Holiday Activities / Games
Holidays – a break for all but with our children there are benefits to keeping young minds tuned into routines, reading, maths and learning outside four walls.
Playing games with your children is a perfect way to spend some quality time together while at the same time consolidating skills, using social skills and having fun.
Allowing time for board games helps practice cognitive skills such as problem solving, speeds up our response time, helps develop logic and reasoning skills and can increase our spatial reasoning. With games such as Monopoly and Scrabble we are consolidating spelling choices, enhancing our general knowledge and practising social skills such as turn taking and losing graciously.
What do our children want more than anything? They want someone to play with, someone to listen to them and someone to have fun with.
What do we as parents want? We want to develop our children’s verbal and communication skills, increase attention skills to encourage concentration and focus for longer periods of time and to activate our children’s imagination while recharging their batteries during the holiday break in a stress free homework free environment.
In addition playing games with our children allows us to spend quality time together, offers great learning opportunities, can satisfy competitive urges, offers opportunities to master new skills and gives endless possibilities for social skills to be practised and young minds to be guided especially in how to loose with a smile!.
Learning opportunities through games can cover number, shape, patterns, counting, general knowledge, spelling, letter and sight word recognition, reading with a purpose, strategy development, hand eye co-ordination and fine motor skills.
Communication skills such as engaging your children in conversation, sharing interests, turn taking, verbal communication, winning gracefully and expanding your child’s attention span can all develop through participation and completion of games in a relaxed holiday atmosphere.
Snakes and Ladders – counting forwards and backwards / direction
Dominoes – number patterns
Cooking – measurement within the recipe / shopping list – (paying $ / c) / healthy foods
Blokus – a strategy game for all ages, spatial awareness, number
Jenga – patterns, strategies, fine motor skills
Monopoly – counting, following directions, strategy
Reading / Spelling / Vocabulary
Read for fun
Start a novel together and take it in turns to write a chapter
Maps – follow your trip on a road map or world map / give directions for a trip or a local walk / read the street signs
Recipes – reading, following directions, measurement
Scrabble – spelling
Snap – sight words, spelling words
Boggle – spelling, vocabulary
Have their own shopping list and trolley to help in the supermarket
Design a menu for the family dinner – shop and work out the cost
Write the family Christmas cards in advance
Keep a holiday diary
Use your computer skills to find some interesting local activities
Log on to the Museum or Art Gallery and find activities you would like to attend.
Keep a weather map for the holidays – create your own weather symbols
Find the cheapest mode of transport from A to B – cost of train from one place to another – work out how much it would cost to get to Manly from your house by ferry, train, bus or car….
Write yourself an exercise program to share with the family
Practise a new skill each day
Play Twister with a friend
Plan a walk through an area not usually visited such as over the Harbour Bridge, down along the city side of the Harbour around the Opera House and up through the Botanical Gardens where they can release some energy and view the surrounds.
Add a picnic to your park visit.
Another popular trip is to cross the Harbour by ferry across to Manly with a run along the beach before heading back across the water.
Encourage your children to take a sketch book to draw things that attract them or perhaps they can take a camera and put a presentation together for grandparents.
Create your own birthday cards / gift cards
Create a colouring book for a younger sibling or friend with your drawings
On large paper, potato print your own wrapping paper and print matching cards onto cardboard
Plant and care for a vegetable plot
Happy holidays to all…. Remember a balance of structured and non structured activities is good for both you and your children.
Holidays give us the bonus of time to encourage creative opportunities….
Quiet time – is equally important for all….
Katrina James – Learning Enhancement