Childhood Memories Friday: Fun and Games

When I was a child, board games were more popular than they seem to be now, what with no computers or electronic gadgets, or as many TV options.

One game I remember from an early age was checkers and Chinese checkers. We had a neat round metal set, and little drawers in the side pulled out for storing the marbles and checkers. I thought they were so neat! You could flip the board over to play checkers. Yes, I still have it:

I remember playing Monopoly with my family. It was always quite a saga, and sometimes we would play the first half (up until all the properties were sold) one day, and the second half another day. Loved the little playing pieces – the Scottie dog, the wheelbarrow, the iron …

Another board game that’s not so familiar was Cap the Hat. I got it for Christmas from my cousins (“Christmas 1971” is written inside the lid), and my sister and I loved it. It’s similar to Trouble in that you move plastic pieces around the board, trying to get them “home.”

In a fun bit of nostalgia, my dad often plays Cap the Hat with my girls now when he visits. They love it, too!

Other games I remember playing as a child were Don’t Cook Your Goose, Game of the States, Cootie, CandyLand, and Chutes and Ladders. I played Life at a friend’s once and thought that was great.

What board games do you remember from your childhood?

8 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: Fun and Games

  1. what was that game you had with the little lady bugs with wheels?

    I think it was called Bugaboo … I still have the little bugs. I did some searching and think this is it:

  2. Most of the games you mentioned were already around when I was growing up as well. I share your enthusiasm for Chinese checkers, Monopoly, and a few others. We also played Sorry (I don’t remember much about that one), Yahtzee, Risk, Potato man (?), and some others that depended on finger dexterity, only I can’t come up with the correct names for them. As you mentioned, board games were big in the pre-video game/computer era.

    But my family was always hooked on card games! Especially Uchre!!. My parents and aunts & uncles all played that game the most. I learned to play it at age 8 or so, and for many years we kids played it on the school
    bus for 45 – 60 minutes on the way to school. I lived the longest distance that you could (six miles) away from Roanoke School. What with all of the twists and turns and stops along the way, we had plenty of time to get a game or two in both going to school and coming home. I still consider myself “hot” at that game, although now I enjoy “Hand and Foot” (a version of dirty Canasta) now even more.

    Children of my day did many more outdoor activities than kids do now. “Hide and Seek”, “Kick the Can”, “Red Rover” to name a few. No special sports equipment was needed, of course, and we burned off a lot of energy doing these things.
    Between that array of body-building activities, we also jumped rope, walked the barn beams, went sledding and ice skating, roller skating, square dancing and much, much more. Wish I had that much energy now…I’m sure that I would be at least 50 lbs. lighter.

  3. We didn’t really play a lot of board games when I was a kid – though I remember, as a tiny little girl, whenever my aunt and uncle would visit from Michigan, they and my parents would always play pinochle, for hours and hours, it seemed. (That was back in the days when a bottle of Pepsi was a special treat, and it would be split between two people – and if we were lucky, we’d get a sip from one of our parents’ glasses!)

    Just as soon as our hands were big enough to (almost) hold 20 cards, my sister and I learned to play, too, and for several years, we’d occasionally get to stay up late on Sunday evenings and play – my father and I against my mother and sister.

  4. That’s a good picture of your dad and your girls. I’ll bet he would enjoy getting a copy of that framed as a Father’s Day gift.

  5. I remember playing Chinese Checkers around our Schulte kitchen table. I know Daddy played with us. Mother may have, too. We also played Anagrams – kind of a generic Scrabble. I still have our old Anagram letters.

    There is a couples’ Sunday School class at my church now. Most are around my age. They tell me on many a Friday afternoon they take turns going to different members’ homes and they play dominoes. From what I hear, they have a ball.

    I also saw that St. Paul Church outside Holland has some times when they gather to play dominoes.

    To tell you the truth, I don’t think I actually know how to play that game. There’s more to it than matching four dots to four dots…

  6. I am really enjoying this post. I remember rushing home from elementary school and playing board games with my neighborhood friends. We played Life, Sorry and Monopoly. I remember a girlfriend getting the game Mouse Trap for Christmas. Also remember Battleship and Stratego (sp?). We also played card games and my parents used to have their friends over and they would play some kind of poker sort of game. Forgot the name of it. Anyway, I think you are right, that we played more board games in the old days because we did not have computers, Wii, etc. When we first moved to Colorado we spent time as a family playing board games that the boys have. It really helped ease the pain of leaving the familiar behind.

  7. Definitely Monopoly as a family and then my brother & BF kept a game going on his bedroom floor most of the summer of ’70! I remember Tip-it and Hands-down with friends and of course, Four Square at recess! Great post!

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