December break is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated holidays for families all over the world. Owing to the holiday season and the end of the year celebration, it’s also that time of the year when kids finally get a break from school and spend more time with friends and family.
While this is a fun and exciting time, it’s easy for kids to lose the learning touch and become passive consumers of content during the holidays. Spending a few weeks out of the classroom or the learning routine can also offset their learning experience when schools resume again next year. If you’ve heard of the ‘Summer Slide’, you’ll be familiar with the loss of learning that can occur over the summer months when school isn’t in session. While it might not affect every kid, it’s important to not overlook the ‘Winter Slide’. According to education research expert, Kimberley O’Malley, “When students leave school and if they disengage from learning activities, we see drops in their performance and we see slowing of their education progress,” It might also be stressful for some kids who are worried about exams approaching right after the break, and may not feel confident getting back into the same routine again.
And that’s why, it’s important for kids to have a learning holiday—one that doesn’t necessarily involve homework or academics, but one that keeps them learning and engaged. Moreover, this is the perfect opportunity to help your kids learn an ‘attitude of gratitude’ that inspires awareness, communication, and leadership skills.
Keep Them Learning
While limiting screen time is one way to help kids ease back into their schedule, it’s also not the perfect solution as it’s often met with a lot of friction and sometimes, tantrums! The key is to find a balance, encourage them to learn something new, or turn traditions into new learning opportunities. A great place to start is in the kitchen. Make it a point to involve your kid in meal prep, planning, and cooking. For instance, taking up a new hobby like baking can help them understand and apply concepts better, especially if they have to double the batch of cookies or experiment with the texture or richness of the cookie! Moreover, Incorporating short or hands-on DIY activities for the kids can also turn into an evening of fun and cheer for the family!
Work Together, Play Together
The holidays are a great time to sit down with your kid and work on a project together. Have them read aloud instructions or ask them to gather things together if you’re building something, or just make them your little assistants altogether! This exercise will help them to improve their developmental and organizational skills while making learning fun. It’s important to help them every step of the way but also remember to let them eventually lead as it will instill a sense of independence and confidence to be in control of everything they know and learn. Besides, with the tiring holiday hustle-bustle, it’s always great to have an extra pair of hands!
Have A Meaningful Holiday
No matter where you are or the traditions you celebrate, the best way to celebrate the holiday season is to spare some time with your kids, teach them to be kind and help them engage in new experiences. A great way to begin is to visit a museum or a local library as they provide a tactile and interactive experience in an engaging way. If it’s tough to step out in your area due to COVID concerns, you can also opt for virtual museums to explore history or discover the origins of holiday traditions. Alternatively, if you’re up for volunteering, contributing, or making a charitable deed, make sure to involve your kid too. Also, don’t forget to make DIY gifts to wish families and friends instead of giving store-bought gifts!
These are just a few of the fun exercises that will help kids to discover a space for experimentation, inspiration, creativity, and authentic learning experiences. If you’re looking for an online platform that helps encourage all of the above, DIY.org is your answer. This holiday season, we’re celebrating 31 Days of DIY with a new challenge every day, tons of fun activities, parent-approved TV shows that are designed to take them offline, contests much more—all month long! If you’re interested, you can even gift a subscription to a kid you think will LOVE something like this.
After all, what’s the festive cheer without acts of random kindness? 🙂