It’s a holiday but children can still learn

A winter break is fun for the whole family. There are the holidays to celebrate and so many exciting and fun things going on. Another great thing about this time of year is the abundance of opportunities to keep children learning and on spot with education and most of the time, they won’t even know you are doing it. It is simply the way you look at tasks and activities that need to be done and including children in the activities. Hard to believe? You may be surprised.

Cooking

There are so many things that children can learn while cooking with parents. They practice the skill of measuring (math). They can learn about ingredients and their purpose (science). The food is made in different shapes (geometry).

Addressing envelopes

There is not a child that is too young to help. If all they can do is put on stamp, that is still a learning skill. Where does the stamp go? What makes it sticky?

If your kindergartner just learned to write his name, give him file label stickers and have him write his name and put them on the back of the envelope. He will be delighted when others mention how great his sticker was.

Older children can help with the whole process.

Wrapping presents

Talk about a fun way to work on fine motor skill, problem solving and hand – eye coordination. Wrapping presents covers the whole gamut. Granted, they may not look perfect, but Grandma and Grandpa certainly won’t mind if a child wraps the present. It will be perfect for them.

Music

Music awakes parts of the brain that are opened no other way. So get out those jingle bells and let them ring. Play music and the children can sing and move along. Caroling can actually double as homework. Don’t miss this great chance to celebrate the sounds of the season.

Reading

Children are pretty savvy and if they are reluctant readers, they may protest. It is important to remember that any reading is good. Can they read that Christmas card to you? Can they cross off the items on a shopping or to do list?

It may be that the perfect thing to read is a book. One family has the tradition that on Christmas Eve everyone gets to open their new book. Everyone in the family has a new bedtime story or book to read. Something about unwrapping it and have it come at such a great time opens their hearts to reading.

Shopping

Why not include them on a shopping trip or two? Add up how much things are going to cost, or at least identify the price. Is that more or less than $5.00? Such comparison questions are a good idea, as they teach reasoning skills.

Homework

Often times a teacher may send a homework packet home. If this is the case, make sure to set aside some time when there will be no interruptions and the student won’t feel like they are missing out on something while doing homework. Preface the conversation with something like this. “There is nothing else going on. This is the perfect time to do a page of that homework and get it done.”

No fuss, no muss, just be happy to help your student get things done.