The school Christmas holidays are generally parents’ favourite school holiday because although they are just over two weeks long, at least one week is taken up with Christmas day, boxing day, New Year’s Eve and visiting family and friends which means that they only have around a week of boredom to fill. At Christmas time most people are generally much happier because they have a lot more free time and there are generally plenty of things to do that can’t be done the rest of the year, for example visiting outdoor ice rinks and Christmas markets. When it comes to occupying the kids this is also much easier as you’re dedicating a lot more time to them which means that they’re likely to take a little longer to get bored.
When it comes to school holidays most parents are preoccupied with coming up with activities that will keep their kids engaged for long periods of time so they generally allow them to play on computer games and watch their favourite cartoons for a fair amount of the holiday. However it’s really easy to keep the kids occupied without modern technology and they’re likely to learn something too.
There should always be time for reading within a family but with the busyness of modern day life this is one activity that, understandably, drops off the list of priorities. However, when you have time to spare – like during the Christmas period – there’s no reason why reading to your children shouldn’t become a daily activity. Reading traditional Christmas stories to your children is beneficial for you and for them as you get to spend time together doing something that you both enjoy and that your kids will learn from. There are so many Christmas stories out there that are so often forgotten nowadays in favour of the modern hits like ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’, however, the traditional Christmas Story, the Elves and the Shoemaker and The Little Match Girl are stories that all children should have heard by the time they leave primary school. It’s a good idea to read stories to them that would be too advanced for them to read themselves as not only will they be learning, they’ll also be content enough to listen.
Baking is another huge Christmas tradition that there’s really no need for children to be left out of. Not only does helping with the baking teach them how to bake it allows school aged children to practice their maths skills – although they don’t realise it – by measuring out ingredients; it also teaches them how to follow instructions carefully and accurately. Younger children shouldn’t be left out either though and although they’re unable to weight ingredients they’re perfectly capable of adding the ingredients when told and assisting with the mixing.
There’s no doubting the fact that like most households you send out Christmas cards every year but have you ever thought about making them slightly more personal and making them yourselves? If you let the kids make your Christmas cards, especially for close family and friends, then they will not only be appreciated much more but they’re also more likely to be kept as a memento and put up every year in the future. If your children are quite young then there’s no reason why you can’t help them with certain things like cutting out Christmas shapes for them to stick on the cards and help them write them too. If you don’t want to send these cards out to your friends and family then if your children are of primary school age you could get them to send them out to their friends instead.
There are loads of crafty activities that can be done around Christmas time which can help your children build on many skills. For example, making cards will help to bring out their creativity as well as helping them learn to use scissors and advance with their handwriting skills. Even colouring, learning to lay the table and helping to do something as simple as washing up will be enjoyable for them and will help them to progress far passed their years.
There are so many activities that are available at Christmas but aren’t at any other time of year for example Christmas markets which are great to visit for both adults and children as they allow the adults to mix with other adults and enjoy the Christmas spirit and allow children to have fun whilst learning about Christmas in other cultures. Alternatively there are always outdoor skating rinks that pop up in and around many towns and cities, pantomimes at the theatre and if it happens to snow there’s a chance to get the sledge out too.
The most important thing though, is for you and your children to have as much fun as possible and for them to have a positive view on the entire Christmas period.
Christmas Trees and Lights have provided an insight into educational things for children to do during their Christmas holidays to try and make the Christmas period less stressful for mums and dads.