Written by Madeline Mitchell – Owner of Hi iQ Tutoring
There is no doubt about it, kids absolutely love holidays!
The experiences children gain from being away from their homes, out of routine and travelling provide some of the best learning opportunities for young minds!
Whether it’s camping in the bush, a holiday house by the sea or an overseas exploration, the excitement, sense of adventure and travel itself, all provide an invaluable learning experience for your child.
Whilst the holiday is a learning experience in itself, there are still several things you can do to encourage and support your child’s learning while you are away.
6 learning activities while on holidays!
Keep a ‘senses’ journal! We’ve all been told about keeping a journal when we’re away and this is a great way to keep kids writing whilst travelling. A ‘senses’ journal is an even better way to engage children in their writing! Ask your child to describe what they can hear, smell, taste, touch and see. This will produce a more in-depth travel journal and will encourage greater use of imagery and description.
‘A simile a day’ – whether your child is in Kindergarten or Year 6, writing at least one simile a day is a great way to engage them in creative thinking and develop their use of figurative language. All kids love similes! Try to encourage similes based on your travel experience e.g ‘the plane bounced like a tennis ball as it came into landing’.
Maths Matters! Everywhere you go, you will be exchanging money for experiences – dinner, theme parks, ice-cream, you name it! Get your child to work out the change, give them ‘pocket money’ to spend, calculate the exchange rates, plan an outing with a budget and estimate fuel costs. The mathematical possibilities are endless!
Local Spelling Masters! If you’re in a new area, you are surrounded by new streets, parks, cuisines and activities! Get your child/children to learn how to spell some of these new words. Building on their vocabulary is so important and if your child knows how to correctly spell the word, then they are much more likely to use it in their writing. For example; ‘fishing’, ‘skiing’, ‘aeroplane’, ‘cruise’, ‘mountain’, ‘teppanyaki’ etc. Don’t just assume your child can spell some of these words, check for yourself!
Research! Jump online, look at a travel guide or find the local information centre and do some research! Who were the traditional owners of the land? What is the area famous for? What is the most popular sport? What is the local population? Is there a wet and a dry season?
Dr Seuss said it best; ‘You can find magic wherever you look, sit back and relax all you need is a book’. It doesn’t matter what the book/comic/travel guide is, it’s always a great idea to encourage your child to keep reading. Read before bed, read out loud, read at the airport etc. Try to keep reading!
Have fun, stay safe, get creative and explore!