Phew! The holidays are finally here. No more early morning school runs! This may sound amazing at first, but whilst taking a break from the normal routine is necessary, the lack of routine can have a negative impact on children’s learning. In fact, studies show that children actually crave structure and routine, therefore to have some kind of structure during holiday times is beneficial for both children and parents. Here are some useful learning-focused activities that can be built into the holiday schedule to keep the momentum going. When children return to school, they will be refreshed from their break and ready to learn.
Keep active. Physical activity helps increase blood flow to the brain which increases memory function.
Reading is one of the greatest ways to work on school skills over the holidays. It helps children develop their vocabulary and improve reading comprehension. Often libraries have reading challenges to encourage young children to read so these are well worth exploring.
Arts and crafts can encourage creativity and imagination as well as reinforce many important school skills like attention to detail, following instructions and maintaining focus. In addition to this, creating something that can be displayed at home gives children a genuine sense of accomplishment.
Give children a mini project to do on any topic they are interested in. Use the internet and books to research the topic. Arrange the information in a mini book, PowerPoint presentation or just on paper. Anything goes! Self-directed learning helps to motivate children long term.
Playing board games together can help to develop teamwork as well as critical thinking skills such as strategy, analysis and planning. There is a vast range of games like the ones on Orchard Toys which help to develop many of the Maths and English skills needed in school. Completing puzzles such as jigsaws, word searches or crosswords also help to develop those all-important problem solving skills.
Putting aside time to write in a journal can be a great way to think actively and process thoughts. It can be a real stress reliever! Journals can be written about anything at all. They can be used to sketch, make lists, note down memories of specific events during the holiday season etc. You could also start a reading journal where new vocabulary from books that your child has read could be recorded. This will help to expand your child’s vocabulary no end.
Planning a learning-focused trip is always a rich opportunity to learn something new. Explore local museums, science centres, aquariums, zoos etc. Anything to help stimulate their curiosity.
Create a project that the whole family can get involved in. This can be tidying or organising the house and garage, putting photos into albums, sorting and donating old toys and clothes, trying new recipes etc. Such projects help everyone build skills such as communication, creativity and organisation. Certainly these are key skills from childhood all the way through to adulthood!
Learning over the holidays doesn’t necessarily mean having to complete workbooks and solely doing written tasks. There are plenty of easy, family-focused holiday activities that incorporate learning. Think of holidays as an opportunity to have fun together, explore the world and stimulate curiosity in a range of fun and engaging ways that keep children’s learning on track.
For more information about our holiday group tuition sessions (half term revision courses and Creative Writing/ Comprehension courses), please visit https://www.onlineprimarytuition.com/group-tuition.