Growing up, video games were not a thing at my house. We had some CD-ROM games of the educational type, like Carmen Sandiego, but that was all. When I was a kid if we wanted to play games, we broke out board games. We had lots of classic games at our house, and could spend a good deal of time playing them, and many of them you can still get to this day! Let's look at a few favorites.
The first board game for many kids of my generation, Candyland was my favorite when I was a small child. The picture above is the same model I played with growing up (I always had the red gingerbread man pawn!) originally produced in 1984. I loved the bright colors and lovable characters from the adorable Mr.Mint to the delightfully sinister Lord Licorice, hopping over the board to reach King Candy on the other side. I used to take it out of the box just to look at it, even. Candyland celebrated it's 65th birthday in 2015, meaning it has delighted children since the 1940s! In that time frame, and even since my childhood, things have drastically changed in the land of sweets. Look at the difference between the 1984 and 2010 game boards.
It's a lot more frantic, isn't it? I'm all for change, I'm not one of those "muh childhood" people, but why mess with a classic formula? And why did they change regal Queen Frostine into a sultry-eyed Bratz lookalike Princess? And don't get me started on "The Duke of Swirl". You can buy the 1984-style board on Ebay for anywhere from $10.00 for just the board or lightly used versions of the complete game for $20-30.00. Personally, I would spend the extra to get the original.
Chutes and Ladders
Another classic for little ones is Chutes/Snakes and Ladders. Simple gameplay teaches cause and effect, and turn taking, and I'm sure, how to be a graceful looser. I can't say I remember playing this one myself, but I'm sure I did at one point. You can buy this classic in a couple of different looks on Amazon.
Hungry Hungry Hippos
My brother's favorite game was this one: Hungry Hungry Hippos. In spite of it's notoriously annoying commercial jingle ("We're Hungry Hungry Hippos! We're Hungry Hungry Hippos!" Sung to a conga beat) the game was pretty fun. The object is to have your hippo eat as many marbles as possible, the person with the most wins. Simple enough for little ones, challenging enough for older kids.
A game for all ages! Mancala is a game with roots in ancient India, where it traveled west on the Silk Road and became popular throughout the world. The object was simple: be the person with the most pieces, but to get there was a matter of strategy and careful planning. My brother and I had this set or one very similar to it that our parents bought for us at the now defunct Noodle Kidoodle educational toy store. We loved to play this game together. I might have to run making a replacement by him.
A simplified version of the classic mystery game, Clue Jr. told the story of four friends searching for a missing item (what it was depended on your edition... I can't recall what ours was!) rather than solving a a murder. We didn't play this one very much, I was the mystery lover between the two of us, so my brother didn't find it that interesting.
The classics, chess and checkers were also a big part of our growing up. My brother, being a better spacial thinker than I, usually won (and now refuses to play with me, LOL) but that didn't stop me from having fun!
The most stereo-typically homeschooler hobby ever- chess. When we were teens, my dad taught us how to play chess (I think I was... 15, at the time?) We used to have three way games with our two chess boards, Ian had one that was solid wood and more traditional. Mine was this one. the collector's edition Disney Chess set. It's one of my favorite pieces of Disney memorabilia. (and one of the only ones that's actually worth anything as a collector's item) This set was only produced for one year, 2004, and is the only commercially produced Disney chess sets, (the others are art type sets made by various high-end art houses). My parents splurged one year and got me this one and a porcelain Mulan doll for Christmas.
I'm T.K. Wilson, Read my blog for great information and stories about dolls, toy restoration, Christian Fantasy and so much more! Blog updates Mondays and Fridays.