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How to keep your child engaged during the school holidays

How to keep your child engaged during the school holidays

Holidays are meant to give kids a break from school, but that doesn’t mean they need to take a break from learning. If kids don’t engage their brains during the holidays, they often forget what they’ve worked so hard to learn during the last term/year.

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Learning doesn’t have to stop when kids aren’t in school

You may find that kids may be more reluctant to do work during this time, which makes it harder for you to encourage them. However, remember, learning doesn’t have to happen sitting in front of desk, it can happen anywhere. So how can we encourage learning during the holidays? Here are some tips on how to inspire curiosity and keep learning a pleasant activity to be nourished even while out of school.

Tips to keeping kids engaged during the holidays

  • Go to museums, zoos, aquariums. These environments lend themselves well to interactivity along with educational material. Make sure to take the time to read (or better, have them read!) the information describing each exhibit, and definitely ask lots of questions that can spark discussions. This will keep your child’s brain stimulated even while they are having so much fun. One study has even found that visiting museums with kids made them:
    • Demonstrate stronger critical thinking skills
    • Display higher levels of social tolerance
    • Develop a taste for culture
  • Take them on errands, like going to get groceries. Although it may not seem like learning, these are places and times that would be great for communication and interaction. For example, selecting foods. This is an opportunity to talk about nutrition and why you are selecting certain foods. You can even have them be the keeper of the list so that way they can practice reading and participate in the whole process. As a bonus, if you have a fussy eater this could be a great time to have them select some of the foods. They may be more inclined to eat them!

“Jane wants to come with me grocery shopping, because then she feels she has a say in the meals we prepare together. We often have discussions why I’m choosing one product over another, but now, she even knows to reach for the brown or multi-grain breads over the white bread. It’s giving her an important education on nutrition as well.”
~ Parent of Jane, age 6

  • Go to libraries or bookstores. Keep reading alive during the school breaks. And really try to make an effort to schedule in reading time. Taking your child to get the books is the best, so they can choose ones that interest them. All reading is good reading.
  • Keep a routine. Try to keep a routine. Have them get up the same time that they get up for school or close to. And make sure reading and writing is incorporated every day. The hardest part about routines is when you fall out of one and you have to start again. Think about what it takes to get back into a fitness routine after the winter holidays. The worst!

Most importantly, remember to have fun. Holidays are given for a reason—almost like a gift for working hard during term time. But it’s also our job to make sure they don’t regress during these times or develop bad habits. After all, we want them to be ready to get back to school when the time comes.


1. Pearson. 5 tips for getting your child out of holiday mode. Available at:

2. Melbourne Child Psychology. 5 ways to keep kids learning during the school holidays. Available at: https://www.melbournechildpsychology.com.au/blog/5-ways-to-keep-kids-learning-during-the-school-holidays/

3. Essential Kids. Keeping kids on track during the holidays. Available at: http://www.essentialkids.com.au/activities/school-holidays/keeping-kids-on-track-during-the-holidays-20091105-hyzi

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