School breaks… Whether they last for a couple of months or only a week, they give children a break from the hustle and bustle that comes with attending nursery or kindergarten.
These holidays also give parents a rest from all the work and stress that often come with getting their little ones ready for school.
These school breaks, however, are not excuses to simply do nothing for a week or for two months. As a parent, you may want to ensure your children do not experience learning loss, a phenomenon that usually happens when students do not engage in any educational activity during their holiday. This can happen to children at any age, including those enrolled in toddlers’ nursery.
Learning loss happens when children are not given opportunities to expand their knowledge or recall and practice what they learned at school during a holiday. When classes begin again, they may experience a drop in their performance. Their academic progress may be affected as well.
Fortunately, learning loss is preventable. With the right activities, you can give your children plenty of learning opportunities that would enable them to apply and broaden what they have learned. You also allow them to have fun, which is one of the primary goals of school holidays.
Entertaining Learning Activities for Children
If you are looking for ways to keep your little ones learning while having fun at the same time during a school break, here are some activities you should try:
1. Visit museums and libraries
Children love going out. Make your family outings educational by bringing them to a nearby museum or library.
Museums can give children interactive learning experiences that they will remember for a long time. They also have resources that can light up the desire in little ones to gain more knowledge.
Libraries help children apply and hone their reading skills. Since they have many options to choose from, they can also build interest in and even love for books. Aside from enhancing their knowledge, children are able to develop their imagination and creativity here as well.
Public museums and libraries usually do not have entrance fees, so you and your little ones can enter for free. Aim to take them to ones that give guests unique and fascinating experiences so that your children can have more fun while learning something new.
2. Establish a reading hour
Reading is one of the essential skills children need to work on continuously. However, not all youngsters like doing this.
Inspire your little ones to read more by building a makeshift library at home. Choose an unused room or a wide space and place one or two small tables and chairs. Have bookshelves or open cabinets installed and put all the books you have there.
Make sure your children can reach the books, so have the shelves and cabinets installed at reachable heights.
To get the interest of your little ones, place a sign that says what time the library is open. Make sure it is a limited period only (one or two hours every day) so that your children will be excited to go to the room.
Involve your children in this project. Let them arrange the table and chairs and allow them to make their own library cards. When they have a hand in designing the room, they can become more interested in participating in the ensuing activity.
3. Explore the outdoors
Children also love playing outdoors. Help your little ones get some mental benefits whenever they are outside by adding some activities that will help them learn more about the world around them.
While your children are playing in the backyard or at a park, let them look for bugs. Have them search around flowers, bushes, and trees. When they find one, teach them the name of the insect and share some interesting facts about it.
If hunting for insects does not seem appealing to your little ones, try bird watching.
Another activity you can try is a nature scavenger hunt. Create a list of things they can find in the park or yard, such as a yellow flower or a twig. They have to collect all these items and bring them to you. Reward them with a star sticker when they manage to find all the listed things within the given time.
4. Conduct simple science experiments
Since science is a highly valued learning area, build your children’s interest in this field during school holidays. You can do this by performing some experiments with them.
Some fun and simple experiments you can conduct with your little ones that even children in nursery schools in Dubai will enjoy are:
- Creating slime using cornstarch, water, and food coloring or paint
- Making a volcano erupt in a cup with sand, wax, and water
- Mixing colors using food coloring or clay dough
- Learning about gas with balloons, vinegar, and baking soda
- Making a cloud in a jar using warm water, ice cubes, and aerosol hairspray
5. Host pastry decorating workshops
Inspire your children to show off their creativity and artistic side by giving them edible treats to decorate.
Give each child one or two cupcakes, cookies, or doughnuts, frostings, icing bags, berries, nuts, seeds, and sprinkles. Stand in front of the table and teach them the steps in decorating these baked treats.
During the next hour or sessions, allow your children to decorate the treats any way they want to. They can make smiley faces, animal faces, and any kind of artwork they want using the items on the table.
Your children will have something to look forward to at the end of the workshop, which will keep them engaged until the end.
Although you and your children are allowed to take a break during a school holiday, don’t take it too easy. Do some fun activities together that will expand your youngsters’ knowledge and help them develop new skills so that they can avoid learning loss.
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