It’s the end of the school year and the wonderful summer holidays have begun. No more school uniforms, lunchboxes to fill and homework to be checked for a whole six weeks! Hurrah! Children slip quickly and easily into this hard-earned break after the busy end-of-school-year wrap up and Christmas festivities. It’s a great time for them to recharge those batteries, enjoy time with family and friends, and have a sleep in now and then.
As parents, we welcome the break for the school-day routines as well but we’re also mindful that six weeks is a long time for children to be out of the classroom. We know that skills can get a little rusty when they aren’t used for a while and we want to know that when the next school year comes around our children will be ready rather than rusty! Given how much we know about the cognitive benefits of handwriting, keeping pens, pencils and crayons in their hands over this long break is a must.
So, how can we ensure that important skills built over the last school year aren’t lost as the month of January unfolds? Well, one good way is by stealth—with worthwhile handwriting activities that children will love to do that keep those critical skills polished without them knowing it! Here’s my list of my ‘tried and true holiday boredom busters’ that kids love doing and guarantee their writing skills stay honed.
When the next empty hour presents itself grabs the pens and paper and get them busy!
- Now is the time to create your individual Christmas thank you cards. Have a family member take a few snaps of you with your gifts. Print off the photos and paste them to the front of your card. Write your thank you message inside using brightly coloured pens and pencils. Don’t forget to address the envelope in your own writing to complete the personal touch.
- Hide a secret treasure in your home or garden and write a set of hidden-treasure clues or instructions for someone else to follow.
- Start a holiday scrapbook. Paste in items that relate to how you spent each day or draw a picture of what you did. Then write a few sentences about each event.
- Create your own word searches for a friend to complete. Draw up a table with ten lines running vertically and horizontally to form the word grid. Next, make a list of words to use in the word search. Now, write the words into the boxes. Remember, they can be written vertically, horizontally and diagonally. Finally, fill in the remaining boxes with letters to fill the table. Can you remember where you put all the words?
- Plan your own play date! Make a list of who you’d like to invite over for a play date and then list the activities you’ll do together.
- Write a letter to your favourite author. Send it to the publishing house where the books were published and it will be sure to reach them. Here’s a photo of a letter I received as the author of the Bella Dancerella books written under my pen name, Poppy Rose. It gave me such a thrill to receive this. Authors love getting letters from their readers!
- Complete some of the writing activities from my new series, Harriet Clare. Ask a parent to take a photo of your completed pages and send them to me. You might just get a reply from Harriet herself!
- Be sure to check out the handwriting activities on this site. You can complete them with a friend or on your own!
Enjoy spending holiday time doing these fun activities with your children knowing that not only will they love doing them but that they’ll be benefitting from them as well!