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Good Old Fashioned Games

Aristotle’s school is doing a theme on toys – specifically: old-fashioned toys. You know… the kind we used to play when we were kids. So we’ve been playing a few “new” oldies ourselves…

We’ve moved off Dinosaur Chess and onto a real chessboard:


We chose a magnetic set so we could take it along with us, or “pause the game” without having to worry about the pieces falling over when we have to move the board around the house. Aristotle’s been playing against Daddy as part of their “father and son bonding” sessions now that Aristotle is growing up and reaching the second phase of his life where he looks to Daddy to emulate (Biddulph in “Raising Boys“).

The boys have been having a bit of fun with the magnetic letters on the fridge, so I was inspired to dig out the Scrabble set. It was a tad ambitious, so we cycled back a step to Scrabble Slam! to practice with our four letters words first.

Scrabble Slam

Aristotle’s giving it a good go. Hercules is only interested in spelling his own name and “Mummy”. Occasionally, he might be interested to spell the titles of the other members of the family, too.

Aristotle’s really taken to his card games, so we’re going to give Clue: Suspect a go. It’s the card deck version of the board game Cluedo which I really enjoyed playing as a child. I thought it was interesting to see that quite a number of board games from my childhood have turned into card games. We have Battleship, Monopoly, Sorry! Revenge, Pictionary, and loads more. Of course there are also the golden oldies, like Top Trumps, Uno (which comes in many different themes to delight any young fan), Old Maid, Go Fish!, and who could forget Snap!? Most of these games can be played with a regular deck of cards – that’s what we did. In our version of Uno, 10’s were “change the suit”, 7’s were “reverse”, Aces were “skip”, and 2’s were “pick up 2”.

Recently, Aristotle’s aunt bought him a new board game called Snake Lake and it reminded me that Aristotle’s getting into that fun age where he’s old enough to understand how to play a lot of the board games now. Of course, Hercules is still our limiting factor because he’ll want to “play”, too, and that usually means we can’t play.

Since we’re on to “old fashioned” games… Another one we still play is “hide and seek”. Now tell me a child who doesn’t love “hide and seek”? Of course, Hercules still hasn’t quite mastered the art of hiding well because he gives himself away every time! Sometimes, we make it interesting by hiding a special object and give “hotter”/”colder” clues. If we’re feeling really creative, we make a map and play the treasure hunt game.

Another game I’d like to dig up from my childhood and introduce to the boys is Twister. Now there’s an idea for a party game…

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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