5 Learning Opportunities for Holiday Breaks

By Molly Kale


The arrival of the holiday season means kids (and parents) can take a much-needed breather from homework and tight schedules. While getting some downtime is important, adding a few fun, learning activities into the holiday break can make it easier for your child to get back into the routine quickly when school resumes.

Activity #1: Meal plan and cook together

Cooking is a great opportunity to put your child’s fraction skills and basic facts to the test.

✓ Ask how much you would need of each ingredient if you were doubling the recipe or cutting it in half.
✓ Cooking can also be a science lesson! Talk to your child about the reactions that happen between the ingredients or what changes take place when heat is introduced.
✓ Create a hypothesis about which dish will be the most or least favorite and why.



Activity #2: Budget planning

Students of all ages can benefit from learning how to create and meet a budget.

✓ Show your child the budget you have for meals or gifts and the list of items you need to purchase.
✓ Go to the store together and have your child help you find the ingredients or items needed and the best deals that will keep your budget in check!
✓ Sale prices are also a great opportunity to talk about percents and unit price. How much did you save by buying the 10% off pumpkin puree?


Activity #3: Write a book or movie review

Pick a new book to read or movie to watch together and become the critic!

✓ Have your child write what he/she liked the most about the book or movie.
✓ How would he or she have ended the story differently?
✓ How many stars would your child give it and why?

Bonus: Record a video of your child reading his or her review with your phone and share it with friends and family!


Activity #4: Host a theater event

✓ Have your child pick a scene from his or her favorite book or movie and plan a skit or performance for an after-dinner show!
✓ Encourage your child to enlist the help of other family members and plan out costumes.
✓ Don’t forget to send out invitations ahead of time! Your child can practice handwriting and spelling when he or she writes the invitations. Or, let your older child use a computer program or free website to design the invitation.



Tip #5: Start a new tradition

✓ Ask your child to research holiday traditions in countries around the world and select a new one to share with your family this year!
✓ Have him or her plan the materials or ingredients needed
✓ Remember to talk with your child about how this tradition came to be, and ask why he or she chose this tradition to share.



Encouraging your child’s mental “fitness” helps build and foster long-term retention of key skills and concepts!