School breaks are a phenomenal time for your kids to rest, for you to spend some quality time together, and for teachers to recharge – but what happens to the routine and structure your kiddos are used to having at school?
Not to worry! As fall, winter and spring breaks approach throughout the school year, reference this quick resource, broken down according to different age brackets, that we put together to ensure your kids are having fun while sticking to age-appropriate learning activities at the same time. Put on some music, try some of these, and have fun!
Preschool & Elementary Students
When you’re trying to decide how to plan engaging learning activities for your younger learners, consider these activities that will help to strengthen and develop your child’s cognitive and motor skills:
Utilize tongs to pick up different objects from ice cube trays. You can also freeze them in the ice cube tray and do an experiment watching them melt, writing with them. These can be letters, numbers or other small objects connected to a story or video.
Practice writing skills with shaving cream, frosting, pudding, finger paints, etc., and have your child write their name, favorite food, holiday and more. If finger isolation is hard for your child, then you can have fun and give them something silly like a carrot to write or draw with.
Fill up an empty dish soap bottle with water, bring it outside, and have your child “draw” some academic or holiday-related designs on cement or pavement in the sun or snow.
Have your child build with Legos, blocks, and/or play with tinker toys following a model that you have made. You can make a little video that shows how to make the structure. If your child is great at building with Legos, you can race to see who makes it faster or have them make their own video as they create to show off to everybody.
Create obstacle courses for your kids that support crawling, rolling and jumping. You can tape some red yarn to a hallway wall and have them go “under” or “over.”
Tape paper to the underside of a table and have your child lay on their back to color, write and draw connections to a story they read.
Have your child create on an easel of any kind. If you don’t have an easel, you can even try paper taped to a wall or placed outside.
Play Simon Says or Mirror, Mirror. If this is new, start teaching this inside the house before moving outside.
Practice wheelbarrow walking or crab walking – taking an item from one end of a room to another that correlates with a theme, story, holiday, etc.
Middle School and High School Students
If you’re looking to plan fun, interactive activities with your older kids while they’re home for a school break, consider a few of the following:
Have your child play wall ball and try doing it with music. Slower music means moving a little slower, and faster music means moving faster.
Play “Around the World” basketball to keep your child moving while also touching on some current events, holiday ideas or Social Studies themes.
Utilize scented markers/pens to create pictures, comics, or stories.
Look up recipes for your child’s favorite food or snacks. Find three that you think they will like making and you have the ingredients for. You can make a special recipe for your family or extended family members.
Make a playlist of music that goes with a specific theme/concept/holiday. Let them be the DJ once a week at dinner.
Together with your child, create a short video based on a theme, concept or holiday.
Encourage your child to interview another family member to practice listening and conversational skills.
Extended School Year Programs
Suppose your child struggles with regression (loss of learning skills) and recoupment (ability to recover skills within a reasonable time) during longer school breaks, such as summer break. In that case, they may qualify for extended school year (ESY) services.
TeachTown’s enCORE solution is the only standards-based, alternative core-curriculum built on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) that provides students with moderate to severe disabilities access to the general education curriculum. ESY Summer Camp is included in the enCORE curriculum and provides lesson plans for four defined themes.
Each lesson plan is theme-based and embedded with evidence-based practices and instructional strategies complete with modifications.
The program isn’t just available to educators and clinicians, but also parents and guardians. Request a demo today to learn more.