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.
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.
Vertical photo by Rene Böhmer
We play games year-round, but there’s something special about summer gaming.
I could go on and on.
If you are new to gameschooling, now is the perfect time to start a family game tradition!
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
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!
And let’s not forget about the educational value of playing games with your children.
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.
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.
If you’d like to add more games to your summer routine, the key is to make travel games accessible!
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.
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
- One-player games
- If you’ll be spending a lot of time near water, you may want to research waterproof games.
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.
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?
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