Traditional Games Are On The Up & Up

family playing a board game

It’s official, traditional games are on the up & up- big time! How do we know this? Google of course:) You can now google the best bar or cafe to play traditional games in, and find equally enthusiastic opponents. More and more people are casting aside the console controller for a pair of dice or a pack of cards. Millennials, Gen Z and Gen X’ers are emerging from their darkened rooms to join up with the Baby Boomers (who let’s face it, never entered the room in the first place) in pursuit of more traditional games.

dad shouting at sone through headphones because he is on his computer with headphones on

The Benefits of Traditional Games

Games, whether they be board based, word based or card based, bring families & friends together socially. They are a great ice breaker for distant relatives and a peacekeeper for warring ones. As well as giving children the much desired ‘time with adults‘, they also offer many avenues for children to develop, learn and improve, including:

  • Colours
  • Counting
  • Hand-eye coordination and dexterity
  • Patience (waiting for a turn)
  • Following rules
  • Losing (quite possibly THE most important life lesson for children)
  • Teamwork

Today we find that many families are struggling to find the balance between digital and ‘real time’ games. For lots of children the digital, online games provide an uncomplicated way to connect and solo computer/phone games give many people a period of self indulgence, ‘zone out’ me time.

The Rise of Traditional Games

UK Games Expo, the World’s 3rd largest Games show, went from a lowly 1200 attendees in 2007 to an astonishing 45000 in 2019. With a massive 400+ booths for 435 exhibitors, last years’ show saw stands for card games, bring & buy, workshops as well as board and strategic play matches.

Tony Hyams, director of UK Games says:

“We have seen a real growth of interest in board games over the past 10 years. While the internet is a great thing, sitting down and playing with friends and family is becoming increasingly important. Having time away from our phones and computers where we can talk, play and enjoy time together is something board games let us do.”

So how do we as parents ensure that our children are both keeping up with technology and getting the benefits of traditional games? We aren’t naïve enough to think that we can avoid screens completely, yet we are wise enough to know that our children need online prowess to thrive in the future. The answer is simple- Give them both!

The Best Traditional Games

family playing cards at a table
Family Playing Cards In Kitchen

Young children love nothing more than running, hiding and being ‘captured’. Hide & Seek, Cops & Robbers, Duck, Duck Goose are all favourites for very young children. Move on a few years and there’s a plethora of choices. Snakes & ladders, Cluedo (who doesn’t love Professor Plum in the Library with the Candlestick) and everyone’s favourite Monopoly. Of course there are always card games too.
Snap & Memory are great for for the younger children and the standard 54 card pack suits everyone. There’s also a great Guess Who I Am game, which suits the whole family. Card games have been around for years and as well as being compact, portable and suitable to play practically anywhere, (the staple entertainment of every family during the 70’s power cuts) they also teach a multitude of skills.

During the Covid19  Lockdown, traditional games became the lifeline of households up and down the country, and we see no reason for the interest to subside. So let’s not wait till Christmas to bring out the board games, charades and karaoke.  Sort out the snacks, clear the table and bring games night back to family night. You know it makes sense 🙂