Don't let minds turn to mush. Schedule reading time or do a daily crossword to keep children focused and using their brain power.

Fresh air and regular exercise go a long way towards keeping an active child or teen balanced and productive.

You and your children can curl up next to the fire and write down your thoughts of the day. Journaling is a useful activity that can help your child establish emotional maturity, while providing writing practice and personal time.

Get your child involved in the kitchen and turn it into a learning moment. Follow a festive recipe for gingerbread men or snowflake sugar cookies to practice reading, math (fractions), and creativity.

Use the holidays as an opportunity to spend quality reading time as a family. Introduce a new "surprise" book for the whole family to read together each night of break. This will help keep kids excited and engaged.

Set up an incentive program for each day of break to encourage children to accomplish tasks to help them get ahead in school. Kids respond well to specific, actionable goals like: 20 minutes of reading per day. The reward should match the effort.

Visit your local library to check out some books for break or spend some time reading and exploring. It's a chance to be together as a family and many libraries host events and group activities for all ages.

The holidays are hectic. Make sure the whole family is getting adequate sleep over the school break. Don't let parties and events interfere with sleep schedules or children can get irritable and lose their concentration.

Set your child up for success in school after the holiday break by getting a head start on upcoming projects. Work on post-break reading assignments or projects together while you’re spending time as a family.