The lights are up, the tree is decorated, and the stockings are hung — that means the holiday season is well on its way! With Christmas so near, most students have a couple of weeks off school to relax. However, it can be hard to find indoor activities to keep them engaged due to the cold weather. Thankfully, the National 4-H Council has a cure of those winter time blues.
Cold weather for many of us reduces the amount of outside activities, and it can be hard to keep the kiddos entertained. With the help from your local 4-H organization and the National 4-H Council, students and parents alike can create new memories this holiday season. The 4-H at Home for the Holidays activities utilize what most people already have in their pantry and a little bit of science to create activities for the whole family.
Spending time together as a family is so important during the holidays, says Kansas 4-H youth development specialist Beth Hinshaw.
“[The Holiday Activity Guide] has great ways to spend quality time with people, and we can learn so much from our family when we see them at the holidays,” she says. “And to be able to have these learning experiences with them — that’ll make a memory for us as well.”
One example of the fun in the activity book includes Cookie Science. Families will bake a batch of delicious chocolate chip cookies with a recipe from Annie Fox of Tarpon Springs’ Brooker Creek Explorers 4-H Club. During the activity kids will discover how even the smallest changes to ingredients can make a major difference when it comes to baking.
“In the holiday guide, there are several activities that are STEM and math-focused, but as you read through and think about it, they’re fun as well,” Hinshaw said. “That’s one of the things we pride ourselves on in 4-H — to have those experiential, fun learning activities.”
Another activity in the guide is creating a New Year’s Wish Pillow. Turn your dreams into actions with this DIY throw pillow stuffed with your very own goals for the new year. This teaches kids to make measurable, attainable goals while the visual of the pillow will help them think of those goals throughout the year.
Each activity comes with a supplies list, activity steps (with fun facts throughout), short quizzes to test their knowledge, reflection questions, and an investigate and explore section. Not only does this step-by-step process help you have a successful activity, but challenges the student to learn about the subject while having fun.
On its website, 4-H has a calendar with daily activities that families can participate in. If you are just getting started, you can go back and double up on the items. For example, on December 20, the 4-H activity is growing microgreens with your family. Microgreens are a delicious healthy addition to many meals, including salads. In this activity, kids will learn how to grow and take care of plants in a microgreen system. Jump to today’s activity here.
In addition to their holiday activity guide, 4-H also has amazing resources on their YouTube channel. There, parents can find even more videos and activities to keep the kids busy and engaged during the winter break.
So no matter where you find yourself this winter break, add some extra holiday cheer with these activities that are fun for the whole family!