12 days of break – Fun and beneficial family activities for over break

The long holiday break is a great chance to spend more time with your children and to enjoy some fun (and beneficial) activities.  Hopefully, your family has its own traditions, but below are a few more screen-free options to consider.

Dearborn Schools are closed from Dec. 25, 2023 through Jan. 7, 2024.

Twelve days of break

  1. Play a board game!  Playing a game allows for shared memories, and teaches important skills like taking turns, patience, and how to win or lose graciously.
  2. Read together.  Always a classic! Even older children may enjoy hearing a story read aloud or being the one now reading to younger relatives.  Reading aloud practices so many verbal and phonetic skills.
  3. Make something.  Turn those Amazon boxes into a tower or spaceship.  Create a Lego masterpiece or make a friendship bracelet.  Constructive play is not only fun but helps with problem solving and introduces practical science concepts (unlike those floating blocks in Minecraft). 
  4. Visit the library.  Find more books to read (obviously!).  Library visits also can include child or teen craft times, browsing movies, and just teaching your children that reading is so important there are whole buildings dedicated to this stuff.  Check out the Dearborn Library website or Dearborn Heights library website to see their activities and hours.
  5. Draw together!  Try non-stop drawing.  Each person gets a piece of paper, and everyone takes a turn naming something that each person needs to add to their picture.  After a few rounds, compare pictures. This game spurs creativity and helps children focus on adding more detail both in art and in writing. It also builds stamina in focusing longer on a single task. 
  6. Play cards!  Several simple card games also practice math skills.  Speed, 31, even black jack require adding skills. Go Fish with little ones helps with recognizing numbers.  Memory also practices recognition and builds focus. 
  7. Cook together.  Cooking involves careful reading, math skills like fractions, and more. Consider some easy kid favorites like personal pizzas or pretzels twisted in whatever shape they want.
  8. Take a walk.  Try a nature walk or even a stroll around the neighborhood.  Play I-Spy to practice language and observation skills.  How many squirrels or birds or trucks can you spot?  Not only is walking good exercise, but a stroll outdoors can decrease stress and improve emotional wellbeing.
  9. Build a puzzle. Another easy way to build patience and problem solving skills.  Want to take your puzzle building to the next level?  Turn a simple puzzle into a scavenger hunt with pieces hidden around the house and clues to find them.  If picture puzzles are not your thing, consider doing a crossword, word find or Suduko.  Use an online word find builder to create a word find with your family names.  
  10. Build family connections. Have kids ask a family member about some of their favorite childhood activities and then give one of those activities a try.  Or pull out family photo albums so kids can see a younger version of themselves, their parents or grandparents.
  11. The days are short, which means more time for gazing at the night sky.  Can you find any constellations?  Any planets? (Hint, websites can help you figure out what to look for.) Consider doing a constellation craft –  https://www.123homeschool4me.com/pipe-cleaner-constellations_61/
  12. Write a letter.  Pick a friend or a family member and write them a letter telling them about all the fun things you did with your family on your break.