In our house, winter break is something we look forward to. It’s a time without crazy schedules filled with family, fun, and relaxation. Pushing pause doesn’t mean you stop learning while having fun. Keeping up the school rhythm through the holidays can be achieved through many activities to keep everyone in an inquisitive mindset while enjoying family time together.
Meg with Mil Kids Ed offers enjoyable and easily incorporated ideas to mix fun and learning during winter break. Try out these fun winter learning activities and ideas, and keep the fun going by following MilKids Ed on Pinterest for more exciting at-home learning ideas to keep the school rhythm going during the holidays!
Baking and cooking are the perfect ways to sneak learning into fun. You’ll hit math, reading, science and following directions all in one:
- Ask your child to measure wet and dry ingredients and compare the weight of a measured cup of flour to a cup of water or milk.
- Double recipes to practice adding and multiplying fractions. Work on dividing fractions when you halve recipes.
- If your child can read, have them read the directions to you or find the ingredients in the pantry by checking the labels.
- Experiment by slightly changing the ingredients — swap brown sugar for powdered sugar or whole wheat flour for white. Guess whether the taste or consistency will change, then check your results!
Doing science experiments keeps your children’s brains engaged in scientific thinking and problem solving, even when school’s not in session:
- Frozen bubbles — Wait for the temperature to drop below freezing, then head outside to blow bubbles. Watch what happens!
- Colored Snow: Mix up a batch of colored water using food coloring or follow the recipe from Hands On As We Grow. Pour each color of water into its own squirt bottle, then go outside to spray the snow.
- Frozen Silly Putty: A fun DIY from Paging Fun Mums will have your kids enchanted with chilly, slimy fun!
Math is really all about thinking logically, finding patterns, and playing with numbers:
- Budget holiday spending money.
- Guess the weight of the present.
- Track Santa on NORAD.
- Create a weather station, and graph the temperature every day (this one does double duty as a science experiment, too)!
If you’d like something more concrete, try Khan Academy. This free learning website offers resources across multiple subject areas. Plus, you can track your progress over time!
Reading is essential to learning, and there are a lot of winter-themed books to choose from — traditional holiday stories to fun winter tales:
- Build reading into your vacation learning plan by gifting high-interest books to your child.
- Set aside a time each day to spend reading. Make it extra fun by sipping hot cocoa together.
- As a reward for reading — and general learning — over vacation, host a book-to-movie marathon! Pick a book, or two, to read as a family. Then watch the movie.
Keeping the School Rhythm During Breaks
Something is better than nothing. Your days don’t have to be filled with learning activities; just do a little something every day.
Skip the workbooks. Vacation is a great time to make learning fun with family field trips, interesting science experiments, and arts and crafts. Whatever you decide, make sure it makes sense for your child and your family.
How do you keep your kids involved with learning activities over school breaks? Share your best tips and tricks in the comments!
Photo Credits: Marisa McDonald Photography
This article was co-written with Meg Flanagan of MilKids Ed.