It’s the holidays and it’s time to have fun, but that doesn’t mean the learning stops here!
There are many things you can do to help your child learn and enjoy at the same time.
Here are some games you can play with your child this New Year’s Eve!
1. Maths Scavenger Hunt
Who doesn’t like winning prizes? I know I sure do, and most children do as well. A scavenger hunt is a great way to invite your children to use their brains while letting them play a game at the same time.
Simply get some extra cups (which must be opaque and child-friendly) and at each station, place three in a row. In front of the three cups you should have a maths question that’s a suitable difficulty for your child.
In front of each cup, have three possible answers to the question you have just given them. When they select the correct answer, they can lift up the corresponding cup and find a prize waiting for them inside!
This prize can be a piece of candy or something else. Get creative! Make sure to have a rolled-up piece of paper inside the correct cup that has instructions directing your child to the next location, too. At the end of the journey, you can reward your child with a bigger treat.
2. Counting Marshmallow Game
This game may cause a bit of a sugar rush—but the fun will be worth it. Get some Pocky and marshmallows and have your child use the Pocky as chopsticks to pick up the marshmallows.
If your child can’t use chopsticks, that’s alright too. Poking the marshmallows works as well! The goal here is to get a specific number of marshmallows into a series of cups with numbers on them—you can choose the numbers.
Depending on your child’s age, you can have a timer and make it more exciting. If you have other children, maybe this can become a competition, too!
It’s time for a tasty treat and for some counting!
3. Confetti Questionnaire
Make sure you prepare a broom for this one because things are about to get messy! It’s time to make your own confetti for some extra pzazz this New Year.
Write questions on the confetti so that your child can pick up and answer them. They can be questions of any kind, from language questions to general knowledge questions. Different coloured pieces of paper could mean different difficulties or numbers of points.
Collect enough points to choose from a range of good prizes!
It’s a way to test your child’s knowledge while having fun, although the cleanup might be a pain. But not to worry, you can teach your child about household chores at the same time too!
4. Conversation Game
Make some cards with questions on life-like “Best moment you’ve had this year” or “When did you have to rely on a friend this year?” to make your child reflect.
When you answer these questions with them, you can take the chance to use more complex words, which will help expand their vocabulary as well.
5. Sentence and Colour Matching
Get some coloured flashcards of all the colours on the colour wheel and start writing half sentences on each.
The half-sentences should be New Year-themed and matching, both in terms of content and in terms of colour where the flash cards are in colours on opposite sides of a simple colour wheel.
For example a red flashcard reading ‘I will do all my New Year’s resolutions and a green one reading ‘but I will set realistic goals.’
While the colour wheel is still simple for now, this teaches your child complimentary colours and how different sentences are put together.
6. New Year Riddles
Riddles make your child think out of the box and are a fun way to spark conversation! New Year riddles are particularly fun because they can play with time and be mind-bending.
One example is: Arif is turning 9 this year, but he just turned 8 yesterday. How is this possible?
Or similarly, ‘Somebody ordered a pizza and their order came the next year. How did this happen?’
These interesting problems are sure to intrigue your child, and they may even come up with their own riddles for you to solve!
7. The ‘S’ in Eye-Spy Stands for Spelling
Get some leftover New Year’s items and hide them around the house; your child is going to be looking for them like a real-life Where’s Waldo and writing the names of the objects down.
You can make the objects more or less obvious depending on the difficulty level you want. This will train your child’s observation skills and when they write down the names of what they find, it will help them practise their spelling.
Add an extra element of fun by hiding a small prize with each object. Of course, this only applies to objects within their reach. If there’s an object outside of their reach, let them ask you for help getting it down!
8. Fondue Stacker
How many banana slices can your child stack… and how many more can they stack if they glue the pieces together with chocolate?
The goal is to make an edible shape or building with food and fondue, which you will all have to eat later, so make sure it stays sanitary and doesn’t get too big!
This game can teach your child about physics and structural integrity (if they are building an upright building) or make them work their creative faculties if they’re going in a more artistic direction.
Either way, it will surely be a fun and tasty adventure!
While it’s important to pursue your child’s education during the holidays, make sure not to tire them out and let them still have fun!
I hope you enjoy the games listed above, and Happy New Year!
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