Family Fun Activities for Over the Holiday Vacation

From our Friends at Black Bear Academy

Have a family game night

Chances are many of your family’s favorite board and card games reinforce social and academic skills such as attention, inhibition, turn taking, theory of mind, counting, reading, and drawing. Gather the group to play games you usually don’t have time for on school nights.


Get out and play! In addition to the countless health benefits of physical activity, active games and sports can help strengthen social skills, memory, and analytic abilities. From ‘Red Rover, Red Rover’, and ‘Red Light Green Light’ to Touch Football and Soccer, kids will enjoy a game that all can play and feel successful playing. Younger children enjoy making their own games. Why not suggest that they invent their own game and then play as a family. You’re sure to be amazed at their creativity.

Read Every Day

Use vacation time to immerse yourselves in good books. Visit your local library as a family and spend the afternoon exploring the shelves and selecting books. While reading, have your child answer wh-questions, draw their own pictures to help improve reading/listening comprehension, summarize the previous page or chapter, and make predictions about what is going to happen next by looking at the pictures.

Bake and Cook!

Have your child help prepare traditional dishes for family parties! You can give your child a special job in the kitchen including mixing, measuring, reading, adding, cutting, or scooping.  Baking is a great way to practice first/then language, sequencing, counting, measuring, following directions, and exploring with their senses.

Create a Winter Break Scrapbook

Create a fun memento over break that your child will share with the class when they return. Ask them to include what they did, the presents they received, the people they saw, and whatever else they think is interesting and fun. Suggest taking photos or drawing pictures of significant events, and including small tokens from their holidays, such as swatches of wrapping paper and holiday cards. This is a great way to work on recalling past events, and storytelling!

Create a Family Tree

Here’s a wonderful and personal project that incorporates research, writing, storytelling and history – record your family tree! Start with your immediate family and research the answers to questions like, “where did they live , what did they do, what were the top news stories then, who was the president. You can help your child make a visual graph to show how each family member is related.

Write ‘Thank You’ Cards

Have your child participate in the card making process. Your child can draw a picture of the gift they received and work on sounding out words to write on the note. You and your child can also make a special trip to the post office to buy stamps and send the letters!

Make the most of car rides.- Turn the drive to or from a holiday get-together into an opportunity to practice letters and numbers. You can look for license plates from different states, try to find letters of the alphabet, or count the number of red (or any color) cars you see.

Maintain reasonable bedtimes

With no school to get up for in the morning, it can be tempting to let kids become night owls. A few days before school starts up again, ease back into the regular bedtime schedule so your child can start the year bright-eyed.

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