There are many ways to keep learning and challenging your kids mind through the school holidays. This can be achieved by exploring, reading, researching, baking and solving!
Here are some awesome ways to keep your kid’s brain sharp during the break:
Go on a Treasure Hunt…
A classic treasure hunt includes clues and treasure! By making the clues somewhat educational, whether it be solving a maths question or needing to conduct a quick science experiment, students can see these clues as riddles or challenges that will lead them to their desired treasure! As a parent, you probably have a number of ‘rewards’ up your sleeve that you know your kids would love to find as treasure.
Then, with a group of friends, or your family, complete the treasure hunt at a local park or in your backyard at home. Treasure hunts are a fun way of keeping the mind and body active.
Design & Create…
Explore the reaches of your child’s imagination by encouraging them to design or create something during these school holidays. Here are some ideas:
- Design the layout of your dream room (if suitable, feel free to implement)
- Create a song or piece of music with your voice or an instrument
- Use pieces of nature to create an artwork
- Make a sandcastle the next time you go to the beach
- Write a letter to your future self, and bury it somewhere
You could even lay out some craft supplies like paper, paint, textas, cardboard boxes, glue and watch your child’s imagination come to life. Creating and hands-on activities help their brains stay active and creative. Not only does it develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, but it will boost your child’s self-esteem after they create something they have put their hard work into making.
We’ve all been told how amazing reading is for you. It’s true, reading is the best way to keep the brain active and imagination alive. Reading can be an enjoyable way of learning which engages your child’s mind and can build their imagination or factual knowledge. We recommend bringing them to a book store/library and allowing them to be a part of the book selection and purchase/borrowing process. They may want to read a comic for entertainment or read a more factual book about a topic of interest.
Reading daily, even one chapter a day for those reluctant readers, is important in improving other skills like spelling and writing. Even listening to a story on Storyline Online is another way to get their daily dose of reading in.
How to keep a reading log: Each time your child reads, you can note down the pages read, their thoughts about the chapters or pages read, as well as note down any questions about the story they have. This helps them see their progress and feel accomplished as they continue to read as well as maintain their engagement in their book.
Some questions you can ask your kids to show your interest in their book:
- What happened in the chapters you read?
- What predictions can you make about the next few chapters?
- What did you like/dislike about what you are reading?
- What have you learnt so far?
- Is there anything you will try and incorporate in your writing moving forward?
- What else do you want to know about this story or topic?
Go on a Drawing or Photo Walk…
Do you have a device that can take photos? Or maybe you want to stick with a blank piece of paper and a pencil? Either way, you could go for a walk outside with the kids and help them take photos or stop to draw interesting things they can see along the way. You could even print out your photos or organise your drawings into a scrapbook – double fun!
Riddles help you to develop your critical and imaginative thinking skills as you study the words and what they mean. They are a great way to challenge kids in small bursts.
These are two websites with interesting riddles:
Maybe you can give your kids a riddle or two a day – maybe get the whole family involved! You can make it a competition by recording who solved the riddle each day and the winner selects dessert the day before school starts.
Puzzles & Games…
Did you know that playing games like Monopoly or Scrabble can be educational?
Playing games or puzzles can be a great way to learn without realising it! These activities encourage kids to work on their logical thinking and problem-solving skills. Games like ‘Snakes and Ladders’ are terrific in helping practice counting. We know how the holidays always get busy, but games and puzzles are the perfect way to wind down and bond as a family.
Has your child tried to solve a Rubix cube before? If not, why not buy them one. The algorithms they need to follow to solve a Rubix cube can really stump their brain, but also improve their concentration, memory and mathematical skills. You can also purchase other puzzles too, like jigsaw puzzles or online puzzle games, such as these:
Explore the Outdoors…
Sick of staying at home during the holidays? Why not take the family out on an adventure! Find a new walking path, maybe one by the coast or through a park. Encourage the kids to breathe in the fresh air and cherish the outdoors. Maybe bring their swimmers for a dip in the ocean or a bike to ride around the park.
If your kids are bored of the same exercises or outdoor activities, try something new for extra motivation. If it’s raining outside? YouTube has so many easy workouts to do. You can put on a Just Dance video to copy along. Even 5 minute yoga videos have physical and mental benefits, perfect for children to increase focus and concentration.
Whatever the activity, just remember – exercise is so beneficial for the brain. It maintains brain health and overall well-being, so make sure to incorporate it as frequently as possible.
Host a Masterchef/My Kitchen Rules cook off! Not only is this fun but it also relates to Math & English. Younger ones can work on their fine motor skills with pouring and measuring. It’s also an awesome way for visual learners to calculate fractions and see measurements in real life. Are you following a recipe? Well, interpreting a recipe will improve their English comprehension skills as well! All that learning, plus you get something yummy to eat at the end!
On behalf of the MWNS team, we hope your holidays are wonderful!
These simple but fun activities will most definitely keep your kids entertained throughout the holidays whilst keeping their brain active! Make learning fun and try out some of these activities this upcoming school holiday break. Oh, and don’t forget to share your fun with us in the form of a photo or video – send us your holiday fun!
More about Maths Words not Squiggles:
At MWNS, we offer primary school tutoring and high school tutoring in Maths and English to ensure students understand their schoolwork, meeting the requirements set out by NESA and achieving grades they are proud of. All our Maths and English tutors tailor their lessons to the individual needs of our students. By working at a pace that suits and benefits each child, we are able to maximise their learning in an enjoyable environment.
Our Maths and English tutoring is available in centre (Central Coast Tutoring, Eastern Suburbs Tutoring, Inner West Tutoring, Northern Beaches Tutoring, South Sydney Tutoring, Sutherland Shire Tutoring) and online. Whether you are looking for a Maths tutor or an English tutor, MWNS is able to help build your child’s confidence.