Santa and snowball fights might dominate your child’s thoughts during winter break, but learning doesn’t have to pause over the holidays.
A Christmas curriculum has numerous benefits; it stimulates your child’s brain outside of the classroom, provides opportunities to create priceless memories, and helps your family transition smoothly into the new year. It also won’t cost you a penny; all it requires is a little planning and time.
Here are five free family activities that will keep your kids learning during the holidays.
Give life to history by helping your kids create their own family tree. Aim to include important dates and major life events of every relative that comes to mind. Kids can fill in any blanks and expand the tree branches with a phone call or visit with elder relatives. Unbury old family photo albums and match faces with names to create leaves for the branches. Your kids will make their own personal connection to generations past.
It’s never too early to start planning for spring or summer break. Gather everyone, and create a list of possible destinations and related travel expenses (such as transportation, lodging, meals, and activities). Children can help calculate how much the family will have to set aside weekly to budget for the trip and brainstorm ways to contribute. Kids will learn the importance of budgeting, and your next family trip won’t send you into debt.
Grab a newspaper, age-appropriate magazine or non-school book, and take turns reading to the rest of the family for few minutes each night. Reading out loud boosts your child’s comprehension skills and builds confidence with public speaking.
Ask your kids to write New Years’ letters to themselves. Each letter should include at least three personal accomplishments from the past year and three goals for the coming year. Seal the letters, decorate the envelopes, and store them for safekeeping until you open them next New Years’ Eve. Your kids will practice penmanship, sentence structure, and grammar while starting a new family tradition.
Bundle up, and head outside for your own family winter Olympics. Kids can dash, catch, sled, and jump through a homemade obstacle course of laundry baskets, boxes, and trash cans. The whole family will burn cookie calories and get much-needed Vitamin D, and you’ll reinforce the lesson of friendly competition with your children.