Activities to Keep Mind’s Sharp over the Holidays

Students are looking forward to a relaxing holiday vacation with no school or homework. Parents are looking for ways to entertain the children over the holidays that are not in front of a screen.   There are lots of ways that parents can entertain their children over the holidays that are simple and basic.  They are even ways that we usually do every day.  Here is a list of ideas that will help parents entertain and educate their students. 
 
Baking

Students are curious during the holidays with baking.  They are usually wanting to bake cookies and sweets for gifts to their teachers and family members; however baking has an educational component that most students don’t realize.  Baking has a math component in that the students have to use a measuring cup for liquid and dry ingredients.  They also have to use fractions in order to understand the difference between a half and a whole of a cup.  The students use science in cooking by putting two ingredients together and getting a chemical reaction.  For example, when you add water and baking soda, you get bubbles and loud sounds.  This is why baking is so much fun and the students don’t realize that they are reinforcing their math skills in everyday baking. 
 
Exercise

Students are very energetic from babies to teenagers.  One way to keep students moving is to see how fast they can walk or run by measuring there steps.  An example would be to have a student obtain a start and stop watch that has the heart rate and step monitor on it.  The student wears the start/stop watch so that it measures the steps and heart rate.  The student walks or runs on their favorite paths or sites and after the exercise cycle, the student looks at the watch and sees that it measures their foot movements and how fast their heart is beating.  This tells the student that the more they exercise, their body has the ability to work hard and do multiple things at one time.  Exercise not only helps the body, but stirs the curiosity in the student’s mind. 

Gift Wrap

The holidays are full of buying and giving gifts.  One thing that students love to do; especially older students is to wrap presents.  Students have to measure the paper by estimating how much they will need for the box.  The students have to then estimate where the best place to is cut the paper and then fold the paper so that it will fit the box.  Then, the estimation on the correct amount of tape comes into play when a student wraps a present.  After all of the estimations, the present is wrapped and is ready to be sent.  Wrapping presents is a learning experience of estimation and probability in an early age and throughout the life span because students have to estimate how much paper and tape will be used in order for the gift receiver to like their gifts. 

Conclusion

Holidays can be a joyous time and a hectic time for students.  The joyous times are when students can relax, sleep in, and have family and friends over to their houses.  The hectic times are when students are looking for things to do.  The best outcome for students would be for family and friends to come together, bake together, gift wrap together, and then send those precious items to a local homeless shelter or anyone that is in need of a smile and a brighter holiday. By working together, parents and families can have a better holiday by incorporating school with holiday fun activities. 
 

Reference
 
Malhotra, N.  (2016, Apr.  16) 20 Awesome Activities to Keep Your Kids Active and Happy During School Holidays.  Retrieved from https://www.thebetterindia.com 

Written by Marcella Hays, Novastar Prep Coach

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