Winter break is a time of family togetherness and celebration. With all the hustle, bustle and holiday cheer, it can be easy to overlook these educational opportunities. I’ve compiled a list of some fun and educational activities to do with your elementary and middle schoolers so that winter break isn’t a “break” away from learning!
Volunteer or Donate. Teach your children an importance lesson in human kindness by giving back to the community. You can have them help out at a nursing home or donate a gift to a child or family in need. There are lots of ways to give back to the community and show your children how it feels to help someone out in need. Not only does this teach them how good it feels to help someone out, it also can teach them the value of what they have.
Write a Christmas Story. Have your children come up with their own Christmas story. For the younger ones, help them to write it or have them make up a story with pictures. Put on a “play” where they “perform” their story.
Create a Holiday Budget. Have your children create a holiday gift budget. Teach them what a budget is and the reason for one. Give them a total amount they can spend. Have them write up list of all the people they are buying gifts for. Have them look through store ads to help with ideas for gifts and prices. Also, make sure they know the value of a homemade gift as well to help them not go over budget.
Make Holiday Decorations. It’s always fun to decorate for the holidays! Have the kids design and create their own ideas for holiday decorations and let them decorate around the house.
Create a Winter Weather Journal. Have the kids keep a journal to record the daily weather happenings. Have them write down how much (if any) snow fell, the hours the snow fell, weather predictions, etc.
Write a Letter to Santa. Have them write a letter to Santa and practice those writing skills.
Create an Advent Calendar. Teach your children the history of the advent calendar. Watch their faces light up as they count the days down to Christmas.
Explore Different Cultures. Learn about how different cultures around the world celebrate the holiday seasons.
Create a Holiday Tradition. Come up with a new tradition to incorporate into your holiday plans every year. Talk about traditions and what some common traditions are and their history.
Take a Winter Walk. Dress warm and take the kids on a winter walk. Have them look around and see what kind of birds are here in the winter. Teach them about migration and hibernation. If you don’t know all the answers to all their questions, go on a “research hunt” at your library or on the internet.
Winter breaks and family time can be great opportunities to create beautiful memories while teaching your children about the world around them. Enjoy!