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Board games are back



Old-fashioned game night returns, big time

Old-fashioned game night returns, big time


As the cooler months approach, you are no doubt wondering how you will get through the first (hopefully only) autumn and winter of the pandemic, when, inevitably, family members will be inside more. Luckily, one proven answer is board games, particularly board games that multiple ages can enjoy.

Fiona Cohen of Seattle’s Child has curated 10 games to play with your family during Covid-19 times (and after). Pondering what makes a board game particularly attractive to a family, she astutely notes: “They have to be simple enough for children to learn quickly, but there needs to be something about them that draws in adults. They have to be absorbing enough that it’s fun to play, even if you don’t win. And they have to encourage family members to interact, whether it’s competing for position, reacting with a groan or a giggle from an unexpected twist in the game, or trying to be stealthy about a strategy.”

Her list includes games for age 3 and up The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game and for age 10 and up Settlers of Catan. Some old favorites are included, like Connect 4 and Battleship, memories of which take me back to sleepovers and summer camp. Nice to know they’re still around and doing well, like old friends.

Even before Covid-19, board games were enjoying resurgence, and families were finding them a great way to have fun as a household, encouraging healthy competition, or even graceful losing. They’re a potent antidote to screen time – computers, phones, and televisions – and a welcome throwback and connection to simpler times.

Board games have been around for millennia. According to archaeologists, this particular form of amusement has existed since at least about 3500 B.C.E., when Egyptian royalty played a game called Senet. Particularly now, in these uncertain times, it’s more pleasurable than ever to sit across from a family member or friend, engaged in collaborative play, where both luck and skill come into play, and especially where the rules of engagement, of winning and losing, are clear cut. Also, where everything can go neatly into a box afterwards.



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