Winter break is right around the corner, and before you know it your children will be waking up at 10:30 in the morning, half-stumbling into the kitchen, bleary-eyed and groggy, wondering where their breakfast is. So unless you get a head start on planning some exciting winter activities that will keep your child sharp and ready to head back into the slog of the second-half of the year, they may end up a couch potato going green in front of the TV!
Below is a by-no-means-exhaustive list of great things you and your children now have the time to do together, since homework and other responsibilities may not allow this during the rest of the year:
- Shopping! Shopping at the grocery store for all the food you'll need for the big family gathering can be exhausting, so now is a great time to plan out everything in advance. Have your children help you make the list of all the ingredients you need and determine a rough estimate of the cost. This helps with developing their math and critical thinking skills, not to mention gives them vital experience for real-world problems.
- Cooking! Cooking is chemistry and helps to build fine-motor skills and uses copious amounts of math. Measuring fractions of volumes and determining proper cooking times for doubled recipes is like a delicious pop-quiz.
- Cards! Have your children write Thank You cards for any presents they'll receive, or thank their family for a wonderful time if you did the visiting. Writing Thank You cards helps to keep up good handwriting, helps children practice writing skills, and as well as teaches manners.
- Gift wrapping! Have your children measure presents (for others, naturally) and determine the proper amount of wrapping paper needed. Or, if you want a more creative touch, have your children make their own gift wrap out of construction paper and colored-pencils.
- Reading! While the cookies are baking or the family is settling down for the evening, don't forget to read! Read special holiday books, or put on a poetry recital. This can help your child's reading comprehension and give them a boost of self-confidence.
With a little planning this holiday season can be not only the most wonderful time of the year, but the time of year that ensures that your kids are ready for the restof the year, as well!