The Game Box: 7 Easy Ways for Old-Fashioned Fun

Finding ways to entertain yourself when you have a case of the winter blues isn’t as difficult as it seems. Just pull out the Game Box and get ready for fun!

A Game Box is a collection of games that you and your family enjoy playing. These can be board games, card games, or even games played with dice. But your Game Box should include at least a few of the old-fashioned games to make things even more fun!

a deck of cards, red and black poker chips a peg board game red blue and green juggling balls

Old fashioned games give you an opportunity to stroll down memory lane and to teach your children that not all fun comes from technology. Instead, it comes from skill, chance, and a lot of interaction with others.

These are a few of the games you might want to include in your Game Box – both newer games and a few old-fashioned ones tossed in for good measure!

Just so you know: This post contains affiliate links; if you click on a link and make a purchase I might make a small commission, but it does not affect the price you pay!

a set of gold and silver jacks with a yellow ball and red ball to put in the game box

Jacks

The game of Jacks is probably over 2000 years old. Even Sophocles, the Greek philosopher, mentions it as being played during the Trojan War. This is a game played with metal 6-pointed playing piece and a rubber ball. The object is to bounce the ball, scoop up a set number of pieces (depending on the round, this could be anywhere from 1 piece to 10), and then catch the ball before it bounces again. Jacks may seem easy, but it can definitely be a challenging game! (A set of Jacks is also a great stocking stuffer!)

dominoes with yellow green red and purple numbers in a wooden box red blue pink white and green plastic trains

Dominoes

These simple rectangle playing pieces is one of the most versatile games you can have in the Game Box – with almost 100 different ways to play. A standard game and Mexican Train are the two most common ways to use dominoes. But they can also be used to play Concentration, or as stacking blocks to see who can build the tallest building.

a gray backgammon board with black and cream points and playing pieces

Backgammon

Backgammon is an old game and is a game of strategy. The board is often contained in a case that closes. When opened and laid flat, the case becomes the board. Each half of the has twelve triangles (points) -six on either side. You begin in the other players home court. The goal is to get all your playing pieces around the board to your own home court first. It takes some close focus to keep from ending up on the bar and causing your men to start back from the beginning!

a deck of cards with a red back, a fan of cards, and a box of Uno cards

Cards

You don’t have to have a fancy deck to play an unlimited number of games with cards. Even Solitaire has more versions than can be counted! From one player to 10, cards are a great addition to any game box. And when you get them out, think about playing some of the older games, such as Go Fish, Poker, War, and Blitz.

You can also find individual decks that are designed for a specific game, such as Old Maid, Crazy Eights, and even Uno.

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Checkers & Chess

More than likely, you didn’t need a reminder to keep these two games in the Game Box – you already have them. They are probably two of the most common board games and deserved a listing of their own.

Both chess and checkers are board games that require strategy. Checkers is an easier version, designed for two players and uses two different color chips. Chess, on the other hand, takes longer, as each move has to be carefully thought out, and the other players future moves considered. Where checkers has chips, a chess board consists of pawns, bishops, knights, rooks, and a king and queen.

Each chess piece is limited to the amount of ‘power’ it has and the moves it can make. This is a perfect game to have on hand to pass the hours during the inclement weather of winter, or to escape from the harsh heat of summer.

assorted color dice plus dice with letters instead of numbers a sand timer

Dice Games

Keeping a selection of dice in the Game Box is almost a given. There are so many games you can play with dice, including Liar’s Dice, Yahtzee, and Bunco. But another fun game to play is Farkle.

Farkle is a game played by 2 or more players, six dice, and a lot of laughter. The goal is to have the highest score at the end of the play.

Although it isn’t a familiar game to some, it is still fun to play.

Pig is an older dice game, played with just one die. But you need paper and pencil to keep score, as the winner is the one who reaches 100 first. That can be a lot of rounds for just one die! Considering it can be played with up to 10 players, it may take some time to see who wins!

a stack of board games-yahtzee, scrabble, clue, farm-opoly

Board Games

Before I listed board games as a great addition to the Game Box, I just had to see how many were available. According to Quora, there could be as many as 100,000 different games. Considering I might be able to come up with five or six in my Game Box, I think I may be lacking.

Still, I have a few of the old favorites. Candyland, Trivial Pursuit and even two versions of Monopoly – the original and Farmopoly. Both are fun to play, and when the kids are here, we have been known to play well into the night.

a bag of colorful marbles a box of jacks with a red and yellow ball, a triangle pegboard game with colorful tees, red, green and blue juggling balls

Tips on Stocking the Game Box

Having at least one or two age-appropriate games in the Game Box will ensure that even the younger children will have something fun to do. As for teenagers, it may be time to pull up games of strategy and let them work on their thinking skills while still having fun.

And if you are home alone, all you need to play Solitaire is a deck of cards. And there are approximately 150 ways to play, so you can stay busy for days!

If possible, make sure you have more than one deck of cards, a couple of sets of dice, and at least two sets of Jacks. This way, other groups can play different games, or you can play games that require more than one deck or set.

Keep a notebook and a pad of paper, along with pens and pencils to keep score. For some games, a small calculator might also come in handy.

And just in case that winter storms brings a power outage, keep several flashlights and a couple of battery-powered lanterns in the box. And don’t forget extra batteries as well.

a game of mexican train dominoes in play on a wooden table with a woman's hands playing her domino

Time to Open the Game Box!

Are you ready to change that miserable winter’s day into a day of fun? Then it’s time to pull out the Game box. And don’t forget to bring hot chocolate and a batch of homemade cookies to the table!

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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