Winter Break is coming….

By Cheryl Coleman

My daughter exclaimed, “Four more weeks until winter break; I’m so excited!” While most children are excited, most parents are thinking, “Two whole weeks without school! Will they drive me crazy?”

I have been down this road before, so I try to think of things to do to help us all get through the two week break.  I  start with the one thing they dislike the most, getting our house organized for the holidays. I have my daughter get rid of old toys and make a pile to donate to child care centers or donation centers.  We do the same with clothes. I tell her we have to do this to make space for the new items she may want.

After some winter cleaning, I recommend the following:

  • Take time to take advantage of some of the free holiday activities in your area. Try to visit some museums you have never visited.
  • Volunteer at local shelters and serve holiday meals.
  • Try some new recipes. Children love to bake sweet treats and cook up some delicious food. Have them prep and measure all ingredients.  This will help them with some simple math skills. The kitchen will probably be a BIG mess, but it’s worth all the clean up to have quality time bonding with your child.
  • Go outside and enjoy some nature.  Go for a walk on a trail or ride bikes.  Try to find some beautiful scenic areas.
  • Movie night is a big hit. Have your children pick a movie.  Then, gather all the snacks that you would get at your local theater at the dollar store.  You can find everything there even popcorn containers to make it really cute and fun.
  • As much as they love their iPads and computers, have them do some educational activities like math or science on their electronic devices instead.
  • Take a trip to the library and check out a book.  It doesn’t have to be the biggest book just a book to keep their minds working.

Even though we want to keep breaks fun for our children, we still need to keep their brains thinking so they don’t lose or forget valuable information they have learned during the several months leading up to the break. If you are like me, I like to get the decorations put back up before getting too far into the new year.  Have them help of course even if they don’t want to! The idea is to keep them busy, so they are not glued to their electronic devices the entire Winter Break!