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Thanksgiving Day Activities Improve Learning Skills

November 21st, 2012

Improve Learning Skills While Preparing Thanksgiving Day Dinner

Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET is on FOX Morning news sharing 3 activities to improve learning skills over the holidays!

Thanksgiving is on Thursday and the kids will be home… we’re talking about what you can do to keep the kids engaged by doing 3 learning skills activities. Video will start right after the commercials!

Learning Skills for Younger Kids (pre-school through 3rd grade)

There are many different activities you can have your younger children do to help them stay engaged in the family Thanksgiving dinner…from setting the table to making table decorations. One of my favorite activities that all ages can do is to make place mats for the table – an easy way with leaf rubbings –

  • First go outside and collect a variety of fall leaves
  • Sort the leaves according to shape, size, or color
  • Place the leaves under a sheet of paper one at a time and then rub over the paper with
    a crayon to get the impression of the leaf on the paper
  • Trace the edges and ridges of the leaf with a pen or marker

How does this help learning skills?

Doing this activity improves:

  • Visual discrimination
  • Visual tracking
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Visual motor
  • Visual memory
  • Visual closure
  • Visual integration
  • Laterality
  • Directionality
  • Locomotion
  • Contact
  • Spatial
  • Motor
  • Sensory motor integration

Learning Skills for Middle Grade Students (4th – 8th)

Get your kids engaged in cooking or baking! Middle grade students love to create things, so have them help you with baking cookies or decorating cookies. Additionally, one of my favorite activities is to have them make the Thanksgiving Day cranberry sauce from scratch instead of buying the ready made sauce in the can. There are a variety of ways to make the sauce but one of the easiest is to just follow the directions on the package of fresh cranberries. They will only need 3 ingredients: fresh cranberries, sugar, and water!

  • Make cranberry sauce from scratch
  • Sort the cranberries–picking out the bad ones
  • Measure the cranberries
  • Measure the water
  • Measure the sugar
  • Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup so the kids have to do a little bit of math while doing this activity
  • Watch what happens to the cranberries as they are cooking — it’s like a science experiment

How does this help learning skills?

Doing this activity improves math skills – measurements & fractions – as well as improving 11 areas of perception

  • Visual discrimination
  • Visual motor
  • Visual memory
  • Visual integration
  • Directionality
  • Locomotion
  • Contact
  • Spatial
  • Motor
  • Sensory motor integration
  • Form Constancy

 

Learning Skills for High School Students (9th – 12th)

High school students often feel like they are too sophisticated to be involved with the holiday meals, so this year, help them to stay engaged by really taking on some more adult responsibilities with the Thanksgiving Day dinner.

  •  Help with making the menu
  • Plan the shopping list
  • Go through the newspaper ads or online grocery ads and compare & contrast them to find the best buy for the items on the shopping list and then let you know where you should shop to get the best buys

How does this help learning skills?

This activity improves math skills, compare/contrast skills, planning skills (executive function) as well as 12 areas of perception:

  • Visual discrimination
  • Visual motor
  • Visual memory
  • Visual integration
  • Visual tracking
  • Laterality
  • Directionality
  • Locomotion
  • Contact
  • Spatial
  • Motor
  • Sensory motor integration

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