Just coming back from winter break I have experienced what seems to happen any time we have several days off from school. Many of our students are having a tough time getting back into the routine. This leads many parents to ask, when kids are home what can we do to keep them in the learning mode? I looked online to see if I could find suggestions from others on this subject and found many ideas that would be inexpensive and easy for families of any size to do.
One plan I saw incorporated many different activities to create your own “mini-camp” for the number of days that children are home. They suggested planning a meal and cooking together. This would teach following directions, using fractions in measuring ingredients, and reading to put the directions in order. I remember helping my mom in the kitchen and still use many of the things I learned to this day. Another idea for the “mini-camp” was to put together a museum of family items that have special meaning to you and your child. Along with that, you may want to make a family tree. Being able to share stories and talk about family members would be a great learning experience for children. When I found this idea it made me want to do this with my kids and when I was having lunch with a couple of fourth graders they said it sounded like fun. Finally, if you are not afraid of making messes, you could try making “silly putty”. Two parts glue to 1 part liquid starch mixed in a small bowl and let dry to the right consistency may create lots of fun for a day. I’m sure there are many more fun activities you can plan to do during your “mini-camp” experience.
During breaks, or anytime you have a few minutes to spend together with your children, another thing that can really help them is reading. Whether you are reading to them, they are reading to you or you are all reading something of your own choosing, developing a love of reading in your child will help them in their schooling, their hobbies, their activities, and many other lifetime events.
The next time you hear one of your children say, “I’m bored” spend some time with him or her using one of these ideas or one of your own. I’m sure you will all benefit from a little learning and a lot of fun!