by Blake Herzog
By the time your school-age child is on winter break, they’ve already done a lot of adjusting and learning.
Winter break is a time when they can kick back a bit and spend more time on fun things like new gifts, holiday events and simply enjoying being with their family and friends.
While they need and deserve plenty of time to frolic outside and in, there are many ways parents can enrich their vacation with positive activities that keep their kids’ brains building and intellect expanding while keeping them on track for continued success once they head back to the classroom.
Find hands-on learning moments
You can teach so many life lessons that also have academic applications, such as reading, fractions and science through making a recipe. Younger kids can learn about counting and sorting by helping you do the laundry and other chores while also taking on responsibilities. Board games teach everybody about logic and strategy.
Look for volunteer opportunities
Children as young as 5 or 6 can be enormously helpful in organizing food pantries, picking up trash (with gloves) and helping to choose old books to donate, while older kids and teens can help at soup kitchens, community gardens, animal shelters, senior centers, libraries, church activities and the list goes on.
Those 12 and younger likely will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian, while teens can get their first taste of working in environments separate from their family.
Keep creative juices flowing
Making Christmas and New Year’s decorations, writing and telling stories, coloring books, learning a new hobby or craft or designing their own video game are amazing ways to foster creativity.
Maintain a consistent schedule
While their time doesn’t need to be as regulated as it is during the semester, keeping morning and night routines along with meals should be kept consistent to provide a sense of structure and security and enhance self-discipline for when they return to school.