Winter break is coming and for some of us, that means hours of unstructured time. I believe there are lots of advantages to unstructured time, but my kids require parameters.
If your kids are like mine, I have to put limits on their free time in the house. The kids can typically find something to do that doesn’t require a screen when they are hanging out with the neighborhood kids, but in our own home it draws them in like flies to the bug zapper.
Two of my kids are sensitive to screen time and if we start the day with screens or rely on them too heavily the entire day goes down fast.
Screens and Boredom
If I can control screen time early on and have a few activities that will spark their imagination, I usually find them engrossed in their own projects hours later. For instance, kiddo #3 (10 years old) became obsessed with designing the perfect paper airplane this summer.
That all started with a simple challenge to learn to make a paper airplane and a book.
There is something about screens (at least in our house) the totally takes their motivation and ingenuity away. That is why we like to watch at the end of a long day – it doesn’t take brain power.
The other issue is that the holidays are busy. There are lots of extra errands and things to do – meal preparation, service projects, traveling, and decorating to name a few. Finding the time (and patience) to point the kids in the right direction can feel like the last straw.
Ideas to Use for Winter Break
I know you might be in the same boat, so I came up with an activity menu for winter break. These are ideas that include science, art, reading, and more. All of these activities are free other than a few supplies and possibly a trip to the library.
The activities range from oil pastel drawing to making Rudolph fly. I would love to see what you come up. You can use the hashtag #learninghypothesis on Instagram and I will see what you are up to.
Kim is writer and owner of The Learning Hypothesis. She is a “retired” professor and K-12 educator that now homeschools her own children. She has a passion for the sciences and wants to help ignite that passion in kids. You can connect with her via Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.