged and happy for an hour (or more) a day. Search online and ask your local librarian and your child’s teachers for ideas too.

Winter break learning doesn’t have to be difficult. With this break from school being much shorter than summer break, it’s tempting to let your child just lay around. But your child can fight the boredom with a few daily activities while also keeping the mind fresh. When school resumes in a couple of weeks, your child will be both refreshed and ready to start the second half of the year off right!