Fun & Educational Things Kids Can Do During Their Spring Break
There is so much that a child can do during their spring break, and all from the luxury of their own home that is both fun and educational. On cold, dreary spring days when it is raining outside, there are a variety of indoor games and activities that can spur a child’s imagination and build their mental and physical skills all while having fun.
Engaging a child in the Arts
Many children love to draw, color, paint, read, and write, especially when they aren’t required to do so. Parents can encourage a child to do some pleasure reading and/or some free writing. Writing a story, poem, comic strip, or anything they want for that matter helps spur imagination and creativity. Before bedtime, parents can engage in storytelling with their child. Have a child make up a story about anything that comes into their minds. You could also provide your child with a topic and role play back-and-forth with him.
It seems like while the kids are home during their spring break that would be a great opportunity to teach them about cooking and a healthy diet. In the process, you can teach your child more than just healthy eating through different recipes. Not only will children learn about units of measurement, how to read and follow a procedure, but they will also learn how to include math into recipes, such as using fractions, adding, subtracting, and learning new vocabulary in the process.
As a nutritionist, I see an additional benefit in family cooking in that cooking with your kids can help spark their interest in trying healthier foods they might normally not willingly try. Kids will be kids and snack on junk food from time-to-time, but what is important is how they consume the majority of the time.
Doug’s Kid-Healthy Nutrition Plan:
- Consider stocking your home with nutrient-dense foods including a variety of fresh fruits, preferably organic to reduce pesticide loads. Opt away from fruit juice unless it is 100% juice.
- Kids typically like colorful vegetables. I would recommend purchasing cruciferous, dark green, red, and orange vegetables.
- Choose whole grains foods (cereal, oatmeal, chips, pasta, quinoa, wild or brown rice).
- Encourage a child to consume organic and non-GMO dairy products like yogurts and cheese and also drink fat-free or low-fat dairy products that retain their calcium content.
- Kids need a well-balanced diet that includes foods with protein (such as lean meat, poultry, eggs, legumes) and healthy fats (such as nuts, some fish, avocados, coconut and extra virgin olive oil).
MyPlate.gov has a variety of creative ideas to add a winter season twist to make healthy foods fun and festive.
Playing board games
Board games are a great way for families to spend quality time together. There are some great classics out there. Scrabble is an excellent game for teaching spelling and involves math in counting up words in all different directions. Games like Monopoly teach you how to manage your money and assets. The game Memory helps a child’s concentration and overall memory. Chess and checkers are classic strategy games that help teach children valuable life skills, such as planning ahead, strategizing, patience, anticipation, and accepting consequences.
Taking your kids outside the home for fun, educational activities
There are a multitude of activities for kids to do away from home during their spring break from nature centers to kid-friendly museums to indoor play centers at affordable prices. For a list of events for kids during their school break, go to: www.kidsoutandabout.com and click on where you live to see what activities are going on in your area.
Douglas Haddad is a public school teacher, nutritionist and the author of parenting/child guidance book Save Your Kids…Now! The Revolutionary Guide To Helping Youth Conquer Today’s Challenges and co-author of Top Ten Tips For Tip Top Shape: Super Health Programs For All Professional Fields. doughaddad.com
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This post originally appeared on our March/April 2015 Magazine