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Photo courtesy of Lighttruth on Flickr via Creative Commons License

The Big Break is coming up, isn’t it? That holiday thing? We hear most schools are getting out around the 20th and don’t return until January 6th! Holy moly, that’s a lot of free time for those whippersnappers! Whatever will they do with themselves? 

How about something fun, memorable, and even educational? We’ve rounded up five activities that are all those things and more—and they’re sure to keep those kiddos busy. Check ‘em out:

1. Read some great books out loud! There are few things which develop a child’s ability to read more than the time reading with their parents! Check out this great list of chapter books for reading out loud. Whimsical, thoughtful, and full of fun, reading books out loud is a great way to spend time together while also keeping up with learning while away from school.

2. Make some presents! There’s an abundance of gift-giving holidays quickly approaching, and throughout the year there’s always someone’s birthday just around the corner. There are tons of easy, fun crafts for kids that result in some wonderful gifts for family and friends. Check out this list to find the best ones, and get your craft on!

3. Play with legos! You heard me. Play with some legos! And use this awesome blogger’s advice by putting some math into those legos. The kids won’t even know they’re learning, but when it’s time to go back to school, their math skills will still be sharp!

4. Play in the snow! For those of you who actually GET snow in the winter, get outside! For those of us who don’t—or to bring snow to the summer months—why not make your own? This blog has a bunch of snow recipes designed for fantastic play for children. Making it together is a learning experience, and playing with it is an AWESOME experience. So go do both!

5. Write a story together! Creating their own story is empowering and great for cognitive development. Have them write a story; maybe even give them a prompt. If they don’t like the physical act of writing, write it for them while they narrate. That will allow them to get into the fun of making up a story, and eventually they’ll want to take the pen out of your hand! If they’re unsure, take turns with the sentences. You start with the opening, then let them add something. You add something to that, and so on. Read your finished story out loud to a friend!

A break from school should be fun and relaxing, but there’s no need for everything they’ve been working on all year to slip away! Keeping activities engaging and educational will help your children easily get back into the swing of things once school begins again, whether the break is three weeks or three months.

What about you? What activities do you love to do with your children over break?