When I was home-schooled, every activity became a learning activity. Maybe you don’t have time or money to take your kids to fancy museums and send them off to camps over Christmas break. Have no fear! There are plenty of at-home and around-town ways to keep your child’s mind active and in tune during the wild Christmas season.
Keep your kids on the educational track this Christmas break by giving them responsibilities and assignments. This will encourage your kids to be creative and use their problem solving skills, making the transition back to school that much easier.
Creating Artwork as Gifts and Christmas Cards
Encourage your child to make presents and cards for their friends and family members. Lay down a tablecloth and break out the paints, paper, polymer clay and other art supplies. Use what you know about your child’s interests to give them tips and suggestions on what to make for each person. Offer to sit down with them and make a few of your own gifts! Having a friend or family member to socialize with and bounce ideas off of is a great way to exercise teamwork and problem-solving skills.
Writing Family Newsletters
Get your child involved in the things that you consider to be important Christmas traditions. If you write a family newsletter or make your Christmas cards, let your child help! Ask him to write a paragraph about himself, and what he has learned this year in school, new interests and hobbies, and exciting opportunities he has encountered. Give him a length suggestion, a deadline, and offer to proofread his work when he is finished. Have him help you address and stamp envelopes, or draw custom designs on the back of each envelope. Giving him a chance to use his writing skills in the real world will give him a sense of confidence in his abilities.
Planning your Christmas and New Years’ Events
Creativity and problem solving skills are very important in your Christmas season event planning. It gets your child thinking critically, balancing multiple ideas at once. Have your child help you plan your menu, design the decorations, and arrange the room for an ideal party. Not only will this be a good experience for them, but they can take pride in knowing that they helped out with something you see as very important.
Cooking and Baking in the Kitchen
Baking and cooking are both very creative, mathematical, and scientific tasks. Have your child help you cook Christmas treats, and use it as an opportunity to teach them about cause and effect, basic chemistry, and logic.
Grocery Shopping Mathematics
This is one of my all-time favorites. My mom used to do this with us all of the time. Go to the grocery store with a list of materials that you need and a specific budget that you have to stay under. Bring your child with you and have them help you calculate the best product to buy to stay under your budget. Make sure your child takes into account how much of each item you will need for your recipe! This is a great way to use your math skills over break and keep them from rusting over. Good luck, moms!