Our usual excitement for a holiday break from school may not bring the same enthusiasm as in past years. With so much learning from home these past two semesters, families may be concerned about how to keep kids engaged and excited through even more time at home. Here are a few fun family activities that can meld entertainment and family time together with learning too.
MATH FUN: Dice, cards, and dominos provide hours of entertainment. Most homes have one or two of these on hand, and local libraries often have games to lend.
- DICE—Elementary students can roll a pair of dice and do math fact equations. Simply roll two dice and multiply, add, subtract, or build fractions with the numbers. The first person to get to a predetermined amount wins.
- CARDS—Games like Numskill, War, or Closest to 1000 build number fluency.
- DOMINOS— Use the domino to make fractions and have the students put them in order of least to greatest value. You could also play WAR and the amount value from the dots (pips) on the domino wins both dominos. Continue to play until one player has all the dominos (bones). Fraction Dominos
LITERACY ACTIVITIES: What’s your favorite holiday book? Twas the Night Before Christmas is one of my family’s favorites. The holidays are a great time to share a book together.
- READ—the story together and make predictions about what will happen next; change the ending and talk about how it would be different; or discuss how it is like another book/story you have read.
- If you WATCH a movie—find a book that is also about the movie (Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer or Holes) and determine the parts that are the same or different.
LOOKING AT HOLIDAY LIGHTS: With younger children…
- See if they can identify a pattern in the lights on homes. Ask them what would come next in the pattern of colors.
- As a family, you could gather data on the colors or color patterns you see and ask questions like: Which color did we see the most? Least? How many more red/green patterns did we see compared to clear lights? How many more would I need to add to the blue/white color pattern to have the same as the multi-colored pattern? What fraction of homes had blow-up decorations? Give a prize for the family member that gets the most correct answers. (A prize idea with great incentive: Maybe they could get out of doing the dishes for a few days.)
MORE FUN MATH GAMES FOR ALL AGES: To learn more fun math games across grade levels, parents are invited to join me in next week’s Mrs. Merrill’s Gem Chats. Just click the zoom link at the scheduled time, and we’ll spend about 20 minutes together learning a few games.
Wednesdays @ 6:00 p.m. – https://gemprep.zoom.us/j/81606696210
Thursdays @ 1:00 p.m. – https://gemprep.zoom.us/j/82603283847
See you then!