(StatePoint) For many families, the holiday season means giving, celebrating, and spending time together — but it also means chilly weather and long hours cooped up inside the house. This year, consider using the downtime to help children tap into their natural creativity. Here are some festive ways to motivate kids to engage in fun and active learning.
Family Room Fort
If the weather outside is frightful, transform the family room or den into an opportunity for adventure. Kids can use the couch, blankets and all those boxes that seem to amass during the holidays to create a fort, which makes the perfect temporary stand-in for a treehouse or outdoor clubhouse. Let kids get creative by decorating the outside of the boxes with snowflakes, snowmen and other seasonal shapes.
Parents can ensure creativity continues long after kids unwrap their presents. Playtime is also learning time: according to Dr. Deborah Libby, Early Childhood Reading and Language Expert and VTech Expert Panel Member, “Play ideally begins early and continues throughout a child’s life, helping them learn, think, socialize, problem solve and ultimately have fun.”
One great choice for sparking imaginations and building motor skills is the Go! Go! Smart Wheels Ultimate RC Speedway from VTech. With 4.5 feet of track, which incorporates features like a stunt ramp, elevator, track switches, and more, this new set inspires interactive play all year round. Kids take charge by using a remote control to zoom the RC SmartPoint Racer around the brightly-colored course, which also activates playful music and sounds to further engage little ones.
Another option is VTech’s Go! Go! Smart Friends Busy Sounds Discovery Home, cleverly designed to demonstrate cause and effect relationships to toddlers. Each friend comes alive when placed on one of the house’s MagicPoint locations, through the use of talk, song, light and motion. The characters also interact with one another, teaching children how to introduce themselves and build friendships.
And the Go! Go! Smart Animals Grow & Learn Farm features an electronic barn that teaches kids about colors, numbers, and plants. When toddlers roll Reggie the Rooster over each of the farm’s SmartPoint locations, they’ll hear new phrases, music and sound effects.
Gadgets don’t have to mean passivity: these toys use interactive technology to occupy kids with the kind of imaginative play and creativity that furthers development and learning, long after the holidays are over.
Arts & Crafts
Making holiday decorations at home is a great way to get children involved in stimulating, hands-on activities. With just a few simple art supplies, they can craft their own greeting cards, create snowflake shapes that double as ornaments, or help design gingerbread houses. Such activities not only enhance fine motor skills, but also inspire kids to use their innate inventiveness.
This holiday season and beyond, keep boredom at bay by encouraging kids to be creative and mentally active.