Winter Break is here! School is out….so I am taking a break from sharing lesson plans. This week, I am devoting this post to helping parents make the most out this time and eliminating “boredom” from the equation!
Winter Break can be a little more challenging for parents than summer vacation. Depending on where you live, children are often confined inside due to the cold weather(though a good brisk walk, playful snowball fight and quick outing to the playground never hurt anyone).
Here are a couple of ideas to keep kids engaged over the holiday break.
Break out the puzzles & board games. They say variety is the spice of life, so make sure you have a variety of fun games readily available to combat boredom before it has a chance to set in. One of our Facebook fans recommends this tip- and suggests including the entire family if possible. I appreciate her comments about the classic games:
We like LIFE and Monopoly because they keep us engaged in our math, but we also love CLUE because it keeps us sharp on deductive reasoning. There’s so many out there from which to choose and we have tons. Cranium games are also awesome simply because you can get one that may involve music or word scrambling. Picture puzzles challenge our artistic visions and our seeing if we can put things back together. My kids LOVE board games way better than television and video games.
Put a Twist on Family Movie Night. I found this idea from Nestle Family- and thought it was quite clever. Develop critical thinking skills by having your kids discuss what they thought about the film and set up a rating system from 1-5 (5 being the best) and let them vote for each film.
- Have children draw a picture or write a short story about the film or their favorite part.
- Make a chart listing the movies you watch and keep track of the total number of votes each received.
- At the end of the month, watch the movie that received the most votes again.
Check your local papers and websites for free (or cheap) Winter Break activities. You are not alone! Most parents are challenged to find engaging activities this time of year and your local entertainment section will likely have some great suggestions on great local exhibits and activities for kids.
Get your kid in the kitchen and let them try out their culinary skills! This downtime is a great time to get your children in the kitchen and teach them some of the joys of cooking! Disney Family Fun has a fun site that has great kid friendly recipes and tips to try.
Get creative! Arts and crafts are a wonderful way to spend quality time together; and not difficult to do. It just take a few minutes of planning- most kids crafts can be made with items found around the house or something you can get at any grocery store. Kaboose has a great kids craft finder you will love.
Test Prep! The winter break is a great time to sharpen test taking skills by taking practice tests and learning valuable test taking strategies to help them excel on standardized tests. We carry a number of resources that enable students to perform to the best of their ability on standardized exams. The formats, reading passages, and questions are all modeled after national standardized and proficiency tests. Each book culminates with a practice test with a bubble answer sheet for a real test-like experience.
Need more ideas?
Family Education has an entire section that shares tips and activities to help bring on the Winter Break Fun!
Filed under: For Parents on December 23rd, 2010