You’ve made it to winter break. Ah, time to veg out for a few weeks. Not so fast. Winter break is the perfect time for teachers to spark their brain and stay mentally active. Staying mentally active during your break may just work to your advantage when you return to the classroom. If you are a teacher looking for some great ideas to keep your mental wheels greased during winter break, don’t fret. Here are 10 educational winter break activities for teachers.
Winter break is a great time for teachers to grow their professional development. Teachers can take a class, attend a seminar or conference or indulge in community education classes. They can spend some time reading education books, take a short online class or participate in a research project. Not only will these activities help keep teachers mentally active, they are also great additions to their resume.
Plan and Prep to Reduce Stress
Yes, I know it’s technically work and this is your vacations time, but using winter break to plan ahead and get prepped for your next month of school or units of study can help relieve post holiday stress and start your new year more relaxed. Since there are no deadlines to meet, planning units during winter break can be enjoyable as well as educational. Winter break gives you the time to investigate topics of interest more deeply.
Go Eco Trekking
Eco trekking is a great way for teachers to stay mentally and physically active during winter break. Eco trekking, based on the popular Geo Caching, is a mentally challenging activity that requires mental concentration, problem solving and outdoor adventure. Eco trekking involves using a GPS receiver to discover “treasure” hidden in outdoor locations using provided clues. Eco trekking is available year round, even in the winter.
Travel to New Places
They say that travel broadens the mind, so go see some new places during winter break and stimulate your mind. Strapped for cash? Don’t worry about breaking the bank. Travel to nearby destinations. Discover new places in your area. Or take a staycation and rent movies about exotic locales. You can tailor your staycation food and dress to fit your desired location. Have a luau, beach party or visit the orient all from the comfort of your own home.
Exercise Your Brain
Teachers can also stimulate their brain during winter break by indulging in jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, Sudoku, brain teasers and electronic games.
Read Something New
Reading something new is an excellent way for teachers to spark their brain during winter break. Read something that challenges the mind like classic literature, a college textbook or a technical science fiction novel. Read to learn something new or read something out of the ordinary for you, maybe a romance novel or a biography of a famous person.
Write Your Way to a Sharper Brain
Not into reading? Write a grant, keep a journal or start that novel or children’s book you’ve always dreamed of writing. Online writing sites like Associated Content offer teachers a convenient opportunity to write and earn a little cash to boot.
Learn a New Skill or Take Up a New Hobby and Get Creative
Want to keep your mind sharp as a tack during winter break? Learn a new skill or take up a new hobby and get those neurons firing. Learn how to ski, knit a scarf or go country line dancing. Learning something new activates multiple areas of your brain and helps keep you mentally active. Let your creative side shine through.
Exercise Your Body
Instead of vegging out during winter break, get up and move. Begin a new exercise regimen or change up your old one. Dust off those old workout videos. Take that Wii out of the box. Take an aerobics class, lift weights or just walk. Exercise is a great way to get your brain in shape as well as your body.
Relax and Rejuvenate
Even though all the activities listed above are recommended for helping keep your brain in tip top shape during winter break, keep in mind that you don’t want to pack too many activities into your break. Meditate, spend time with your family, get outdoors and make sure you get enough sleep. Consider having a massage or spa treatment. Make sure you give your brain and body a chance to rejuvenate for the long push towards spring break.
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U.S. National Whitewater Center