There are many ways that a parent can take advantage of the upcoming holiday break to incorporate fun learning activities that involve technology. Opportunities including travel, visiting extended family, and holiday traditions can all be combined with technology and learning for a fun and memorable holiday season.
Video Diary or Documentary
With increased access and ease of editing with video these days, it is very easy to get your children involved in a video project. One project idea would be to have your child keep a video diary of their winter vacation including trips, interesting activities, or even just hanging out. A few days before the end of the break, they can edit the video using a program like iMove and then put on a showcase for the family. If you have multiple children, you can turn this into a movie premier night with pop corn and make it a special evening.
Another video idea would be for your child to interview family members that are visiting from out of town and build a documentary series. The child would have to come up with the interview questions, perform the interview, record the interview, and edit the footage to make a final video. The footage could then be shared to ring in the New Year.
A Year in Review
Using a presentation program like PowerPoint or Keynote, you can have your child create a presentation with a review of the past year. They can include family milestones, vacations, activities, or even hardships that were overcome, along with news from around the world including different aspects like politics, pop culture, or business. The presentation can include pictures from both family photos and from online with fun and creative captions that capture the year that has passed. It can even be set to music to create a suspenseful and unique ambiance. This presentation could then be shown on New Year’s Eve to ring in the New Year along with the video documentaries.
Digital Recipe Book
Another activity for older children would be to get them involved in the holiday cooking and using technology. You and your child can transform your old recipe box into a digital recipe book. You can use an inexpensive app like My Recipe Book that allows the user to enter in their own recipes, add ingredients, directions, shopping lists, and pictures along with ‘clipping’ recipes found online. This activity teaches children the basics of databases and how to create and use them in an easy to understand way. Then this mobile format adds for ease of use with buying the correct ingredients and the recipe will be on-hand and easy to find when you want to make the recipe. Finally, you can choose and cook some of the recipes together to celebrate the holiday season.
Help in Planning the Vacation
Kids are also great Internet researchers. You can have your child research and plan a day (or more) of your vacation for the holiday. If you are going to be going out of town, you can have your child research online various activities, tourist attractions, events, and restaurants. They can then help to make the arrangements to make their research a reality. Another great addition would be for your child to make a sleek-looking itinerary using a word processing program to inform all of the family members of the event for that day. If you are planning to stay at home during the holidays, you can still do the same activity, just planning for a ‘staycation’ of activities and places to go in your area that you might not typically explore. Great resources for this type of activity include trip advisor, about.com, and Frommer’s.
Article By Laura Ketcham-VanHellemont
Picture By Dell’s Official Flickr Page
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