Stress Free Learning During The Holidays
The holidays are just around the corner, and I think we’re all letting out a sigh of relief. 2020 has been HARD. The holidays may look a little different this year, but there’s still plenty of opportunity for rest and joyful time spent with family or close friends. While school is out, you may want to keep your child’s brain occupied and their skills sharp. But, you also might not want to hear them complain about you making them work on homework during their cozy days off...especially if you've been doing online learning since MARCH. This is where Hoffman Tutoring Group comes to the rescue! We’ve compiled a list of holiday learning activities that your child won’t even recognize as learning. Enjoy these fun activities while knowing your child is getting a little extra brain boost. Don’t worry, we won’t tell!
1. Bake Cookies
Yup, it’s as simple as that. Make holiday cookies together and the learning will follow. When you start to think through all the steps that go into baking cookies or other treats, you’ll quickly see the opportunities for your child to boost their skills in almost every subject. Here are just a few learning experiences your child can have while creating tasty treats
Reading the recipe- Promotes reading proficiency and fluency for older students and is great practice in following directions for younger students.
Measuring the ingredients- Creates awareness of measurements and fractions and is great practice in precision and fine motor skills.
Cutting out sugar cookies- Geometry and problem solving (try to get as many cookies out of one sheet as possible).
Watching cookies bake in the oven- Observing a chemical reaction
Icing cookies- Great fine motor practice for younger students
Halving or doubling recipes- Hands on and real world practice with fraction multiplication and division
2. Make Ornaments
No matter what holidays you celebrate, making ornaments or decorations can be a great way to bond, have fun, and squeeze in a little bit of learning. Don’t worry, they don’t have to be pinterest perfect. The goal here is to be creative and have FUN. Spread out the craft supplies and let your kids lead the way. You can lay out pictures and instructions for inspiration, or let everyone go rogue. At the end of the night you will have new decorations and fun memories. Here are just a few things your child learns while creating:
Geometry - Most holiday ornaments involve shapes
Fine motor skills - Think cutting, gluing, and coloring
Reading and direction following
Measuring and scale
Color and hue
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 to read as a family. Need something new to read? Look through this list of holiday read aloud chapter books for the whole family or hit up the holiday display at your local library.
4. Count down
Many families hold the tradition of counting down to a holiday. Counting down is a great opportunity for your child to hone their math and calendar skills in an exciting way. When marking off each day, you can add a little challenge by asking these questions:
How many days are left until...?
How many of those days are weekend days?
Is today an even or odd number day?
How many Tuesdays until...?
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...?
5. Shop til you drop
All the shopping and planning leading up to the holidays is a great opportunity for your child to practice math and financial literacy skills. All families approach shopping and finances differently, so here are a few ways you can incorporate your child into these processes:
Give your child a budget to spend on gifts for siblings or other family members- This creates an opportunity for planning and prioritization when it comes to spending
Add up the family shopping to see how much more there is to spend
Let your child plan a holiday meal with a budget
Empty your coin purse and let your child count and sort the coins
Let your child pay for items at the store with exact change (that they count up themselves)
We hope your holiday is filled with joy, rest, and learning!