It’s that time of the year again! The holidays are upon us.
What does this mean? Christmas presents, family time, and the much-awaited winter vacation!
It’s time to take a break from the usual school routine. However, if you have children, learning does not take a break. Classes might be over, but there are always ways to create new learning opportunities.
How to Raise a Child Who Loves to Learn
In this article, I will be sharing some tips on sneaking in some education during winter break. The holiday activities listed below will surely keep them inquisitive, interested, and enthusiastic about new learning things. Once they go back to school, they will still retain that curiosity and love for learning.
1.- Take time to visit a museum.
It’s boring for children if you drone on about this and that. Most of the time, children aren’t the best auditory learners. They love to learn when they experience something tangible. In short, it is best to foster an interactive kind of learning.
A museum is a perfect place for a visual and tactile play. Children can see with their own eyes and touch with their own hands. They can easily conclude that dinosaurs were huge and that there are other animals out there aside from your pet dog.
According to Sara Choi of the Zimmer Children’s Museum, “Museums offer a dynamic opportunity to expose children to experiences and explore new things in a rich and educational environment. Through interactive exhibits and hands-on play, children have the ability to take ownership of their own learning and develop and explore their own curiosities. This unique exposure provides the foundation for creativity, critical thinking, and connection to the world around them.”
2.- Go to the supermarket.
There are lots of learning opportunities when shopping for groceries:
- You can ask questions, such as “Where does orange juice come from?” or “Where do bananas grow?”
- Can they use their division skills to tell you how much each apple in a bag costs?
- Ask an older child to keep a running tally of the cart’s cost. When it comes time to check out, they’ll find out how well they did!
All these exercises are designed to stimulate their curious minds and encourage them to use their intellects.
You can go somewhere else – like the park, the beach, or the mall – if you prefer. The point is you are creating new ways to learn aside from the usual four walls of the classroom.
The possibilities are endless, to be honest. The important thing is that you are encouraging your children to be curious and study the world around them.
It may seem trivial, but you are actually teaching them to be inquisitive and to be analytical.
3.- Just let them be.
Sometimes, you just need to give them a break. Let them learn at their own pace.
It’s not healthy to continually bombard them with information. Eventually, they will find their own set of talents and skills. No need to constantly remind them to study because that will just give them unnecessary pressure. Worse, the added pressure will be a hindrance to learning.
Let them play, laugh, draw, and enjoy the little things in life. After all, they are just kids.
Encourage them to find ways to pass the time without the computer or smartphone. Let them think and develop their own strategies to pass the time. Allow them to pursue what they like without your help.
If they want to go out and catch some bugs, then let them investigate your backyard. It’s not enough to watch documentaries on Animal Planet or Discovery Channel.
His own curious mind will help him discover the real world out there. Yes, he might stumble, but you are there to supervise. Experience is the best teacher as they always say.
4.- Show them the wonders of reading.
Instead of just toys for Christmas, consider books. Garrison Keillor once said, “A book is a gift you can open again and again.” Indeed, this is true. A book is something they can use throughout the year.
The books that are used for school get forgotten once classes are over. No one wants to read academic books again! However, it does not mean reading is a boring chore. In fact, reading remains to be a great tool for learning.
If they do not like reading, they just haven’t met their favorite book yet. Continue to take them to bookstores and the library so that they can see different books. Sooner or later, they’ll find the book that piques their interest in reading!
Through reading, your children can improve their vocabulary, enhance their language and reading skills, and use their creative imagination in exploring fictional worlds.
The benefits of reading do not end there. It can also improve sleep and lower stress and anxiety. So, if you or a relative is wondering what to give your kids this Christmas, choose books.
5.- Ask their opinion.
Most people often forget that having a dialogue is an opportunity for learning. Take time to discuss things with your young one.
Ask their opinion on the book they just read. What did they like (or not like) about it?
Expose them to age-appropriate current events. By discussing certain topics, they get to analyze and express their thoughts. Also, they will be aware of what is happening in the world today. They might be able to share something from a different perspective.
Ultimately, having a discussion with your kids will help enhance their ability to think critically, to solve problems, and to communicate effectively.
So, there you have it. I have shared with you the different educational activities you can do with your children this holiday season. This is your chance to bond with them and teach them that learning can be fun!