Thursday, January 21, 2016

Bored? Consider Playing a Board Game

Do you like board games? Do you remember playing them as a child? If so, you’re not alone.  Board games have been around as long as people have., a popular game design site, claims that board games and dice are prehistoric, meaning they existed before written language.  Other sources confirm this notion. Early games like mancala have been found in dig sites from 700 AD and the theory is that these games existed even before that. Painted stones that may have been used like dice were discovered in a burial mound in Turkey that experts date as being 5000 years old.

And board games remain popular in current times.

TableTop, a web series developed Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day features celebrities playing board games. Lots of people enjoy watching. I like that, but I like playing the games more.

Yesterday, I picked up one of my old favorites Don’t Break the Ice, which I hope to play with students.  It should make the routine grammar drills a little more exciting.
I’ve always enjoyed playing games.
I remember evenings full of Caroms and Checkers with my father and brothers when I was a kid.  As a parent, I continued the tradition. My older son and I had countless Battleship and Stratego forays while my younger son preferred Sorry, Clue and Operation. Later my family got into Risk, Civilization and Talisman.
Yep, I’m a big fan of board games. Here are thirteen of my favorites.

1. Monopoly, which originally called The Landlord’s Game came out in 1903.
2. Chess evolved from a game started in China before the 6th century.
3. Checkers is one of the oldest games know to humans. According to a board that could have been used for Checkers was found in the ancient city of Ur and dated to around 3000 B.C.
4. Clue-Anthony E. Pratt made up Clue in 1943 and his wife designed the first board.
5. Chinese checkers isn’t Chinese at all. It evolved from a game called Halma, which an American professor named Dr. George Howard Monks invented. It was first released in Germany under the name Stern-Helma in 1892.
6. Risk was originally a game designed by Albert Lamorisse in 1957. It was called La Conquete du Monde (French for "The Conquest of the World")
7. Candy Land- Eleanor Abbott created Candy Land while she was recovering from Polio. She sent it to Milton-Bradley and it came out in 1949.
8. Sorry-Parker Brothers published Sorry in 1934.
9. Pictionary-Rob Angel designed Pictionary in 1986.
10. Chutes and Ladders –England produced this game in the late 1800’s, but it originally was an ancient game called Moksha Palamu. People played it in India as early as 2nd Century A.D.
11. Operation-John Spinello came up with this game in 1965. He sold the concept to a game designer for $500 and it later became a huge success for the Milton Bradley game company.
12. Jenga- In 1983 Leslie Scott developed Jenga after watching her son play with wooden blocks. She’d spent time in Ghana and so she named the game “Jenga” which means build in Swahili.
13. Don’t Break the Ice- Schaper Toys first marketed the game in 1968.

I’m always looking to add to my game collection and I’d love to hear from you. Do have a favorite board game to recommend? Thanks.


  1. I'm trying to visualize Don't Break The Ice grammar style. Miss a split infinitive and have to take a turn?

    1. Actually, I have students take a turn regardless of whether they answer correctly or not. The game works really well with verb flashcards and having students form a verb tense like the present progressive or the simple past. :)

  2. My sisters and I had almost all of those. Friends and I enjoy getting together a few times a year for game nights. Not so much "board" games, but always group interactive ones. We invariably spend the entire night laughing, sometimes so hard tears are actually falling. *G* My T13

    1. I love group interactive games and game nights, too.

  3. I've played 8 of the ones on your list! I still play Scrabble, it's like the can't build a better mousetrap of games.

    1. Do you also play Mousetrap? My cousin loved that game.

  4. I like Trivial Pursuit. We used to play a lot of monopoly when we were younger.

  5. We used to play both of these, too. I had a friend who memorized the Trivial Pursuit questions and answers, so she'd ace the game. I guess a lot of people did. Maybe that's why the game designers made lots of additional question packs. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. I like the game of Life. I always tried to collect the babies.

  7. My mom still has a game called Pollyanna. It's a little like Sorry. You roll the die, and you have to get a six to get out of home, doubles means you can roll again, and a few other rules like that. We still play it every now and then. Great post.

  8. I recognize some and have never heard of others.
    makes me think if I can reach 13 of real Dutch games....
    My list of 13: