Smart Stepz

Smart Stepz

Great Free Activities for over the Christmas Break

It’s Christmas…. FINALLY!!

Time to unwind, take a break and spend time with the family; although it’s also important, especially after so much disruption, to continue closing the gaps of learning, make sure you do fun things, or make the learning activities fun

Free Fun Activities

When it comes to this time of year, whether you live in a small village, town or big city go search out Christmas lights. Learn map reading skills as you plan a walk around the place you live or are visiting. Have a competition to see who can count the most angels, or Father Christmas’ as you marvel at the different displays.

Wander around Christmas Markets, pop up stalls are cropping up everywhere. Browsing the variety of stalls can be fun even if you don’t buy anything, and if photography is a hobby there are plenty of opportunities for taking some great snaps…and selfies, if you are into that type of thing!

Some small villages and larger towns get together and have advent calendar trails, follow your local Facebook pages to keep an eye out on local things to do.

If you aren’t far from London, or any other large town/city check out the gorgeous window displays that the bigger stores create. Even garden centres are getting in on the act with Santa’s Grotto and reindeer visits.

Find Christmas Festivals/events that are close by, Google Whats On Near Me, and a raft of events will pop up. For example Rochester in Kent has an annual Dickens Festival, so does Ulverston. And no doubt many more places throughout the UK.

Local churches often have carol concerts nearer to Christmas which are lovely to attend, indoor markets invariably start to feel festive and have many gifts for the up and coming season.

Here is where you can help your child understand Money Management

Money Management & Maths

Help your child understand the value of money. 
1.Give your child £10-£20 and go Christmas goodies shopping.
2.Allow your child to choose whatever they like.
3.Your child must add the cost of the items picked up and work out the change. 

If your children are younger, or you don’t have the spare cash, go “virtual shopping” online. Set a limit to what they can spend and a set shop… in the days of the Argos catalogue this was a favourite in my household! This activity will empower your child, instil value for money, help him/her to understand the limits of spending and, above all, spending wisely. Their calculation skills will be enhanced as they will be adding and subtracting using their knowledge of coins. 

Paid For Stuff!

Sadly, some fun events need to be paid for such as visiting parks and gardens that have light displays, check out Groupon or Wowcher for deals for these, some you may have to book well in advance to get discounted deals.

Outside skating rinks are a popular activity though prices vary. Cinemas usually have the latest blockbuster showing, or older movies at reduced prices in the mornings.

Shhhhhhhhhh Practise  Online School Work in Short Bursts

I know it is the holidays but things can easily be forgotten over a two week period. Check out the FREE TRIAL papers with SmartStepZ online, if you haven’t already signed up. Create a Learning Account and access the following: 

-2 set of papers: English, Maths, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning

-Work monitored

-Gaps identified

-Feedback given

Since the children will be online anyway, it might be worth monitoring the time spent so some of it can be spent on educational games. Games do have the power to boost a child’s resilience and confidence. 

When you do finally need a coffee and some “me” time, online games are ideal!

-Maths games
-Brain games
-Science games
-11 plus games

A Bowl of Popcorn and Educational Christmas Movies

Christmas movies are not only an opportunity for families to come together and enjoy themselves but the storylines help children become emotionally intelligent.  They learn without knowing they are learning!

My favourites are:
-A Christmas Carol – 2009
– A Muppet Christmas Carol – 1992 -the script is so close t- o the book and the songs and puppets are always good value – I love this one so a biased thumbs up from me.
-Nightmare Before Christmas – 1993
-How the Grinch Stole Christmas  – 2000
– Jingle Jangle – a Christmas Journey – 2020
-Klaus – 2019
– A boy called Christmas – 2021 – with Maggie Smith and Jim Broadbent it has to be good
– Its a Wonderful Life – 1946 – another favourite in my household if you don’t mind a black and white movie!

And so many more…..again Google is your friend as you search for recommended children’s movies.

Christmas Reading

Last but not the least, read some Christmas books. Reading improves your child’s vocabulary, comprehension and focus… and takes them away to the most wonderful worlds of imagination. Reading is the key to closing the gaps that have been created and to a better, easier understanding of all that is being taught. It also doesn’t have to be reading. As with maths, no type of maths is bad maths, no type of reading is bad reading especially if it introduces new ideas and some new vocabulary.

Try out these:
-Dairy of a Christmas Elf
-The Girl who saved Christmas
-The Christmasaurus and the Naughty List
-A Christmas Memory
-The Christmas Pig
-The Night I Met Father Christmas

Or dive into the classics such as The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe… I can’t tell you how many times I have read and re-read the complete set of these books, even as an adult I STILL read them.

However you celebrate the Christmas break, enjoy the season, take the opportunity to relax and learn something new, do something new, whatever your age!

Scroll to Top