Thanksgiving is coming up on our calendars, and your children are probably very excited for a break from school. While resting and relaxing is important for mental health, there are a number of ways that parents can use Thanksgiving as a teaching tool to keep kids’ minds sharp over the break. Here are three quick, simple ideas that can help you get started.
1. Put on a Family Play
Having your children write a short play that details the story of the first Thanksgiving is a great way to combine history and fun while getting the whole family involved. There is room to make the play as complex or as simple as you like, complete with arts and crafts, costume and set design, and in-depth dialogue. If you have a large family over to visit for the holiday, this can be a great family activity, and it can lead to a long-term tradition as well.
2. Research Similar Holidays in Other Cultures
Most human cultures have holidays dedicated to harvesting crops and showcasing gratitude for plentiful food and provision. Have your children research a Thanksgiving-like holiday in a culture that is foreign to them, such as the Jewish tradition of Sukkot, the ancient Chinese festival Chung Ch’ui, or Lammas Day in the British Isles. As a bonus, your family can add a dish from one of these holidays to your Thanksgiving meal!
3. Give Thanks, and Give Back
Not all learning has to be related to books, history, science, or math. At Brooklyn Charter School, our school culture is centered around building well-rounded young citizens who understand that our society thrives when we take care of and respect each other. Teach this valuable and important lesson to your children by taking them to a local community shelter to serve food to the needy, do dishes, or help in other ways. You may be surprised at how the experience affects your children and brings out positive character traits.
This year, Thanksgiving Break begins on November 22 and school resumes on Monday, November 26. If you have questions about scheduling, check the school calendar or contact Brooklyn Charter School here.