5 Festive Activities you can do to Broaden your Child’s Understanding of the World
And just like that it’s time for the holidays again!
Where did the year go? Well it has been a wonderful year filled with fun and learning together as a family. Now the big question is if you should take a break from the language studies for the holidays?
But then you might feel like your kids could possibly lose some progress.
Should we just continue with our lessons at full steam as usual?
Well you also don’t want to get burned out and we all need a little bit of a break once in a while. How about making it the best of both worlds?
We have some great holiday activities for you and your kids to enjoy, so you can continue to use your language skills and make progress without having to stick to your usual learning schedule full of lessons.
Learn through language
This activity is probably the closest you will get to having your language lessons without actually having to do your lessons, but still getting loads of entertainment out of it.
You can choose if you just want to learn a bit more about different languages and if you would actually want to make a whole game out of it. So let’s say you are opting for the game option, good choice! Make a few cards with holiday greetings on them in different languages and writing on the bottom which language it is.
Take 4 or 5 minutes for all of the players to collectively look at all the cards, read them and try to memorize as many as possible. Each player will get a chance to be in the hot seat where they will listen to the greetings being read to them by another player and they will have to identify as many languages as they can within a 30 seconds time period. You can adjust the level of difficulty by changing the given time to either more or less time. The person who got the most languages correctly wins the round.
Getting creative in the kitchen
I feel like we have to put up a full disclosure warning right here, things are about to get messy! But that is half the fun of it. This is an opportunity for you as a family to learn more about other countries and cultures by having a look at what they eat or what traditional dishes are a specialty of those countries. If you want to keep it more educational, you can let each of your kids choose a country, then find the most interesting dishes from that country that you can make together.
While you are making the dishes, you can each have a turn to tell the others the history behind the dish that you chose or what about this dish stood out to make you choose it. If you want to make things a little bit more interesting, you can each still choose one dish that you find interesting, but don’t look at the ingredients. Choose one at random and try to recreate the dish without actually knowing what the ingredients are. I’m sure you will end up with an extraordinary end product and a lot of laughs!
Play a game of “Guess where?”
If your Instagram feed looks anything like mine, filled with travel pages and beautiful pictures from different countries, then you should have no trouble with this fun activity.
Find a few pictures of beautiful spots around the world, some can be either very famous and recognizable and others may be less well known. Either physical printed pictures or digital pictures on your computer will work fine for this activity.
Next you can choose a reward system or kind of prize that you are comfortable, such as stickers, small toys or even that advent calendar that you forgot about until the middle of the month. A bell, whistle or buzzer of some kind would be handy, but it’s not a deal breaker if you don’t have one. Let all the players that want to participate in the game sit around the computer with their buzzers ready.
You can then bring up the first picture and every player has to try and guess correctly first where the picture is from. If he/she is correct, they can choose which slot on the advent calendar they want or which prize that you have ready for them.
You can continue for as long as you want or of course until all the prizes are finished. This way, your kids get a chance to see bits and pieces of different countries and will always be able to associate those pictures with fun and happy memories.
Holiday traditions movie marathon
Once you’ve finished with all the fun and games for the day, it’s time to go put on the kettle, make some tea, get the popcorn popping and get ready for a relaxing night of movies. Take some time and do a little bit of research about movies that are about other countries, cultures, traditions or even folktales or legends of those cultures.
You will have the opportunity to give your kids a glimpse into what life is like in different cultures or simply just being able to show them interesting traditions that they would never have known about otherwise. This will really give your kids an idea of what life is like outside the norm of their own everyday lives and perhaps even peak their curiosity to someday go and visit some of these places that they have seen in these movies.
It might even get them curious about some traditions or folktales from their own country that they have never heard about before, broadening their understanding of the world.
It’s story time!
Well, it has been an exciting, action packed, activity filled day, but now it’s time to just relax and get ready for bed and what could possibly be better for sending the kids off into a peaceful, dream filled sleep than a bed time story? Based on your preference, you can either choose a story that is in a foreign language that you as a family have been studying, or keep it simple and choose a story that is based on a different country or culture and their legends or folktales.
You can even tailor this story time to your kids’ favorite characters. Just like any other young girl, my daughter was obsessed with Disney princesses, so we decided to put a little twist on our nightly story times. She would choose one of our many Disney books which I would read to her in different accents and show her the pictures and by the end of the story, she would give her best guesses as to which country the princess is from.
I was truly amazed at how good she got at the game and in particular at recognizing different countries’ accents.
The best part about these kinds of activities is that there is no limit to your creativity and you can turn almost any teachable content into an activity or a game. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be just for a specific holiday, you can adapt these games and activities to any occasion that you may need them for, as well as changing their level of difficulty, competitiveness or intrigue.
Now all that is left to do is to choose which activity you would like to start with and let the games begin!
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