The first week of the holidays, your family is likely rushing around trying to get everything set for Christmas. You’re cooking all the foods, meeting up with all the family, wrapping all the presents, and come Christmas Day, you just want to relax.
After the blur that is the Christmas season, however, you want your kids to do something engaging. You don’t want them spending the rest of their break on the iPad or on their phones or playing the XBox. Not only does this feel like a waste of time off, it makes getting back into school and routines more challenging. Our Christian school has some educational activities that your family to enjoy that are both enriching and fun, while still making time for relaxation.
Connecting as a family, resting, having fun, learning — that’s what break should be all about! Learn more from Resurrection Christian School, and look into preschool, elementary school, middle, and high school enrollment options for your child!
Visit a Museum
A day off makes for a delightful trip to a museum. In Colorado, we have so many amazing options for everyone in the family to enjoy. If you haven’t taken your family to the Denver Art Museum, it’s well worth a trip — they have countless kid-friendly activities that can be found around the museum. There’s also going to be a free day on January 5th!
The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery is an even closer option. While it’s a bit more catered to younger children (think fifth grade and below), there’s still something for everyone to enjoy. And don’t forget to check out the Loveland Museum website to find special events and exhibits that are happening close to home!
Check Out the Library
Getting some new books is an obvious perk of visiting the library. But the Loveland Public Library has tons going on, and all their events are free! There’s a Messy Arts event happening on December 22nd, and a science event on the 28th — ideal for some hands-on and enriching activities for your young ones! Check out their calendar to find more opportunities for your family. And back to our book comment, is there anything better than curling up with a good read in the middle of the day? We think not.
Go on a Literary Scavenger Hunt
Children learning their sight words and elementary-aged kids working on spelling and vocabulary can benefit from this one. Create a list of words that your kids need to find (completely fine to make different lists for each child), then walk around downtown Loveland or Fort Collins to try to find each word. Each time a word is found, kids should write down where they found it (good writing practice!) and can take a picture of it as well. This is a fun and unique way to grow literacy concepts, and a great way to get outside and explore over the holidays.
Have a Board Game Day
Board games are educational? You bet! There are so many educational benefits that come from playing a board game. Strategizing, critical thinking, logic and reasoning, these are just a few skills that are honed through board games. But to add onto that, essential math and literacy skills can be developed through specific board games. Bananagrams, Scrabble, and Boggle are great for word play. Yahtzee and Monopoly are excellent for working on addition and subtraction. You can never go wrong with a game of cards, either!
Get a new board game for the family for the holidays, and spend one of your days off playing. It beats everyone being on their phones or devices for a day, and it’s such a fun way to connect with your family.
If you’re worried about your competitive children getting upset and the game turning from a fun event to a hostile, tear-filled situation, find a collaborative game for everyone to play instead, try playing on teams, or have the classic rule: whoever wins has to clean everything up. It’s always a great opportunity to talk about being a good sport, regardless of if you win or lose.
Create a Lego Challenge
Who doesn’t love Legos? Legos, like board games, have a lot of intrinsic educational value. They require critical thinking, imagination, creativity, and a pretty solid understanding of structural engineering. However, you can create challenges that incorporate STEM activities for something different for your child to try. Here are just a few ideas:
- Tallest Tower: With an unlimited number of Legos, encourage your children to make the tallest tower they can — with the rule that their tower must be able to withstand an earthquake (shaking the table). After they’re finished, talk with them about how this rule impacted their design.
- Identical Housing: With an unlimited number of Legos, the challenge is to create identical housing for two Lego families (though the colors of the blocks can be different). It’s more challenging than you might think! An added layer would be giving a limited number of Legos, which makes it more tricky to figure out.
- Road Runners: Create a vehicle (with wheels) with the goal of having it travel as far as it possibly can. Looking for something more imaginative? Encourage your children to create a mode of transportation that has yet to exist. Hover cars, rocket boats, the sky’s the limit!
Grow Some Plants
A sunny winter home is an excellent place for plants to blossom and grow. Taking a trip to your local gardening store can get your family set up with some seeds, soil, and planters. An afternoon spent preparing your potential garden is an exciting and invigorating activity that everyone will love. It’s also a gift that keeps on giving — tracking plant progress is an ongoing learning activity!
You can go for a flower garden, or if you’d like to create a fruit and vegetable garden in the summer, this is a great time to start seeding your plants. Talk with gardening experts at a store about what they recommend, and happy planting!
Revisit the Story of Christmas
Learning about the birth of Jesus is why this season exists in the first place, and it’s absolutely an educational activity. While at our Christian school, your child will spend time learning about this miraculous time, but it’s an excellent lesson to reinforce at home as well.
Leading up to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, spend some time with your family talking about Jesus’ birth, revisit the relevant scripture, and think about some takeaway lessons for your family to practice in the coming holidays and new year — as one example, think about how Mary did not have a place to go, and find volunteer opportunities to help those who are also in need.
The holidays are a spectacular time, and when you can bring in some educational activities for your family, you will not only strengthen your connections by spending time together, but you’ll have a break that’s happier and more fulfilling. Resurrection Christian School is all about having learning opportunities wherever you are, but we’re also about family time and getting to relax. With these activities, you’ll get all three. Have an amazing holiday season, and contact our Christian school in Loveland to schedule a tour!