The holiday season is here! And it’s a time full of meaning and magic for kids and grown ups alike. Along with all the traditional holiday fun, there are also lots of great educational opportunities. Try some of these holiday activities with your kids to keep them busy and learning all season long.
Create Holiday Art
From making holiday cards to decorating the house, the holiday season is the perfect time to keep kids busy crafting and creating. If you’re not sure where to start, check out this list of fun winter crafts, this great roundup of 24 Christmas crafts, and these DIY Hanukkah crafts and gifts.
Sharpen Skills with Holiday Math Activities
Practice math facts with these fun Christmas math games, or try these holiday math challenges. Remember cutting out paper snowflakes? Try this version that turns this classic holiday craft into a math lesson.
Math is also easy to incorporate into your usual holiday activities. Cooking favorite holiday recipes together (measuring ingredients is great math practice) or budgeting for gift-giving are excellent ways to sharpen those practical math skills.
Experiment with Seasonal Science
Explore the science of snowflakes, and then make your own. Even if there’s no snow on the ground where you are, you can bring some snowflakes inside with this fun hands-on chemistry experiment. Or try some kitchen chemistry with this recipe for peppermint cream wafers that’s written like a chemistry experiment. What a perfect excuse to whip up a tasty holiday treat!
Check out this list of ideas for learning about and celebrating the winter solstice. Play this activity to learn about the solstice and how the earth moves, or learn about winter weather with these weather-related games and activities.
Learn the Origins of Our Holidays
All of the holidays we celebrate have rich historical traditions. Spend some time learning about the different winter holidays around the world, and the origins of their various traditions.
Learn About Other Cultures
Education World has a great list of lessons, recipes, and activities for international December holidays. And for Christmas, try this idea and create a Venn diagram comparing different cultures’ Christmas traditions.
There are so many wonderful books about the holidays. If you’re looking for something new to read together, try our list of favorite Christmas books, or these roundups of Hanukkah books, books for kids who celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah, Ramadan picture books, and books about winter and snow.
This post originally published in 2014 and has been revised and republished.