Board Games: A Trip Down Memory Lane

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Sorry

A post by blogger George Schalter:

As a father and an admirer of technology, I love the time I spend with my kids – putting a gadget together, racing cars (toys, of course), and playing online games (educational, of course). But these times, splendid though they are, take me back to my own boyhood and how our family bonded when we were younger. Rest assured, you wouldn’t have seen my father bellowing while swiping his finger madly around a rectangular piece of screen. No, sir. Those were the days when we sat at the kitchen table with steaming hot cocoa mulling over a game of Monopoly or Clue. Whoa! That makes me a living testament of changing times.

Of course, I was delighted when I discovered that they had digitized some of those old classic board games. While it is a rather addictive experience, it is not the same. It does not come as a surprise that some of these board games have acquired the status of a collector’s item.

This got my wife and me reminiscing about the board games we enjoyed as kids, and look what we pulled up! Many of these games have their roots in earlier centuries, though we’ve known them only from the 50’s. To play them we relied on brains, chance and strategy.

Candy Land – Candy Land gave us sweet treats such as Gramma Nutt and Peppermint Forest as we raced down the board till we reached the Candy Castle where King Kandy waited for us.

Candyland

Monopoly – One of the most popular board games ever that still has many takers like Chess. The game was recently in the news. Guess what? Hasbro France is releasing the game and this time they have included some real money! A dream come true, wouldn’t you say?

Monopoly

Chinese Checkers – I think I still have a board somewhere, though not so sure about the marbles. This was the perfect game for those long winter nights and when we had cousins over.

Chinese Checkers

 

The Game of Life – We loved playing grown-ups, more so when we were young than we do now, and The Game of Life offered us just that as we studiously picked our career and what not.

Game of Life

Trivial Pursuit – Another household name, the trivia game Trivial Pursuit recently celebrated its 35th birthday, though I’ve heard the versions that were released later were not as challenging.

Trivial Pursuit

Clue – Clue wins hands-down as one of my favorites. Playing this murder-mystery game was as good as reading one of those whodunit page-turners. It was funny the kind of familiarity that one developed with the characters!

Clue

Scrabble – If any game made vocabulary interesting, it has to be Scrabble. We still have a board at home; the tiles are intact after all these years, not a single letter is missing. Despite an online version available, it warms the heart to see that the kids prefer the board.

Scrabble

Chutes & Ladders – This was always one of those games for the rainy day. I came across an article where a library or classroom got kids to play a life-size version of the game.

Chutes and Ladders

Sorry! – I had a strange fascination for the pawns we used in Sorry! Like many other games, this game grew from another game that was originally known as Parcheesi.

Sorry

I must say that the 20th century gave us some of the best board games ever that are still being adapted to suit contemporary tastes, and while many were evolved versions of ancient games, let’s hope we are left with tangible proof of good times in this age of digitization.

George Schalter loves being a dad. He and his wife share the joys and responsibilities of bringing up their two children. As believers of good all- round education, they spend a lot of time playing with their children and spending time outdoors. George is the writer in the family, and he blogs at Educational Kids Games.

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18 responses »

  1. Reblogged this on Musings and commented:
    We have played all of these games in our family. Now that the kids are older, we include adult beverages in game night, making it all the more fun and amusing. I love to play Words with Friends and its a good thing I can find willing partners because my family will not play Scrabble with me anymore. xi and xu are so words!

    • Thanks for the reblog. After reading your comment, I am now impatient to play these board games with my kids at a stage when adult beverages can be included on game night!
      Play on Allison.

  2. I played a lot of board games when I was young and even into my 20s! Clue was my absolute favorite and maybe fed my love of murder mysteries. Also Sorry was a big favorite. What a thrill to get all your men home first or to crack the case and discover the murderer! Thanks for a smile this morning!

    • I am so glad you enjoyed the article Susan. Barbara suggested the topic and It brought back a lot of memories while I was writing it. We play some of these with our kids. I hope you get a chance to play soon.

  3. Candyland is a great “first” board game for kids. We play it with the grands. The new version though is very commercial looking– I love how the old one looks. I’m a Scrabble addict but mostly play against the “CPU” on my Ipod– hard to get people to play with me. I avoid playing with friends and family on line as I worry I’d do nothing else. We play various card games with friends. I look forward to sharing more board games with the grands.

    • Board Games are a great way for the ‘grand’ generations to bond. In fact our kids started playing on many of the board games thanks to their grandparents. Perhaps you could try playing against other humans in the virtual world. A lot of word games are set up for this. Enjoy !

    • Thanks Barbara – I am very happy you enjoyed the post. You put it so well – we connect with the world and not with each other. There are a lot of parents who are trying hard to bring up their kids with more of the real world and less of the virtual. Here’s hoping our kids will grow up with more real world friends than ones in the virtual world.

  4. I loved all of these games – but particularly LIFE. I always wanted two kids . . . pink and blue . . . and ended up with just that. 🙂 Although raising them in the board game was easier.

  5. I played every one of those wonderful games as a kid. With such fond memories, I introduced my own kids to games. We were a big trivial pursuit family and had many Uno decks around. Monopoly got too cutthroat. Now, that everyone is grown we still play games. Jenga over a few pitchers of beer is a fun way to bond with my newly minted adults.

  6. On weekends after the two youngest were put to bed, my parents, younger brother and I would play the French card game Milles Bornes. We felt very privileged staying up later with our parents and very sophisticated playing a game with French on the cards. We loved yelling, “Coup-fourré!” I just read the Wikipedia explanation of the game and it looks more complicated than I remember! Good times!

    • Claritza, I have never heard of Milles Bornes. Sounds like you have solid memories built around the game. I’m off to google the game and it’s my turn to look up “Coup-fourré!”. Thanks for stopping by.

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