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Beating the winter blahs with fun activities

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By Marian Wilde , GreatSchools Staff

Shift the Focus to Helping Others Less Fortunate

The holiday season is the perfect time to teach children about charity. During the winter months, parents can easily find volunteer opportunities for their children, from working in a local food bank to serving meals at a homeless shelter. Or, you and your child might decide to organize your own blanket or sock drive for the homeless. By encouraging your child to give of her time in this way you will be helping her to learn tolerance and empathy for people outside her usual sphere.

Hands-On Museums That Promise Fun While Learning

If you are searching for a fun and educational outing during vacation, check out one of the more than 200 children's museums found in cities across the United States. Child magazine conducted a survey to identify the 10 children's museums that do the best job of combining fun and learning. At the top of their list were the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, the Children's Museum of Houston and the Children's Museum of Boston. These museums are known for hands-on activities ranging from working with dinosaur fossils to designing a roller coaster. Many of these museums offer special holiday programs.

Comments from readers

"This is a wonderful article and I will share this with the staff at my school!"
"Very helpful ideas for our students with small pocketbooks. Great Schools is the best resource throughout the year!"
"Thanks so much... the ideas given were simply great. They also helped us think of similar crafts we could make for inexpensive presents this of all they are from the heart. The Christmas season is about giving and not just taking. "
"Thank you! The newsletter has some great ideas, and, even more importantly for me--its arrival is perfectly timed! "