Summers are here and so are summer vacations (for the lucky ones at least). A time for a joyous eat, sleep, party, repeat for teens and young adults. However, it can get quite difficult for parents to keep their kids entertained without shoving them into cartoon binge marathons or gaming sprees on cellphones.
As an aunt, babysitter and designated substitute mommy of eight, I can relate to the struggle. You can’t send them out to play in the subcontinental heat, you don’t want them to keep their eyes glued to the screens, so what do you do? How do you minimize their screen time?
So I started thinking, what did we, the pre-technology apocalypse kids use to do? How did we use to have fun? And a reel of flashbacks started playing in my head. Board games, we used to spend hours playing board games.
Some of the fondest memories of my childhood are related to board games. Spending long summer afternoons huddled in a corner with my cousins, making sure that our voices don’t go above the whisper zone so as not to unleash the wrath of napping adults and snuggling in cozy blankets in winter evenings playing Scrabble with my mother.
No wonder board games take highly imaginative forms in movies (Jumanji, Stranger Things etc.). They provide a full indulgence experience, especially to a young mind. I remember feeling like a literary genius while hitting a triple word score, impersonating Sherlock Holmes while finding out that Professor Plum killed the victim with a candlestick in the library, taking over the world like Alexander the great in Risk, Bill Gates had nothing on us as we counted our big bucks after selling Mayfair Street in monopoly, and who can forget the satisfying smack of the striker against the Carom board as it shoved the blacks and whites into the holes. Good times.
Not only do board games make up for quality family time, they give you sweet memories to reminisce and help build intelligence and sportsmanship. They’re also an excellent way to teach your kids that it’s okay to lose and you can always try again. A lesson we don’t teach our kids very often today.
In the carousel above you can have a look at my stash of board games, some of these are older than I am, so you can probably spot some kiddy drawings and doodles here and there.
In an effort to bring the tradition back and turn our younger ones towards non-digital forms of entertainment, my family and I have gone through numerous game stores, toy shops in every nook and cranny of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. It’s a shame though that all we tend to find is a hundred thousand versions of the same two or three games. Mickey Mouse Monopoly, Frozen Ludo and similar commercialized forms of Scrabble. I would give anything to buy some new board games without feeling like I’ve stepped into Disneyland. So if anyone knows where I can buy a variety of original board games or order them online within Pakistan, please let me know.
Also, what are some of your favorite board games? Comment below, let’s get nostalgic.