Tips from an O.C. Tutor: 5 Educational Activities to do over Thanksgiving Break

Students need to have a rest from the rigors of academics during Thanksgiving break and also spend time with family. However, there are some fun and educational activities that younger students can enjoy with their whole family. In the spirit of family, many holiday activities will provide a fun experience where elementary school students can learn something new in a hands-on or outside of the classroom environment – you can always ask your private Orange County academic tutor from TutorNerds for additional tips.


1. Arts and Crafts

Make a traditional Thanksgiving craft project with all of the neighborhood children. Young kids can enjoy creating an art project such as making a Cornucopia, harvest picture, or anything related to the holiday. Each child, and their parents, can think about what they feel especially grateful for and include it as part of the craft, providing artistic development and a bonding experience (READ: “7 Tips For Studying While Traveling”).

2. Writing Activity

Young students can also complete a writing project to keep them successfully occupied while all of those cooking chores are being completed. Younger children can simply write about their ideal Thanksgiving, what they like about Thanksgiving, or what they are especially thankful for.  Parents who want to add a little bit more of an educational element can have their kids do some research about the first Thanksgiving. Students will learn about online research tools, biographical and nonfiction information, and the early years of our country.

3. Fun With Cooking

Students who are old enough to participate in cooking can learn a lot about math and measuring if they help their family prepare a Thanksgiving meal. Fractions and measurements are used regularly in cooking and baking and can teach young students a lesson about why it’s important to learn such activities in school. When students understand the reason why they’re learning a particular topic, they’re more likely to make an effort and remember information to recall in the future. As an added bonus, they’ll have a delicious meal to eat at the end.

4. Join in the spirit of giving

One great family activity is to spend an afternoon volunteering within the community. Young kids will get to learn about the importance of volunteerism and community service, learn about a specific charity or organization that can use their help, and enjoy the spirit of giving with family and friends. Thanksgiving is a great time to start a community service commitment, and may become the start of  regular volunteerism in the young student’s life.

5. Do a turkey trot

Because children have to sit in a classroom most of the day, it’s important that they get regular exercise so they can stay healthy and maintain focus on their educational commitments. Students who exercise regularly are more likely to be able to endure long periods of sitting and concentration, and ultimately get better grades. Almost every city has a Thanksgiving day Turkey Trot, usually a 3 mile or 1 mile run that students can do with their families. Not only will the entire family be together but kids will get a chance to learn that exercise can be fun and social. Children who enjoy the turkey trot might choose to participate in a youth running program or sports program on a regular basis.
Although it’s important for children to have plenty of time to rest, recharge, and spend quality time with extended family during the Thanksgiving holiday, it doesn’t hurt to sneak in a little bit of education here and there. Although classroom studies are very important, there are plenty of extracurricular activities that will help children have a well-rounded overall education (READ: “10 Study Tips From an Irvine History Teacher”).

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