You don’t have to be an ivy-league-educated, Ph.D.-holding professor to help kids stay sharp over the holiday break. By using any of the following 10 tips (a “few of our favorite things”), parents can ensure that their kids can learn a thing or two—even while away from school!


1. Decorate the house. ‘Tis the season to shine. Teach kids about family traditions and holiday customs as you decorate for the holidays.

2. Make and share gifts. Nothing spreads holiday cheer more than a thoughtful gift for someone else—and nothing teaches kids more about sharing than giving.

3. Go shopping. Kids may be out of school the last week of December, but that doesn’t mean they can’t keep learning about math and numbers. Take them shopping with you and let them help you comparison shop and buy a few gifts on a budget.

4. Watch television together. If TV’s so bad for you, why is there one in every hospital room? Keep your kids’ minds engaged by watching a documentary, or keep them up to speed on pop culture trivia. They’ll thank you later when they keep beating you at Trivial Pursuit.

5. Try a winter sport. There’s a saying: you learn more by doing than by watching. Grab a sled or toboggan and hit the local snowy hill. Kids will learn plenty about physics (what goes up, MUST come down!).

6. Try an indoor sport. Even though the weather outside is frightful, there are dozens of delightful activities to do inside. Teach kids how to roller-skate or how to keep score of a bowling game.

7. Homework/school projects. There’s a good chance your child has some homework to do over the holiday break. Make yourself available to help with projects and homework, and teach your kids the value of teamwork!

8. Write a story together. “T’was the night before …” Let your creative juices start flowing. This is the perfect chance to put your spin on a holiday classic, or even create your own.

9. Play games. Roll the dice and see what happens. You might be surprised.

10. Visit a museum. Grab your Indiana Jones hat and go exploring at the local museum. There’s plenty of buried treasure to discover.

Have any other learning activities to add to the list? Leave us a comment and share yours!