5 Fun Learning Activities to Do with Your Kids Over Spring Break

School’s out but that doesn’t mean the learning needs to end. These spring break activities for kids are tons of fun and will help your little ones build solid foundational skills.

1. Go on a community scavenger hunt

Put your kids’ mental skills (and street smarts) to the test by taking to the neighbourhood for a family community scavenger hunt, suggests parenting and education expert Elaine Tan Comeau. Grab a map from your local library or print one off from the internet. Then, challenge your kids to find various stores, parks or landmarks in your area. “For example, you could say ‘Where’s one place you can go for ice cream that has a red and white sign?” says Tan Comeau.

2. Build an obstacle course

If you’re indoors and your kids have energy to burn, a great way to get the sillies out and work on gross motor development is to plan an obstacle course, says Lizette Alexander, a Toronto occupational therapist and co-founder of Toronto Children’s Therapy Centre. Kids can climb over sofas, crawl under chairs or jump over cushions — use your imagination because anything goes. In addition to moving their bodies, kids will give their brains a workout by remembering the steps of the course. Next, let them get creative and construct an obstacle course for you! This builds planning and leadership skills, and gives your kid the chance to boss you around, which they’ll no doubt enjoy.

3. Have a family game night

Home is a great place to build social and emotional development, and what better way than with a family game night. While there’s much to learn from playing games — from critical thinking, to decision making and spatial concepts — the main takeaway from this activity is social skills, says Tan Comeau. “That means learning good sportsmanship, whether you win or you lose. It’s also about taking turns, learning to be patient, and learning to be supportive and encouraging.” Games can also support team building. “It's a reflection of real life,” says Tan Comeau. Not sure what games to start with? Try HedBanz, Pop N Hop or this matching association card game.

4. Set up a cookie decorating challenge

This challenge isn’t about making the prettiest or most unique cookie. Instead, you’re going to test your kid’s verbal and listening skills. First, give them step-by-step instructions for how you want them to decorate a cookie (for example, a happy face), without showing them an example of the end result. “You would say ‘take a red Smartie and put it in the middle of your cookie,” says Tan Comeau. Then, show them what they were trying to make, and see how close they got.

Kids will probably want to take their turn in instructing you — encourage them to give you very specific instructions so they’re happy with the outcome.

5. Get crafty with scissors

A super-easy and fun activity is as simple as pulling out age-appropriate scissors and cutting. Paper activities for kids are very underrated, says Alexander. “It tackles so many areas of development, like hand-eye coordination and hand strength and it’s great for neurological development.” Just make sure to keep the cutting activity appropriate for their skill level: for example, don’t instruct your kid to cut out stars if they are still working on straight lines. You can also get creative with what you’re cutting — straws, cardboard, red peppers and spaghetti are all on the table!

Need more ideas on how to keep the kids learning while school’s out? Join the fun over on Staples Spotlight where we’ll be hosting a virtual March Break camp.

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By Staples Canada

March 10, 2022