“But it’s BREAK! I don’t want to do homework!” Have you heard that whine before? As a parent, chances are you’ve heard that line many times. But what if there were engaging activities to do with your child over break that didn’t feel like ‘work’? What if there were simple (and fun) ways to stop the break boredom and give you a chance spend more quality time with your kid(s)?
We have you covered.
Board games are an excellent way to get your child excited about an activity, while not making it seem like ‘work.’ It’s best to get a strategy game, for example: Monopoly, Sequence, or for more advanced learners, Taboo.
Even though some board games may seem challenging for struggling learners, you can always modify the game to make it easier. In Monopoly, you can shuffle and pass out all the property cards so you begin the game with properties already in-hand. You can also play in teams so that a child who struggles with reading can be assisted in reading ‘Chance’ or ‘Community Chest’ cards without feeling frustrated.
The key is to get your child thinking on a deeper level without making them aware that they’re doing it! If you’re able to play as a family, you’ll also model positive behaviors of teamwork, turn-taking, and communication, not to mention spending quality time together.
Puzzles are great activities to do with your child over break because they require concentration, focus, and out-of-the-box thinking. If family members are able to do it together, it can also be a time for conversation, too.
The key with puzzles is to start small. Depending on your learner’s age, getting a lower-level puzzle will be best. There are thousands of puzzles available, so you can always search for a specific theme or interest your child has in order to make it even more fun. (There are even options to do a puzzle online, for electronics-lovers!)
If you’re looking to sneak some fractions, counting, sorting, and other everyday math into your child’s break, then cooking with them is an excellent option. Around the holidays there’s always so much to make, too, so this can be a seamless way to engage your child in meaningful ways.
From sorting ingredients by size and color, to reading recipes, to measuring out different ingredients into the mixing bowl, there are many ways you can cook with your child and make learning fun! Having them practice their skills in a low-stress environment will also help if they face test-taking anxiety.
If your child is artistic or enjoys coloring, creating, or hands-on work, then crafts make one of the best activities to do with your child over break! Start by finding simple projects to work on: Christmas cards for soldiers, coloring a Menorah, or making handmade ornaments for the tree. Depending on your child’s level and engagement, you can also find advanced holiday crafts, or color-by-number pages where your child has to associate numbers to different parts of picture, plus challenge his or her visual skills to color within the lines.
These are just a few of our favorite activities to do with your child over break. Do you have ideas or traditions of your own? Feel free to share with us!