The holidays are on their way!
As I write this I am sitting on a porch covered in Christmas lights in the 75 degree North Carolina sun. Yet I still feel myself being filled with the Christmas spirit.
I love this time of year, seeing all the lights, decorations, and excitement. What I love more is seeing how excited and in awe children become when observing all the holiday magic. It's my absolute favorite!
Just because school is out doesn't mean that learning has to stop. Just because you are trying to do a little learning with your child doesn't mean that the holiday fun has to stop either!
Incorporate a little learning and a lot of fun in to your holiday season this year with these five holiday learning activities.
1. Bake Cookies
Have your child help you bake Christmas cookies. Reading the recipe, measuring the ingredients and watching the cookies bake in the oven will immerse your child in language, math, and science. I can assure you they will be having so much fun baking and eating cookies that they won't even know they are learning!
If you feel that your child is a little too young to be around a hot oven or using measuring utensils they don't have to miss out on the fun and learning. Have younger children help cut out sugar cookies and ice them. Cutting out different shapes and trying to get as many cookies as possible will use math and problem solving skills. Icing cookies can be great fine motor practice for little ones who are still working on handwriting.
2. Make Ornaments
When I was young, my mother made Christmas ornaments with me each year. Making ornaments with my mom is one of my fondest Christmas memories.
Making Christmas ornaments can enforce many different academic skills. Buy or make pre-cut shapes to lay out with craft supplies and let your child get creative figuring out how to make a festive ornament. Also, check out this list of cute DIY Christmas ornaments for kids.
3. Read a Story
The more warm fuzzy memories your child has of reading books, the more interested they will be in reading. The holidays are a perfect time to snuggle up with a good book and some hot coco. Out of ideas? Look through this list of holiday read aloud chapter books for the whole family by What Do We Do All Day (one of my favorite bloggers).
If you are tired of the same old holiday stories, try taking one of your family's favorite books and turning it in to a play!
4. Count Down
Many families have a tradition of counting down to Christmas with a calendar. Counting down to Christmas is a perfect opportunity to slip in a little math practice. When marking off the day, add a little challenge by asking these questions.
How many days are left until Christmas?
How many of those days are weekend days?
Is today an even or odd number day?
How many Tuesdays until Christmas?
What date will it be 10 days from now?
What was the date 5 days ago?
For a real challenge/older kids: How many hours/minutes/seconds until Christmas?
5. Shop til you drop
Have your child help you shop for loved ones while building math and financial literacy skills. Talk to your child about the amount of money that you have to spend for certain family members or take it out in cash. Your child can help brainstorm gift ideas and add up what you have spent as you hit the shops.
Don't purchase many gifts? Have your child help add up costs on the holiday meal or decorations.
I hope your holiday is filled with joy, rest, family, and learning!