ANN BAILEY: Bonding with board gamesIn the era that I grew up, one without multiple television channels, iPods or Facebook, my family and I played board games when we were stormed in. Though my children have a variety of electronic devices and social media at their fingertips, they still enjoy carrying on the tradition.
In the era that I grew up, one without multiple television channels, iPods or Facebook, my family and I played board games when we were stormed in. Though my children have a variety of electronic devices and social media at their fingertips, they still enjoy carrying on the tradition.
During the most recent Monday storm we played Tripoley and Carrom, a couple of favorites from my childhood. We bought the Tripoley game several years ago for our son, Brendan, and discovered the Carrom board a few weeks ago at my mom’s house.
I was amazed that the board, which was in a box in an upstairs bedroom, still had its game pieces. The only thing missing from the box are the rules, which I hope to find online. According to the outside of the box, you can play more than a hundred different games on the Carrom board. Other than Carrom, which is on one side of the board, and checkers, which is on the other side, I don’t know how to play any of the other 99-plus games.
On our storm day, we started out playing Tripoley, which consists of a game of Hearts, then Poker and, finally, Michigan Rummy. When we tired of playing Tripoley, my husband, Brian, taught us how to play several different kinds of Poker. They weren’t high stakes card games because we played for the quarters and dimes that Brian saves in a box we keep in the cupboard. When we finished playing Poker we put the money back in the change box.
Our family’s version of Carrom was the next game of the day. We played a game on the Carrom board that was similar to pool, using the short sticks that were in the box as pool sticks and setting up the green and red plastic rings like pool balls. We used the white ring as the cue ball. Brendan, our eldest child, set up brackets for the Carrom board pool competition, and then we played a round-robin tournament.
It took only a couple of tries for me to figure out I am no better at handling the sticks and shooting the rings into the Carrom board pockets as an adult than I was as a kid. The stick feels awkward in my hand and I either shot too hard and scratched or sent the wrong-colored ring into the pocket or I didn’t shoot hard enough and moved the white ring only a couple of inches.
I didn’t care whether I won or loss, though. The games were strictly about having family fun. There is a lot of complaining these days about how children spend too much time on electronic games and don’t interact with their families. I feel blessed that isn’t a problem in our family. Though, my children do enjoy playing video games, spend some time on their iPods and enjoy keeping in touch with their friends through social media, they also like playing board games with each other and with their dad and I.
The obstacle to hanging out and playing those games as a family is a hectic schedule of school, extra-curricular academic activities and sports. Though, I definitely am tired of winter and snow, the upside of the stormy weather has been that it has brought school and all of the activities to a halt and freed up space for family time. That was a silver lining in the dark cloud of a long, stormy March.
Reach Bailey at firstname.lastname@example.org or (218) 779-8093.