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Written by Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley of My Little Poppies
I am a New England girl, born and raised. I absolutely love each of our four seasons. I look forward to each change and the traditions that each season brings with it.
That said, I’m just not happy when I’m cold. And I’m cold a lot. So, winter can be… tricky. And don’t even get me started on February…
There are so many things I love about winter in New England:
- The quiet of a freshly fallen snow
- Big, fluffy flakes
- Reading by the fire
- Snowmen and snow angels
- Rosy cheeks and happy kids
- Ice skating and hot cocoa
- Making fresh tracks with my snowshoes
- And so much more!
But, if we are being completely honest here, there are a lot of things about winter that I dread:
- Getting out of my warm bed
- Putting my feet on the cold floor
- Getting dressed when it’s freezing
- Climbing into a cold car
- Crawling out of a warm car
- Frozen fingers and toes
- Getting into a cold bed
- And so much more!
And then there is February to contend with.
Homeschooling has seasons, too. The energy and happiness of homeschooling can rise and fall over the course of a year. Some seasons are fantastic, and some are kind of crummy.
For many homeschoolers, November and February are challenging months.
If you are looking for ways to combat your annual February Slump, stay tuned. Kara and I have been brainstorming ways to get you through the longest (and shortest!) month of the homeschool year. Our next episode is jam-packed with goodness to help you through!
But today I’m talking about a simple way to survive those chilly February homeschool days: back-pocket games!
Back-Pocket games can save your bacon this winter
Several years ago, I was having one of those cruddy winters. My kids were still little and there was so much snow on the ground that they couldn’t maneuver without frustration. They were also sick all the time. We had a killer case of cabin fever and I was battling the February Blues.
I decided to turn lemons into lemonade. I created our very first “Board Game Challenge” as a way to fight the winter doldrums. We committed to playing at least one game each day and documenting it.
It started out as forced fun. It was survival. I was absolutely desperate.
But do you know what?
That challenge marked the beginning of something good. It started a tradition.
We have enjoyed this challenge every single winter since then. I am always amazed at how a game can bring a family together, spark fantastic conversations, make memories, and fuel learning.
This year, I’ve done something a bit different. I’ve made our challenge public and invited others to join in the fun.
If you would like to start a winter gaming tradition in your homeschool, I highly suggest having some “Back-Pocket” games. These are the games that are easy to understand, quick to play, easy to transport, and FUN.
our family’s favorite back pocket games
Here are a few of our family’s absolute favorite back-pocket games. These are my go-to games. I keep them out on the coffee table as an invitation to play, I pack them in my purse, I even keep them in the glove compartment of my car.
These games can be explained relatively easily, they do not take too long to play, and they are fun for multiple age levels.
Most importantly, these games are high on fun. My hope is that they will help you survive those February blues!
- Forbidden Island
- Five Crowns
- Rat a Tat Cat
- Sleeping Queens
- Spot It
- There’s a Moose in the House
- Zeus on the Loose
do you love games? Or, do you want to learn more about using games in your homeschool?
Gameschooling totally counts as school, and the holidays are the perfect time to build that game closet. Games make perfect gifts!
- 31-Day #GameschoolChallenge | Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, My Little Poppies
- Gameschool Community | Facebook
- Gameschooling: Learning Through Play | The Homeschool Sisters
- Guide to Gameschooling: Learning Through Play | Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, The Homeschool Sisters
- How to add more play to your day (and not feel guilty) | Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, Simple Homeschool
Are you looking for other ways to survive February?
Stay tuned, mamas! Our next episode of The Homeschool Sisters Podcast will focus on February survival strategies.
And, guess what? We are having lots of giveaways.
It’s going to be amazing!
Until then, here is an article to help you with the impending February Slump:
Now, it’s your turn. Tell us: do you have back-pocket games that save your bacon? share them here!
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