11 Fun Winter Break Activities
The holiday season is in full swing, and with it, comes winter vacation, a welcome break in the school year for students and parents. While a few weeks off from the day-to-day schoolwork is important (and well-deserved!) there are lots of fun ways to incorporate learning during the break. Try these fun winter break activities to keep kids engaged and learning throughout the break, without it seeming like a chore.
1. Read holiday books together.
Incorporate reading time into your holiday plans. Try reading favorite holiday books together, or these holiday-themed stories from classic literary characters. If you’re traveling, take some audiobooks along to keep kids engaged on the plane or in the car.
2. Practice writing skills with seasonal writing projects.
Many favorite holiday activities are perfect opportunities to practice writing skills. Have kids write letters to Santa or try these Christmas journaling prompts. If you send a family Christmas letter, invite kids to help write it or have kids express gratitude and get some practice in too, by writing thank you notes for gifts received. Use these activities to brainstorm, practice the writing process, and learn to address letters.
3. Explore your family heritage.
Many families spend the holiday season with extended family near and far. If you’ll be visiting grandparents and other older relatives, it’s a great opportunity to encourage kids to take an interest in learning about their family heritage. Try having kids interview relatives about what life was like when they were growing up and about your family’s cultural heritage. Kids could even create a family history book or family tree with what they learn.
4. Discover the history of winter holidays.
Did you know that many favorite Christmas traditions, from caroling and Christmas trees to decorating with poinsettias, have very long histories? Spend some time learning about the traditions you incorporate into your holidays and about the origins of winter holidays and traditions around the world. Or discover the history of Santa Claus and the Santa Tracker.
5. Create art.
Practice art skills by spending time doing crafts, making ornaments or holiday cards, creating handmade gifts and decorations, or decorating wrapping paper. Find more fun art activities on our Arts Education and Crafts Pinterest boards.
6. Explore science, engineering, technology, and math.
Discover the science of snowflakes, the history of winter inventions, or try a science experiment like this crystal snowflake. With time off from the busy school year, you may also find you have more time for fun activities like LEGO learning activities or home science experiments.
7. Cook up a lesson.
8. Play educational games.
Turn family game night into a learning opportunity by choosing one of these fun educational board games. You can also keep skills sharp and have fun with free educational games, activities, worksheets, and coloring pages. While kids shouldn’t spend the whole break being couch potatoes, they could do worse than to spend some time playing an educational game like Minecraft.
9. Get outside and play.
10. Learn a new skill or supplement learning.
Finally, winter break is the perfect time to supplement learning with an online program. Check out our EmbarK12 preschool program, Noodleverse Language Arts, or a World Language course for grades 3–12. The opportunity to learn something new is a perfect holiday gift, as well as a fun winter break activity.
Ashley MacQuarrie began writing professionally more than ten years ago and has covered education, technology, current events, pop culture, and other topics. A former homeschooler, she studied English and Film & New Media, graduating with a bachelor's degree from San Diego State University. Ashley has classroom experience working with children who have autism and other special needs. She has also tutored students from kindergarten through college and taught English to teens and adults at a language school in London.