How to boost summer learning with travel games

Written by Cait Curley of My Little Poppies

Gosh, I love summer.

I love the sunshine, the white space on my calendar, and making memories with my children.

Simple memories are my favorite ones to make.

How to boost learning and fun with fantastic travel games | Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, Simple Homeschool

When I think back to my childhood, some of my favorite memories are those simple ones:

  • Swimming with neighbors in a local pond
  • Building forts in the backyard
  • Afternoons with all-you-can-eat watermelon
  • Running through the sprinkler
  • Flying kites and exploring tide pools at the beach
  • Endless summer reading
  • Chasing after the ice cream truck
  • Playing board games and card games with friends

These are the types of memories I want for my children. Simple, old-fashioned fun.

Today, I’d like to chat about that last bullet point: games.

How to Boost Learning and Fun with Fantastic Travel Games Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, Simple HomeschoolVertical photo by Rene Böhmer

We play games year-round, but there’s something special about summer gaming.

Some of my favorite summer memories include games: UNO on the beach at Cape Cod, Parcheesi (afflinks) on the porch in Maine, Jax on the front steps of a friend’s home, Red Rover on the soccer field.

I could go on and on.

If you are new to gameschooling, now is the perfect time to start a family game tradition!

My oldest playing Walk the Dogs on the patio.

Summer offers so much space for play:

  • The days are longer and everyone stays up a little later
  • There is more white space on the calendar
  • Summer day trips and vacations offer ample space for gaming
How to Boost Learning and Fun with Fantastic Travel Games Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, Simple Homeschool

Memory Yoga calms kids down on hot summer nights!

Whether you spend the afternoon at the local pool, take a day trip to the beach, go camping for the weekend, road trip across the country, or spend a week at the lake- travel-sized games will help you make family memories!

How to Boost Learning and Fun with Fantastic Travel Games Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, Simple Homeschool

Rory’s Story Cubes will fit in your purse!

And let’s not forget about the educational value of playing games with your children.

How to Boost Learning and Fun with Fantastic Travel Games Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, Simple Homeschool

Bananagrams is one of our favorite portable games!

Whenever one of my children is struggling with a certain concept or skill, I put aside the workbook and pull out a game. Games have helped my children learn to read, memorize math facts, identify coins and feel confident with money, and to tell time- among countless other skills.

How to Boost Learning and Fun with Fantastic Travel Games Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, Simple Homeschool

Qwixx is a fast-moving MATH dice game that kids love.

Games are a safe way to learn and practice skills. Games don’t judge, they don’t leave red marks, they don’t hand out grades. Instead, games allow for practice of skills. Mistakes are expected. If you lose, you get to clear the board and try again.

How to Boost Learning and Fun with Fantastic Travel Games Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, Simple Homeschool

Tall Tales makes a great writing prompt!

If you’d like to add more games to your summer routine, the key is to make travel games accessible!

How to Boost Learning and Fun with Fantastic Travel Games Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, Simple Homeschool

Cardline and Timeline games are perfectly portable!

Simply tuck a small-ish game in your pool bag, suitcase, or glove compartment. When you find yourself with a minute to spare, pull it out and see who wants to play.

How to Boost Learning and Fun with Fantastic Travel Games Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, Simple Homeschool

Dragonwood might be our family’s favorite game!

Do you need help getting started?

Here are some things to look for when selecting a travel game:

  • Truly, all you need is a deck of cards to get started. If you need help remembering card games, check out Bicycle’s site!
  • Many classic games are now available in travel size. 
  • Think outside the “travel game’ box. These games are usually small too:
    • Card games
    • Dice games
    • Dominos
    • One-player games
  • If you’ll be spending a lot of time near water, you may want to research waterproof games.
How to Boost Learning and Fun with Fantastic Travel Games Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, Simple Homeschool

ThinkFun has a TON of one-player games. This one is called Sweet Logic.

Summer gaming will make family memories and boost learning!

I promise you-your children are learning as they play. Even if they are playing the least educational game in your family closet, they are learning to cooperate, take turns, and also how to win and lose with grace.

How to Boost Learning and Fun with Fantastic Travel Games Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, Simple Homeschool

There’s a Moose in the House and Hedbanz are both hilarious!

Learning happens all the time when we relax and let it. 

So go ahead and spend a lazy summer afternoon playing with your kids. You won’t regret it, and you’ll make memories that will last a lifetime!

(If you need more help with gameschooling, be sure to check out this Gameschooling 101 article!)

Tell us in the comments- does your family have a favorite travel game?

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

If you found this post helpful, subscribe via email here to receive Jamie’s FREE ebook, Secrets of a Successful Homeschool Mom!

About Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley

Cait is a school psychologist, mom to three amazing children, and an unexpected homeschooler. She loves nature, good books, board games, strong coffee, and dancing in her kitchen. You can read about all of these things and more at My Little Poppies. You can also find her hanging out with Kara at The Homeschool Sisters Podcast.

Share Your Thoughts

*

CommentLuv badge

gycw-cover

Give Your Child the World – on sale for only 99 CENTS! WOW!