Hooray, it’s the holidays, no more school.  Children are celebrating not having to sit in the classroom all day.  Without the routine of school, who wants to do schoolwork?  You might prefer to give your child a total break, but, six weeks is a long time and getting back into the swing of school after six weeks can be tough.

For those going up to ‘big school’ next year, this is even more important.

If your child thrives on routine it may be wise to help them to retain the learning habit during the holidays.  Here are our tips to do just that

Pocket money maths

Money is a great way to include a bit of maths into a day out.  If your child gets pocket money, let them take charge at the cash register to pay for their ice cream or toy.

Working out how much something costs and what change they will get is a great teaching moment.  It also means they can see what they have left for the next trip out as well as teaching them responsibility and the value of money.

Reading challenges

Most libraries will run a reading challenge, resulting in a ticket to a local attraction or a medal.  They’re free to do and give your child the chance to read a wide variety of books with a goal in mind at the end of it.

If you don’t have a local library, pick up a selection of books and set incentives for how many they get through. Charity shops are a great place to pick up cheap books and you can always run a swap shop with the other mums at school.

Science experiments in the sun

You can also include a bit of science by using a sand and water table.  Learn about weight and measurements by giving them jugs and scales to weigh and measure out liquids and sand.

Add colouring to the water to make potions and get them to measure out different amounts of different colours to make new potions.  Leftover glitter bottles make for great potion holders.  Mix glitter in with the water and add a splash of oil to see how it sits on top of the water.  For fizzing fun add some bicarbonate of soda to the sand and pour on vinegar or lemon juice to watch it fizz up.

Listening is fun

Times tables are essential to all maths, so the earlier your child can master them the better.  The holidays are a great chance to get ahead of the curve and learn them inside out.  One of the easiest ways is to listen to them while you’re in the car or at home.  You can listen to a great range of songs on YouTube or buy a CD where the times tables are sung in various forms.  There’s even a rock one.  It’s amazing how quickly they’ll be singing along and picking it up and you haven’t had to teach them at all.