Maintaining Skills During Spring Break
A Survival Guide for Parents (Special Education Edition)
Your kid is on spring break from school for a week! How do you maintain their skills but allow for a much-needed brain break and incorporate some fun?! No matter the age, you can make learning fun! Feel free to use the suggestions below and alter as needed to fit your kiddo’s learning style and their goals).
1. Scavenger Hunt (outdoor or indoor)
Preschool through Early Elementary
Preschool kids and early elementary kids love to search for toys! Is your child working on certain speech sounds in school? Hide items (or pictures of items) around the house or the yard that contain those targeted sounds. Then let them loose to find the hidden treasures. Once they bring them to you, help them produce the correct speech sounds and meet them where they are. (ie. Are they working on the sound in the beginning of a word? Are they using it in a sentence?)
You can also use a scavenger hunt for language development. You can label and describe items or pictures. “Truck. You found a truck! This is a (insert pause) _______. Yes, a truck!” “A truck goes vrooommm!”
2. Movie Time
Mid-Elementary through High School
Rainy day on Spring Break? Yes, you can use a movie for learning! Where do you think Hollywood gets their ideas?! Find one of their favorite movies then do a quick Google search to see if it was first a book. Take a trip to the local library and check out that book. You can do a compare/contrast of the book to the movie. Is your kid not into reading? You can pause the movie and ask comprehension questions throughout. Better yet– search for already created questions related to the movie! Do you have a younger kid who is working on fine motor skills and handwriting? You can have them create a synopsis of the movie in writing or drawing. There are tons of “book report” templates you can recreate for a movie.
3. Take a walk!
Is it finally nice in your area? Get outside and take a neighborhood walk. You can talk about things you see and discuss in detail to expand on language skills. You can work on shoe tying before you leave. You can address gross motor skills by skipping a portion of the walk, walking backwards, bear crawling, climbing onto a curb and balancing. Allow your child to drive the direction by making a choice to go left or right or to stop and go by playing “Red Light, Green Light.”
4. Creation Station
Allow time for creating without direction. Let your child explore. Try to include messy items such as glue, sand, glitter, and shaving cream. All of these items can be used to increase sensory integration for all ages.
You can incorporate math skills by having them create a building by measuring the walls with a ruler or creating a unique shape using different shapes such as triangles, rectangles, parallelograms, etc…the sky is the limit here! Bonus points if they cut out items and build the structure!
Put items into a bowl and blindfold your child. See if they can guess what the item is by only using their hands. This targets language, critical thinking, sensory integration.
5. Bake Shop!
Hungry for a yummy treat? Allow your child to help you in the kitchen making a treat for the whole family and see the pride on their face! Baking, or cooking in general, targets following directions, math (measurement), sequencing of tasks and reading skills.
Spring Break is a time for decompressing, unwinding and recharging, but it doesn’t have to be a week asking “what are we going to do?” With these tips, your child is bound to have fun while maintaining learning.