Learning activities for students over winter break
By Huntington Learning Center
It’s holiday break, and if you are in need of a few ideas to help keep your child entertained and learning these next few weeks, Huntington Learning Center of Rockford has several suggestions.
“Your child deserves a reprieve from school work, but there are many things you can do as a family that will keep your student engaged,” said Orville McElfresh of the Rockford Huntington Learning Center.
McElfresh offers the following winter break learning activities for inspiration:
Get scientific — Safe and fun science experiments are a great way to pass the long days of a holiday break and encourage your student’s scientific thinking. Check out the University of Michigan’s BioKIDS website for an animal tracks and sign guide, and send your child out to explore your local habitat for signs of animals. Browse the Steve Spangler Science or Weird Science Kids websites for educational experiments your child will enjoy.
Develop a menu — Have your child help you from start to finish with your holiday menu or even weeknight meals during his or her break. Set your child up with a cookbook or send him or her to a recipe website to come up with meal ideas, make a list of ingredients and even create a paper menu for dinner guests. Have your child help you do the shopping and compare prices of different brands in the grocery store.
Make a holiday scrapbook — Bring out your child’s inner crafter by having him or her work on a family scrapbook for the year or just the holiday season. Have your child collect photos and mementos (such as plane ticket stubs) from any vacations or other special outings, and share his or her finished product on New Year’s Eve. Websites such as http://www.mymemories.com and scrapbooksetc.com offer lots of ideas and also have free printable templates and patterns.
Write a family history book — Work together on a family tree. Your child could take the project further and interview grandparents, aunts and uncles to learn more about different family members’ experiences growing up — your child may be surprised at how different life as a kid was for a grandparent. Try a “Favorite Family Holiday Memories” book in which your child can record his or her own reflections as well as those of other members of the extended family.
With a little creativity, winter break can be both educational and memorable. Seek out fun activities that will keep your child happily occupied — whether that’s creating photo thank-you notes or spending time researching an imaginary travel itinerary to the moon or Antarctica.
“Long breaks don’t have to feel long,” McElfresh reminds parents. “Keep a list of ideas handy, and encourage your child to use this free time to do things he or she is interested in and doesn’t normally have time for.”
From the Dec. 12-18, 2012, issue
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