Written by Cait Fitzpatrick Curley of My Little Poppies
The holiday dust is starting to settle and I don’t know about you guys, but I am ready to hunker down and enjoy our winter break.
Many of my friends are filling their winter breaks with activities: indoor playgrounds, museum trips, trampoline parks, road trips, and movie theaters.
There is certainly nothing wrong with wanting to tackle a bunch of fun events during winter vacation, but I am craving something different this winter.
I want a slow winter break.
After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I want to kick back and relax… preferably by the fire!
Is your soul aching for a slow-down, too? Would you like to savor the season with your favorite little people? Do you want to add some slow, stealth learning activities to your daily routine? Are you wondering where to begin?
Today, I am sharing five quick tips for making this winter break your slowest one yet!
Photo by Annie Spratt
1. Board games and popcorn
It’s no secret that I am a huge advocate of play-based learning. Gameschooling is one of my passions!
I have witnessed first-hand, time and time again, how easy it is for children to learn through play and games. Games offer endless opportunities for learning and connection… plus you’ll be making memories!
Winter is the perfect time to play games together. Get cozy around the coffee table and make some memories to last a lifetime!
Our homeschool routine leaves ample space for play. I find that my children are more connected, cooperative, and happy when we play daily. One of our favorite things to do is to pop some popcorn and gather together around a game board.
(Do you need tips for adding more play to your homeschool day? I have tons of resources, plus a free family game night tip sheet for you here!)
2. Puzzles and cocoa
My kids love Thanksgiving, but they also love when it is over. Do you know why?
Once Turkey Day has come and gone, we clear the dining room table and make space for PUZZLE SEASON!
All winter long, you can find a half-completed puzzle on our dining room table. We love to pour some hot chocolate and work on it together.
Something magical happens when you work on a puzzle with your children. The busywork allows for easy conversation. When those little hands are occupied, when those little eyes are searching, their little hearts and minds open up!
I have had the best conversations with my kiddos while working on puzzles! We also love to listen to a podcast or audiobook while working on puzzles together.
Bonus? Puzzles are affordable and easy-to-find. We find great puzzles at our local library and Goodwill Store. We also love to swap with puzzle-loving friends!
3. Tasty treats
Nothing warms up the house- and the heart- more than baked goods. In our home, winter means baked oatmeal, muffins, loaves of breads, soups and stews, and – of course- cookies!
When you bake with your children, you are teaching them important life skills… and math skills! You help them to gain independence and feel confident. You are also making delicious memories.
4. Good books
Winter is the best time to get lost in a good book… or ten!
Reading aloud is hands-down the most important thing you can do in your homeschool so don’t feel guilty about a lazy afternoon spent reading!
We love to gather by the fire, snuggle under a blanket, and get lost in a book. Often, I read aloud to my kiddos. Sometimes, we all gather together and read silently. Other times, we enjoy an audiobook together.
5. Walks in the woods
I know, I know- it’s cold. I live in New Hampshire and I get it. It can be challenging to rally all of your kiddos, don all the layers, and head outside.
But here’s the thing- I have never, not once, regretted putting in all that effort. Once outside in the forest, I feel such a sense of peace. I delight in my children’s exploration and discoveries.
Plus, there’s something about rosy cheeks on little faces!
When we return home after a chilly hike, we feel refreshed. A sense of peace envelops my home.
(Do you need help getting started with winter nature study in your homeschool? My best advice is to make sure you have warm clothes and boots. I share additional tips and tricks here!)
Don’t forget the cocoa!
It doesn’t matter whether you’re playing a favorite game, reading a delicious book, working on a puzzle, or heading out on a chilly hike… cocoa always helps you to slow down and savor the moment!
There’s something about a hot beverage that makes any activity magical and memorable… and slow. You can’t sip it too fast- you have to slow down and savor the moment!
I hope you have a wonderful winter break
Whether you are doing all the fun and exciting events or savoring the slow, I hope you have a memorable winter break! Enjoy, my friends!
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me: How do you savor the season? Do you have any slow winter break tips to share? I can’t wait to hear from you!