The Christmas holiday is a great time for spending time with friends and family, enjoying a bit of a break from your regular daily routine, and sleeping in. It’s also a time when your child can lose some of the progress they’ve made in school since September–and that’s the last thing you want to happen. This Christmas, keep your child’s mind sharp even when they’re on break by using some of these four tactics.

 

Go on Field Trips

Since your child is out of school, you have a lot more time to go do things. Take advantage of that time to engage in learning activities! Check out your local museums, visit the zoo or aquarium, or see what other historic or scientific field trips are available in your area. Visiting some of these places in person is a great way to get your child interested in something new and encourage them to keep learning even while they’re on break.

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Give the Gift of Books

Whether your child is a struggling reader who doesn’t particularly care for English lessons or an avid reader who can’t wait to pick up a new book, consider giving them the gift of books this Christmas. Even the most reluctant reader can find a book that they love; it just takes a little time and patience. To choose books for your child, follow this checklist:

  • Choose something that’s in line with their interests. A child who loves science fiction or fantasy might not be as interested in a realistic fiction series, but would dive into a new science fiction offering.
  • Don’t be afraid of nonfiction books. Look for age-appropriate books that cover your child’s interests.
  • Understand your child’s reading level and try to stay within it. Choosing a book that’s too far above their reading level will lead to frustration.
  • Follow your child’s lead. Don’t try to force them to try the books that you loved when you were a kid; instead, choose the ones that are appealing to them.
  • Don’t shy away from books below your child’s reading level if they’re interested in them. High-quality books are appropriate for readers of all levels.

 

Choosing to give your child books for Christmas is an excellent way to package learning in a way that feels like a gift, rather than a way that feels like a chore. If you don’t want to buy books, however, you can also check out your local library to see what they have to offer.

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Let Them Experiment

Science experiments are a great way to get your child excited about the learning process. They don’t have to follow the science fair model to get a lot out of experimenting with popular household items. Try some of these fun Christmas-themed science activities, check out the spaghetti STEM challenge, or explore these popular science experiments for kids. When you let your child have the freedom to do a little learning on their own, you’ll discover that they are able to take it further than you dreamed.

Break Out the Technology

During the holidays, your child might want to spend more in front of the computer, watching television, or playing video games. Take advantage of those moments and use them as an opportunity for learning! Encourage your child to spend time on popular learning websites, choose video games that incorporate learning about everything from coding to math skills, and select some educational shows to throw into the mix. When you treat them like they’re part of the fun, your child might not even realize that they’re learning!

During vacation from school, your child deserves a break from the rigors of the academic year. That doesn’t mean, however, that they have to disengage from the learning process entirely. Use the holiday season as an opportunity to purse methods of learning and types of content that your child shows an interest in. Encourage them to go after information on their own. When you allow your child the freedom to keep learning and growing, you’ll find that they’re better able to deal with the challenges that come their way throughout the school year, using creative thinking skills and problem-solving to enhance their educational progress.

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Matthew is a blogger and writer interested in and covering topics related to child development and education. He strongly believe that creative play (such like puzzels, bocks, board games) have a profound impact on intellectual development and social skills.