Easy, Family-Friendly Holiday Games and Activities
Is your “to-do” list packed? Will company be arriving at your house in a few short days? Are decorations only just beginning to mesh and has your shopping list reached the ground? Although the holiday season is filled with joy, demands seem to be endless and stress, tangible. In the midst of chaos, it can be difficult for homeschoolers to maintain their typical homeschool routine. However, fun and easy ideas are available to assist you so you can homeschool through the holidays. So don’t be afraid to step away from textbooks or online lessons and supplement with holiday themed lessons, games, cooking, and more! Here are some ideas.
Learning Through Board Games
Many family-friendly games are excellent teachers! Here are some games that you may already own and are familiar with, making them easy to incorporate.
Monopoly and The Game of Life teach:
- Adult responsibilities
Scattergories and Taboo develop:
- Creative brainstorming
- Vocabulary extension
Puzzles, Jenga and Connect Four use:
- Critical thinking
- Problem solving
- Counting word score
Holiday-Themed Educational Activities
Many holiday activities can teach key concepts in core subjects. Below are some examples:
- Homemade cards (try making a pop-up card!)
- Handmade Christmas tree ornaments
- DIY snow globes
- Paper plate or egg carton Kwanzaa Kinara
- Pine cone painting and decorating
- Handprint Menorahs
- Analyze classic holiday poems/songs
- Write a holiday tale (original or a spin-off from a classic)
- Write about holiday traditions or history (downloadable worksheet below)
Math and Science: Learn in the Kitchen!
- Practice measuring ingredients
- Try halving or doubling recipes (fractions!)
- Make qualitative observations of physical and chemical changes as temperature affects food
- Discover how popcorn pops
Social Studies: Holidays Around the World
Studying some of the holiday traditions from around the world creates a great holiday curriculum in history that expands and deepens your child’s understanding of winter holidays and foreign cultures.
- Study origins, history and the impacts of holidays
- Discover why Christmas is celebrated in December or why Winter Solstice began
- Did you know that Hanukkah was originally celebrated with oils before candles?
- Or that Kwanzaa comes from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza” meaning “first fruits”?
Additional holidays to study include, but are not limited to, Yule, New Years Eve, Lunar New Year, Diwali, or Las Posadas.
Holiday Community Service
Once students start learning about how other cultures celebrate the winter season and what the holidays mean to them, they will understand that many share the true spirit of the holidays, which lies in kindness, sharing, and spending time with loved ones. Some states require good citizenship to be taught in their homeschool; this season provides a perfect opportunity to display faithful citizenship and help students recognize their prosperity. Encourage students to sort through old clothes, backpacks, shoes, toys and stuffed animals to donate to orphans, foster children, or homeless shelters. Make crafts or cards and bring them to a retirement home or homeless shelter. This season is a wonderful time to teach generosity, sacrifice, and good citizenship by giving to those less fortunate.
Free Holiday Traditions Worksheet
Looking for ways to incorporate holiday traditions into your child’s education? Download this holiday printable that features fun prompts that are ideal for students of all ages. Your child can learn more about your family’s traditions and other holidays through art and writing activities.
Originally published: November 21, 2018