A Winter Wonderland of Activities Over Winter Break

Keeping your child’s mind engaged over the winter break makes it easier for her to get back into the swing of things when school resumes. Learning shouldn’t be confined to a classroom and when you raise your children with that mindset then school becomes just another place to learn instead of the place to learn. These are all things I’ve done with my children to help keep them entertained during winter breaks from school.

Take a Hike
Unless the weather is so severe that doing so would be dangerous, take your child on a nature hike. Discuss what plants, if any, are still growing. Talk about any animals or birds that you see. You can even collect items such as pine cones to decorate your home with for the holidays. This is activity for kids from pre-school through college.

Visit a Local History Museum
This is another fun learning activity for the whole family. I specify local history museum because these museums focus on a particular small area and these areas are often overlooked in classroom settings. Kids can learn about the founders of your town, who fought in what wars and what life was like in the proverbial “old days.”

Go to the Library
In this era of Internet information, fewer people are physically going to the library. Even those who check out books often locate the books online and just pick them up at the circulation desk. Take your kids to the library. After you pick out books, see what other programs your library offers. You might be surprised to find that there are book groups, lectures and more. Reading to your children, even after they can read to themselves, is a great way to bond as a family.

Study Geology
Contact your state geological survey. You can find a link to their site via the website to the U.S. Geological Survey. In most states they offer a twice a year tour, spring and fall, with lectures about the geology of the specified region. These tours include a bound guidebook that is perfect for a do-it-yourself winter tour. The book is available on their website as are printable guides. Throw a picnic lunch into the car and you can make a day out of it. In most regions winter is a great time for one of these excursions because the loss of vegetation makes it possible to see aspects of geology that you miss during other times of the year.

Bake Cookies
This is one of the most popular educational activities around for kids. They get to learn chemistry, fractions, culture and patience. There is even a reward at the end of the activity!

Don’t try to plan every moment of your child’s winter break. Kids need a time to do nothing; to just run and use their imaginations. Sometimes doing nothing is the best educational activity.

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