Ideas for Winter Activities
Fair warning to parents out there who have not realized this yet, but in just four short weeks schools will be closing for the winter holidays. Having a bunch of ideas for winter activities is key to maintaining your sanity.
Keeping kids entertained for twenty-one days might sound a bit overwhelming, but with good planning and some nifty ideas for fun games and activities, you will get through it. However, before we go ahead, I will need to add this disclaimer. We unfortunately cannot guarantee that you will not hear the words, (“I’m Bored” at anytime during their break.)
Play Dough 2.0
I have yet to meet a child who doesn’t enjoy playing with play dough. It is such a versatile material and great for sensory play. But combining play dough with story telling takes it up a couple of notches. Add a few props alluding to their favourite fairy tale, and the children can mold the dough to the main characters or anything they really want. And if you really want get their imaginative play on, get them to create their own stories and set the scenes with the play dough. This activity helps them practise recalling and recounting a tale, and assists in developing their use of language.
This one might take some time to prepare, and depending on how long or tricky you’d want the game to be. Keep in mind that the “treasure” would need to be valuable to the child, but it doesn’t have to be pricey. A voucher for extra fifteen minutes of video game time or a free pass on one of their chores they dread the most, that’s the gist of the “treasure”. Alternatively, for younger ones you could use a book, crayons or a sweet treat. Box the prize and cover as creatively as you can. Then, hide the “treasure” in your house or backyard. Write a series of five or six clues that will lead your child to the “treasure.” Place the clues in different locations. The first clue will lead to the first location, where the child finds the next clue, and so on. Each clue should contain position vocabulary to direct the child. For example: You’ll find the next clue under the table in the dining room. Clues for older kids could be a bit more cryptic. This game helps with building vocabulary, reading, sequencing and following direction.
Story Time Relay
Ever read a book and just wished the novel had ended differently, or the author would delve into a specific character just a bit more. Well kids feel the same way. What if the gingerbread man never ran away? Or the big bad wolf was in actual fact a big good wolf. This is definitely food for thought, and the possibilities for the endings are vast. For this activity you need nothing more than an open, creative mind and maybe an egg timer. Initially, set the timer for about two minutes, start the story off by providing a base and setting the scene. Once the timer stops, set it again and allow your child to carry on with their version of the story. This story could carry on quite a while, so be prepared. This activity is wonderful, because it can be done in a group setting as well, and each child will have a turn to contribute. End result, a delightful, imaginative and uniquely created story. This is great for language development; turn taking and harnessing your child’s imagination.
Most kids absolutely love baking, if not baking then definitely they love messing, which apparently is also a good thing. (I’ll have to research that one) Anyway, kids have fun and when they have fun they are at their best for learning. My biggest tip with this activity is to keep it simple. The goal here is to get them involved and maybe even sneak in some new words, building on their vocabulary. Start with an easy biscuit mixture so they can easily become involved in making and baking them. Young children can help, by weighing out ingredients. Remember to continuously talk them through everything that is being done. This is a brilliant activity as it is multi sensory and involves language development and turn taking.
These activities can be a lot of fun and I do hope that you enjoy and cherish the time you spend with your children over these coming holidays. If you are concerned about any aspect relating to your child’s speech or language development, please do not hesitate to contact us or leave a message below.