MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – If parents are planning how to keep the kids entertained and occupied while they're not in school over Christmas break, consider a trip to the Children's Museum of South Carolina.
"Studies have shown that in the time that children are out of school, if they aren't staying actively and intellectually engaged in learning, they regress just a little bit," warns Woody Goff, the manager of the Children's Museum of South Carolina.
Every day there are activities and exhibits that focus on tactile learning. The museum's manager says it's all about being hands-on so you can explore, play, and learn. A huge focus of the Horry County School District is literacy and STEM related skills. So everything in the museum supports seamless learning with what your kids are doing in the classroom.
"We like to think of it as a little bit of sneaky learning," said Goff. "So we get them in here and they're having lots of fun. And by the time they're leaving, they've learned so much. And they haven't even realized they were learning."
As you move through the museum, you will find reading nooks. Each are will have books for various grade levels that tie into the exhibit they are in. So your kids get hands-on activity plus a push to read all at once.
"So you have that hands-on interactive play," says Goff. "And then you have books tied to what they just did to continue their interest and also to build vocabulary and literacy skills while they're here."
And Goff says you can sneak a lot of this learning into your holiday activities during break. As you're doing any holiday baking, that is a perfect opportunity to refresh your kid's memory on STEM and reading skills. So pull out the cookie recipe and have your kid read the recipe. And then as you follow the directions for a cup of this and half a cup of that, your kid is practicing math and fractions. And simply baking or cooking something involves chemistry. So explain to your kid what is happening to make the bread rise.
"And once you've opened up all of your gifts and you're writing 'thank you' cards, have your child help you," said Goff as another holiday teaching tip. "It works on their fine motor skills, holding the pen or pencil, and writing the words."
And on Wednesday, the museum is hosting a Santa Breakfast. You'll enjoy a breakfast catered by Johnny D's, create your own ornament in Santa's workshop, and snap a photo with the jolly old man himself. And after Christmas, you can enjoy the Noon Year's Eve. There will be a countdown to noon instead of midnight. And there will be fun New Year's experiments that you can participate in. Click here to learn more about the holiday events.