Family Games We Once Played

Add more oomph to lazy Sunday afternoons and your kid's birthday party with these great yesteryear games you can play as a family. After all, a family that ‘plays’ together sticks together!

By Team ParentCircle  • 8 min read

Family Games We Once Played

Your storeroom will no longer house the dusty carrom board, because we are sure you will be needing it after reading this article. Family games are slowly losing their charm, so we took it upon us to help you rewind and celebrate them. Dumb charades and antakshari are some of the games we still play as a family, but what about the rest we enjoyed in the comfort of our homes? Keep reading to know more about the games we cherished together…

Family-friendly Games

Carrom: Remember the Sunday afternoons after a sumptuous lunch at home? There was always a time for a game of carrom. A tabletop cue sport game, this game has a striker and black and white circular coins, and yes, the ‘big bonanza’ red coin. Players need to strike the coins with the striker (by the flick of their finger) and make the coins drop into the corner pockets. The player with the greatest number of coins is declared the winner. Quite a few variations of the game are played.

How to play carrom:

Scrabble: This popular word game needs no introduction. Players take turns forming words on a board based on the seven letters they pick up from the alphabet pile. Players aim for words with letters like ‘Z’, ‘X’ and ‘Q’ (which have high values) and try to place letters on double word or triple word scores for higher scores. The player with the largest score wins. It’s a great family game and a beautiful way to build your child’s vocabulary and help her learn new words.

How to play scrabble:

Playing cards: If you are feeling bored and lazy, pick up a game of cards. Well, that’s what we did when we were young. With games like ‘Rummy’, ‘Memory’ and ‘Donkey’, a pack of cards is easy to carry and gives many game options to play on a rainy day as a family. Add a cup of hot chocolate and yummy pakoras for company. Sounds exciting?

Monopoly: The ultimate ‘capital’ game that involves buying properties, building hotels, collecting rent and borrowing money from the bank. A great game to teach children how to handle money better. Though it’s long-winded, it is an interesting bet for a quiet Sunday afternoon.

Snakes and ladders: The quickest way to teach children a lesson about cause and effect, Snakes and Ladders is as exciting as it can get. You can rush your way to 95 in just five moves only to fall back to under 10 in just one. A great game to teach your child that ups and downs are normal in life. Having said that, children universally love going up the ladder, but nobody wants to be bitten by the snake and go down. Just watch out for the expression on your child’s face when the (virtual) snake bite happens. C’est la vie!

Chess: The ultimate ancient strategy and war game with rich origins in India is a fantastic brain teaser. Chess is about making the right move at the moment, but keeping in mind what could happen several moves later. Chess and India are synonymous. Over the years, we have produced some world-class chess masters including Viswanathan Anand, Koneru Humpy and Dronavalli Harika. All eyes are now on the young brigade, led by Praggnanandhaa, who recently became World Youth Chess Champion.

Antakshari: A favourite among generations and depicted in many a Bollywood movie too, this game involves singing songs in a sort of chain reaction. The last syllable of a song should be the first syllable for the next team; variations exist but the pulse and excitement remain the same. If you are hosting a party at home, Antakshari could be your best crowd-puller.

Dumb charades: A perennial classic, dumb charades is one of the most loved family games. It needs no equipment and can be played impromptu at family parties and picnics. Here, two teams are formed and a word, a phrase or a scene is picked and whispered in one of the opponent’s ears. The opponent then acts out the word or phrase using only gestures without speaking. The others in the team need to guess the word/phrase correctly. Teams take turns to mime and guess.

Marbles: A popular game played not just in India but across the world, Marbles is also called Goli Atta, Goti, Lakhoti or Kancha. The game improves motor skills, hand-eye coordination and concentration. It generally involves striking one marble with another which is placed on the forefinger. Kids have to crouch to play this. A boundary is drawn and sometimes there is a pit where the marbles have to fall. The winner is the one with the most marbles accumulated.

For more on this game view this video:

Parent Speak:

"This Diwali, there were 14 of us family members, of mixed age group, ranging from 10 to 60 years, playing dhaayam. Split into two teams of seven, there was a lot of strategy, screaming, excitement till the very thrilling and unexpected finish! Definitely a Family Diwali to remember." - Anusha Ram, mother of two grown-up children

Pick any of these games to turn an evening of boredom into crazy family time. Well, what are you waiting for? Time to put on your game faces and prepare to endure hours of enthusiastic screams!

About the author:

Written by Team ParentCircle on 30 October 2019.

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