Holiday Activities Can Reinforce Academic Skills & Create Family Memories

Holiday activities can reinforce reading,writing, math and science skills in a fun and enjoyable way. When cooking in the kitchen use math, science,geography and history of timeless family recipes, let them read the recipe before you begin! Consider the reading level of the children and plan according to their abilities.

As most parents know, kids really enjoy looking forward to holidays. Anytime the word “party” arises in conversation, their ears are tuned in immediately. Kids enjoy the festivities of just about any holiday. Take advantage of that enthusiasm to encourage fun and educational activities.

A festive holiday roller box is a fun way for children to explore their imagination and think about the upcoming festivities ahead, you can save it for years to come and each holiday  pull out the family holiday story as part of precious family decorations for years to come. Quite simply, it is a box used to show your own pictures – similar to a slide show. There are two parts to building a roller box. First, you will need to make the box itself. A shoe box works well. Second, you will need to make the family holiday story to go in the box.

Box: First, you will need to choose a box to use. Choose a box with a lid. Determine what size you would like your illustrations to be, and cut out the display area on your box.

Next, you will need two sticks to use as rollers. These can be wooden dowels, paper towel tubes, or an old broom handle – anything between about one and two inches in diameter. Cut the sticks about 6 inches wider than the width of the box.

Now, cut two slots in each side of the box – one at the top and one at the bottom (see illustration ). Be sure that the slots are in the same position on each side of the box, and be sure to cut the slots slightly larger than the diameter of your sticks.

Your Story: You first step here will be to choose the story you would like to put in your roller box. This is the family holiday story written by your children.

The next step is to divide up the story pages into sections that will be illustrated. The number of illustrations will need to be determined by the attention span of the illustrators as well as the audience.  Help children understand what should be portrayed in each picture according to the story they have written. Be sure that you cut your paper into the appropriate size for fill the width of your roller box display area.

After the illustrations are completed with coloring , and any embellishments are secure; place them in order according to the story. Tape page two to the bottom of page one. Tape page three to the bottom of page two, continue until all pages are attached.

Now, attach the first page of your story to the top roller and the last page to the bottom roller, similar to a scroll!  Next roll the story onto the bottom roller when you do this, be sure that you roll it fairly tight (otherwise, when you are reading or telling your story for your audience, you will have a lot more twisting to do). Slide the sticks into the box slots.

Your roller box is now ready to show. As you read each page, turn the top roller to display the appropriate illustration. Have kids tell the story of the family holiday and enjoy your time together!

Happy Holidays!

Published by Chef Gigi Gaggero, Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

Professional Chef, Two Time Award-Winning Book Author, Former Academic Director from Le Cordon Bleu, and Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

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