When the Atlanta Home Inspector was a kid, the first few days of Winter break were great! The kids stayed up late and got to play or watch TV when they would have usually been at school. Then, the holiday traditions would begin, but by the time the hoopla had subsided, it was common to hear, “Mom, I’m bored!” Now the Atlanta Home Inspector has kids of his own who share the same lament! Here are a few suggestions to curb the Winter break blues:
Visit your local library.
Typically, libraries will have fun activities for the kiddos while they are out of school. Whether it is a reading challenge, games, or crafts, there is something at the local library for any child to enjoy. Of course, if you have children who like to read, then the simple allure of books is all that is needed.
Capture holiday memories writing.
The holidays are a time to capture special memories when families spend more time together. Nothing is better than creating a holiday journal. Another excellent way to preserve memories while participating in a creative, family-friendly activity is snap photographs or film videos. Develop a story or character script for your potos and/or videos. Studies have shown that even younger children enjoy exploring writing and that their scribbles and scrawls have meaning to them. This type of writing is called prewriting and it helps children develop language and literacy skills.
Creat holiday shopping lists together, writing brief descriptions of holiday pictures or photos, or planning holiday food menus together. This is family activity that helps involve the entire family.
Turn holiday chores into holiday cheer
1. Cooking and baking exposes children to measurements, mixing, and the properties of solids and liquids which help them learn about math and science. For example, you could ask your child to measure a cup of flour or show him or her how water and oil separate when in a bowl.
2. Wrapping packages can be an opportunity to discover and identify different shapes, sizes and patterns, as well as practice eye-hand coordination. For example, ask, “Which package is the biggest?” or “Which box is round in shape and which one is square in shape?” Have your child practice wrapping a gift for someone in the family with a pre-cut piece of wrapping paper.
(These suggestions found in a prior blog at http://www.ahomeinspectoratlantaga.com. 2011.
The holiday season is a perfect opportunity to bond and make memories with loved ones while learning together. Whatever families choose to do this winter break, look for ways to expose your children to a myriad of age-appropriate activities that allow them to imagine, explore, have fun and keep learning while sharing in the holidays.
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