When schools take a break, many parents worry that their children aren’t making productive use of their time. Free time can often lend to hours of Smashy Road and Hulu binges. So, how do you make sure that your kids are keeping their minds active, while also enjoying themselves?
1. Form a family book club.
Each week, you can each read the same book and come together as a family to discuss it. Reading is one of the best ways to promote continued learning, and it can be fun. You can take turns choosing books to read or look online for suggestions. Take your children to the library to find their selections. While they are there, a world of curiosity will be unlocked as they discover an atmosphere of learning.
2. Find a new hobby.
Whether it’s bird watching or coin collecting, taking on a new hobby keeps your brain active as you learn the ins and outs of a new topic. While this is a great idea for anyone, kids will love it, too. Try to find something related to your child’s specific interests, such as learning a new sport or building model airplanes. There are plenty of activities that teach new skills and generate enjoyment.
3. Go outside.
Take the family to the lake or go for a hike. The time away from technology is refreshing, even if they may oppose the idea at first. Nature is a great place to encourage curiosity, as you find various plants and animals. Look up information about the ones that interest you. It may surprise you what you find out.
4. Break out the board games.
Board games are a fun way to bond with the family, and they also promote the development of various skills. There are many games designed to boost memory, enhance creativity, and sharpen word skills. Search online and find some that are right for your family.
5. Chronicle the break.
It’s difficult to remember specifics about your childhood. It would help if you had some sort of evidence of your memories. Have your kids keep a journal or scrapbook of their vacation. This will bring out their creative side and also help them hold onto the feeling they had as children on break from school, celebrating the holidays as a family. Plus, it could be a lot of fun.
6. Take a trip to the local museum.
Even the smallest towns across the country have collections of art and historical artifacts. Trips to these museums can be very informative for visitors, providing insight to events that may not otherwise be encountered. If that’s not enough for you, you could turn your visit into a scavenger hunt. Do a little research to get an idea of what the museum has to offer, and then create a list of things for your kids to find. They’ll love it.
7. Make your own science experiments.
Even the simplest Google search will bring up endless ideas of quick, easy science experiments to do at home. This could be anything from baking soda volcanoes to building your own lava lamp. Show your children how fun science can be by letting them have hands-on experience.
8. Foster discussions.
Your kids are having unique and exciting experiences. Encourage them to share them with you. A good place to start is by volunteering information about yourself. Get them to explain how they feel, as well as why they feel that way. This will generate healthy communication skills, which will be beneficial as they interact with others. The question “How was your day?” doesn’t have to be met with the response “Fine.”