Winter break is just around the corner and it’s time to prepare for family gatherings and snowy days indoors. It’s during this time that young students get to take time to be with family. However, extended breaks from school are also key times for what’s known as “learning loss.” When students take breaks from school, they fall out of practice with their key skills like reading, writing, math and science. The Brookings Institute addressed learning loss in the context of the “summer slide,” which is learning loss that takes place over summer break. They found that students need to have opportunities to learn over breaks and parents can help facilitate this learning. So, the next time there’s a lull in the holiday activities, you can initiate doing some of these fun STEM activities as a way to not only chase away boredom but also stop learning loss!
This activity is a great way to introduce your young scientist to the basics of circuits and electricity. You can work together on fun light-up holiday cards for loved ones that are sure to earn a spot on any relative’s mantelpiece.
An unfortunate side effect of the holidays is the sheer amount of boxes and junk generated by the well-meaning gift-giving season. Recycle some of that junk into these cute “junkbots” that help illustrate how motors work.
STEM learning kits may not be more common in the aisles of toy stores this holiday shopping season but they can often be expensive and overcomplicated. This project is not only simple, only of of the materials is not a household item. This project is a great way to teach your young innovator how energy is stored and released.
Browse with your child on the Instructables website. It can open their eyes to the kinds of things they can make themselves.
It’s important to remember that the main key to preventing learning loss isn’t making your student do work over their precious vacation. The key is to keep them engaged and curious about the world around them. You can do this through activities like the ones above, making a visit to a museum, reading together, watching cool documentaries, or simply encouraging them to stay curious about the world around them.