Aren’t the holidays wonderful. It’s a chance for quality family time, plus delicious food, beautiful decorations and a break from school.

Having your children out of school is a great chance for them to be creative, use their imaginations, and practice their speech and language skills.  Here are 10 holiday activities to help keep your children actively learning.

1. Pumpkin Pie Playdough

This activity comes from the great people at Speech Buddies! Have your kids make the playdough on their own (with some supervision.) This is great for helping them practice their speech sounds and following written or verbal directions. You can find the full recipe here.

2. What Thanksgiving foods produce electricity?

Science is a great way to help children actively learn. We all know that with the proper tools, a potato can produce enough electricity to power a small light bulb or clock, but what about other foods? Just a few are citrus fruits, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, and pickles. There are tons of kits you can buy for cheap, at Target or Fat Brains.

3. Ornaments

Getting crafty is a great way to develop dexterity skills and promote creativity. Get your child a bunch of supplies and let them go wild, build whatever they want. After they are done, have them describe their invention or craft. Try to avoid “traditional” to get even crazier ideas. After it’s on the tree, have them come up with a short story about the ornament and how it will be treated by the other ornaments around it,  a great way to practice language and storytelling skills.

4. Bingo

If you need to entertain a gaggle of kids, a fun game of bingo is a great way to fill some time. We’ve made a Bingo game filled with holiday images just for you and your family. Download the bingo cards here.

To play, just draw a word out of a hat. Describe that word so your children can figure out what it is. They then have to tell you what you are describing and then they get to cover up that square! 

5. Thank You Card to Santa

After Christmas comes a slew of thank you cards to family and friends, but you know who never gets a thank you? The big man in red. Santa. If your family does the Santa tradition, have your kids write letters thanking Santa for their great gifts. Push them to imagine where he might be vacationing and “address” the letters there.

6. Gift Wrapping With Math

If you have older children, have them help wrap presents. Use math skills to measure, estimate, and cut out the perfect amount of gift wrap.

7. Expressing Thanks

If your child has a hard time saying words starting with “TH,” having them do a daily expression of thanks. Pushing for 5 or even 10 things they’re thankful for everyday will give the speech practice they need.

8. Christmas in Different Countries

Every country has it’s own traditions for the holidays, so get some social studies in. Have a child pick a country and do some research on what they do for Christmas. Find out some local holiday treats, Christmas folklore and traditions and have a small Christmas celebration a few days early.

9. Frozen Bubbles

If it gets cold enough, you can fascinate your kids with some frozen bubbles. Here’s the recipe for it, all you need is a bubble wand and the weather below freezing. Talk about the science of thermodynamics and why it freezes instead of just popping.

10. Holiday Shopping

Need some company for some extended family Christmas shopping? Take your kids along and have them help pick out gifts. Have them estimate how much everything is going to cost and whoever is closest at the end wins a prize.

Keep your kids entertained and engaged these holiday breaks. That way, when they get back to school, they’ll hit the ground running!

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