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Learning activities for Christmas

Use leftover Christmas candy to encourage kids to practice math skills.
Use leftover Christmas candy to encourage kids to practice math skills.Chris Chidsey/SXC

Just as your older child seems to be getting the hang of a math concept he or she is struggling with, the Christmas break is beginning. On top of that, your younger child is starting to learn to read. After two weeks off, will they be back to square one? Not if you set up some fun learning activities for Christmas vacation.

To keep your younger children learning:

  • Look for holiday themed easy readers from the library.
  • Go through spelling lists to find words you can act out and make up a charade game to play with them. When anyone guesses the word, he or she has to spell it out.
  • Use candy canes, chocolate coins, or other treats to reinforce basic math skills. (I have ten candy canes. Emmy eats three. How many are left?)
  • Print off coloring pages or activity sheets for them to work on during quiet time. Quite a few young children will feel like playing school after a few days off.

To encourage older children to keep their skills sharp:

  • Require them to read a new book for 15 minutes a day.
  • Ask for help with figuring out math related problems. "Hon, can you figure out whether the bigger jar of name brand pasta sauce is a better deal than the smaller jar of the store brand sauce for me? Remember, you have to think about how many ounces we get in each jar."
  • Make sure there is a fun educational game, a science kit, or something else educational under the Christmas tree for them to play with.

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