Learning through Play: Activities for Your Child During School Breaks

Finding ways to keep your child engaged and entertained during school breaks can be challenging for a parent. While relaxation and downtime are essential, keeping your child’s brain active and encouraging learning through play is crucial. 

Having a week or three of uninterrupted time with your children will give you an excellent opportunity to observe how they have grown and developed while also giving you a chance to give them your undivided attention with stimulating activities that will boost their development.

In this blog post, we’ll explore creative activities for your child during school breaks that foster a love for learning, build important skills, and keep your child entertained.

Why is learning through play necessary?

Play dough

Learning through play during holiday breaks is crucial because it can help children develop essential skills, such as problem-solving, creativity, social skills, and critical thinking while providing a fun and engaging environment for learning. Here are some reasons why learning through play is essential during holiday breaks:

  1. Active Learning: Children learn better when actively engaging in the learning process. Play allows children to interact with their environment and explore new concepts and ideas, making learning a more immersive and engaging experience.
  2. Creative Thinking: Play encourages children to be creative and think outside the box. They can experiment with new ideas and learn from mistakes in a safe and supportive environment.
  3. Hands-on Experience: Play allows children to get hands-on experience with new concepts and ideas, helping them better understand and retain what they have learned.
  4. Social Skills: Play provides an excellent opportunity for children to develop social skills such as cooperation, communication, and teamwork. These skills are essential for success in school and life.
  5. Emotional Development: Play can help children develop emotional intelligence by allowing them to express their feelings, build self-esteem, and develop empathy for others.
  6. Learning by Doing: Play allows children to learn by doing rather than passively receiving information. This can help them build a deeper understanding of the world around them.

Learning through play during holiday breaks is essential because it provides children with an active and engaging learning experience, encourages creativity and critical thinking, helps develop social and emotional skills, and allows children to learn by doing. 

Parents can help their children continue to learn and grow by incorporating play into their holiday breaks, even when they are not in school and here are a few tips on how to do this.

Building Blocks and Construction Sets

learning through lego

Building blocks and construction sets, also known as lego, are classic toys that have been around for generations for a good reason. 

These toys help develop your child’s spatial awareness, fine motor skills, and creativity. Also, building with Lego and construction sets can teach introductory physics and engineering principles. Lego is an excellent tool for learning through play because it provides children with endless opportunities for creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking. 

Here are a few ways Lego encourages learning:

  1. Fine Motor Skills: Building with Lego bricks requires children to use their hands and fingers to manipulate small objects, which helps develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
  2. Spatial Awareness: Lego building encourages children to think in three dimensions, which can help improve spatial awareness and visualisation skills.
  3. Problem-Solving: Lego building involves trial and error, experimentation, and problem-solving. Children must learn to build sturdy and stable structures, which requires critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  4. Creativity: Lego bricks come in various shapes and colours, allowing children to explore their creativity and imagination. They can build anything they can imagine, which can help foster a love of creativity and design.
  5. Collaboration: Lego building can be a collaborative activity where children build structures or solve challenges. This can help improve communication and teamwork skills.
  6. Persistence: Building with Lego can be challenging, and children may need to try different approaches before achieving their desired outcome. This can teach children persistence and the importance of not giving up when faced with challenges.

By incorporating Lego into their playtime, parents can help their children learn and grow in a fun and engaging way.

Arts and Crafts

arts and crafts

Arts and crafts are excellent activities for children of all ages. They allow your child to express their creativity and imagination, develop fine motor skills, and practice problem-solving skills. 

Here are some reasons why arts and crafts are essential for learning through play:

  1. Creativity: Arts and crafts allow children to explore their creativity and imagination. They can experiment with different materials, colours, and techniques and create their unique works of art.
  2. Fine Motor Skills: Creating arts and crafts requires children to use their hands and fingers, which helps develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
  3. Problem-Solving: Arts and crafts involve solving design challenges, such as how to fit pieces together or make an object stand up. Children need to use their problem-solving skills to overcome these challenges.
  4. Self-expression: Arts and crafts provide an outlet for self-expression. Children can express their thoughts and feelings through art, which can help build their self-esteem and emotional intelligence.
  5. Focus and Concentration: Creating arts and crafts requires concentration and focus, which can help improve attention span and memory retention.
  6. Social Skills: Arts and crafts can be a social activity where children work together to create a project or share their creations. This can help improve communication and teamwork skills.
  7. Sense of Accomplishment: Completing an arts and crafts project can give children a sense of accomplishment and pride in their work, which can help build self-esteem and confidence.

There are numerous arts and crafts projects that you can do with your child, such as painting, drawing, and sculpting with clay. You can also find many craft kits that include everything you need to create a specific project, making it easy and fun for you and your child. 

Board Games and Puzzles

board games

Board games and puzzles are fantastic ways to keep your child entertained while promoting critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 

Here are some reasons board games and puzzles are essential for learning through play:

  1. Mathematics and Literacy: Many board games require children to count, add, subtract, or read. They must use mathematical or literary skills to play the game successfully.
  2. Memory Retention: Board games and puzzles require children to remember rules, instructions, and patterns. They must recall information from memory to make informed decisions and complete tasks.
  3. Patience and Perseverance: Board games and puzzles require patience and perseverance to complete successfully. Children must stick with the game or puzzle even when encountering difficulties or setbacks.

Board games can help teach your child how to strategise, think ahead, and work collaboratively with others. Conversely, puzzles can help your child develop their spatial awareness and fine motor skills. 

Solving puzzles and playing board games can help improve your child’s concentration and attention span.

Reading and Storytelling

reading and storytelling

Reading and storytelling are essential activities that can help your child develop language and communication skills and encourage a love for learning. 

During school breaks, encourage your child to read books that interest them or read aloud to them. You can also encourage your child to create or act out stories with puppets or toys.

Here are some great reasons to incorporate reading and stories into your school breaks:

  1. Relaxation and Stress Reduction: Reading and storytelling can be calming and relaxing activities for children. It can help reduce stress and anxiety, providing an escape from the pressures of daily life.
  2. Language and Literacy Skills: Reading and storytelling help children develop language and literacy skills, such as vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension. Children learn to express themselves better and understand the world by listening to stories and engaging with books.
  3. Imagination and Creativity: Reading and storytelling encourage children to use their imaginations and develop their creativity. By immersing themselves in the world of a story, children can imagine new scenarios, characters, and settings.
  4. Empathy and Emotional Intelligence: Stories often have a moral or emotional message that can help children develop empathy and emotional intelligence. By experiencing the characters’ emotions in a story, children can learn to understand and relate to others better.

Science Experiments

science experiments

Science experiments are a fun and engaging way to introduce your child to science principles and encourage critical thinking skills. There are many easy and safe science experiments that you can do with your child at home, such as making a volcano or creating a slime mixture. 

Science experiments are an excellent way to spark your child’s curiosity and encourage them to ask questions and explore the world around them.

Why should you include this in your activities for a holiday?

  1. Hands-on learning: Science experiments allow children to learn by doing. They can manipulate materials, observe, and draw conclusions based on their experiences.
  2. Creativity and Innovation: Science experiments encourage children to be creative and innovative. They can design their experiments, test their ideas, and develop new approaches to problem-solving. Enabling your child to think outside the box!
  3. Introduction to science: Science experiments help children develop science’s basic principles and concepts.Enabling them to identify patterns and gather evidence about the experiment.
  4. Build Confidence: Science experiments give children a sense of accomplishment and build confidence in their ability to conduct experiments and learn about the world around them.

Science experiments are a great idea for holiday activities as they foster a love of learning and curiosity about the world around them. This is also a great way to bond with your child and help them develop essential skills for school and the world around them. 

Cooking and Baking

baking and cooking

Cooking and baking are excellent activities that teach your child essential life skills, such as following instructions, measuring ingredients, and working safely in the kitchen.

Additionally, cooking and baking can help improve your child’s math and reading skills and ability to plan and organise. 

Encourage your child to help you in the kitchen, or even let them take the lead and make their dish.

Here are a few more reasons you should do this at home with your children:

  1. Creativity and Imagination: Cooking and baking allow children to be creative and use their imagination. They can experiment with different ingredients and flavour combinations and develop their own unique recipes.
  2. Fine Motor Skills: Cooking and baking require fine motor skills, such as stirring, chopping, and measuring. Children can improve their hand-eye coordination and dexterity through these activities.
  3. Healthy Eating Habits: Cooking and baking can help children develop healthy eating habits by learning about nutrition and making their own nutritious meals and snacks. Children can learn which foods are good for their growth and development and why, and you can make it into a lesson. 
  4. Cultural Awareness: Cooking and baking can expose children to different cultures and cuisines and help them develop an appreciation for diversity.

By incorporating cooking and baking into their playtime, parents can help their children develop various skills while enjoying quality time together and making delicious meals and treats.

Gardening and Nature Exploration

gardening and exploring

This is an excellent activity that can help your child develop an appreciation for nature and the environment. 

Gardening can teach your child how plants grow, the importance of soil and water, and how to care for living things. Additionally, nature exploration can encourage your child to be curious and observant about the world around them and can help improve their problem-solving skills. 

Take your child on a nature walk or start a small garden with them.

What skills can they develop?

  1. Hands-on learning: Gardening allows children to learn by doing. They can plant seeds, water plants, and observe their growth and development.
  2. Responsibility: Gardening requires children to care for living things, promoting a sense of responsibility and empathy for other living beings. Your child can start caring for the plant you created together and water it daily as if it was it’s own. 
  3. Patience: Gardening requires patience as plants grow and mature. Children can learn about delayed gratification and the rewards of patience and perseverance.
  4. Environmental Awareness: Gardening can help children appreciate the natural world and understand the importance of protecting the environment.
  5. Nutrition: Gardening can help children develop healthy eating habits by learning about their food sources and the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables. Children can also develop an understanding of scientific concepts such as photosynthesis, pollination, and soil health. Broadening their knowledge of plants. 

 By incorporating gardening into their playtime, parents can help their children develop a range of skills while also enjoying the outdoors and the beauty of nature.

Music and Dance

music and dancing

Music and dance are great activities to help your child develop their creativity, coordination, and self-expression. 

Encourage your child to listen to and explore different types of music and even learn to play an instrument or sing. 

Additionally, dancing can help improve your child’s gross motor skills and provide fun and healthy exercise.

 Here are some reasons why music and dancing are essential for learning through play:

  1. Joy and Happiness: Music and dancing can provide children joy and happiness, promoting overall well-being and positive emotions.
  2. Cultural Awareness: Music and dancing can expose children to different cultures and styles of music and help them develop an appreciation for diversity.
  3. Emotional Regulation: Music and dancing can help children regulate their emotions by providing a positive outlet for stress and anxiety.
  4. Self-Expression: Music and dancing allow children to express themselves creatively and emotionally, promoting self-awareness and self-confidence.
  5. Physical Development: Dancing promotes physical development, including coordination, balance, and flexibility.
  6. Rhythm Development: Dancing allows children to develop their own rhythm to the beat and helps them remember specific dance moves for a song you have played for them. This boosts their memory skills. 

Music and dancing are great ways to bond with your child and have fun while developing essential emotions and allowing an outlet for your child to express themselves. 

To sum up

learning through play

School breaks provide an excellent opportunity for children to engage in creative activities that promote learning and skill-building.

By providing opportunities for play, exploration, and discovery, children can continue to learn and grow even outside of the classroom. 

Activities such as building blocks, arts and crafts, board games, reading, science experiments, cooking, gardening, music, and dance can contribute to a child’s cognitive, social, and emotional development. 

As parents, supporting our children’s natural curiosity and encouraging them to explore and learn fun and engagingly is essential. By doing so, we can help nurture a lifelong love for learning and foster essential skills that will benefit them well beyond school breaks.

At Japari school, we highly encourage parents to take time during the holiday to explore different activities in their free time. We understand that many parents may be busy during this time but want to show some important ways to foster your child’s growth and love for learning. Every child is unique, and they may appreciate certain things over others. We hope you enjoyed this blog and got some valuable tips from it. Happy learning and happy holidays!

Please contact us for more information and tips. 

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