Colored Cardboard, Tokens and Rules of Life
inJuly 31, 2012 - 8:42am
Ripped corners on boxes, chewed cardboard tokens, two dice sizes and stained directions are often part of vintage game boxes. They may not be in prime conditions for selling but they are important to my family. When I visit my grandchildren 6 hours from my home I come prepared for " game". I mean that figuratively of course. My extra suitcase is filled with vintage board games that I share with my grandchildren. Close to Christmas I bring "The original Rudolph the red nose reindeer game". They love playing it and ask to do it again and again. I may bring the "Huckleberry Hound Western game" or an old "Pick up sticks" can. The younger ones love to play the Playschool 1968, "Mister Mouse". Match-A-Story Picture Puzzle. Actually that game came from my parent's house and it's box has seen better days.
They always try and get me to play their modern video games but I convince them that Grandma has some clout and my board games win. I enjoy exposing them to the way I used to spend my time. We treasure the time together but I do not think they realize what they are learning as we play. I don't get to see them very often so the conversation during the game lets me see their developing personality and hear their stories of life in their family. They learn about fair play and taking turns as well as a bit of manners from me. The last time I was there we were playing a game with a spinner. The game had my 5 year old grandson, Linden wandering down a path very close to the winner's spot. I took a moment to reread the directions which Alex, my 7 year old grandson was very annoyed at because I was "taking too much time".
I reinforced with him that I wanted to be fair and we need to make sure we were playing it correctly. He looked at me with a puzzled look on his face and said, "why, we can figure it out as we go." Another bit of explanation and I knew he was really thinking my answer through. Linden spins the spinner and gets to a spot where it says, "lose a turn and spin on next turn". On numerous spins he again gets the same number 4 which causes him to end up in the same spot losing a turn. I even tried to secretly tip the game board from underneath so the spinner might not be on the dreaded 4 again but to no avail. Linden held his cool but his big brother was getting very frustrated and was looking for a solution. Linden had spun 5 times with the same results. Alex says very loudly, "you know when we play video games if we get stuck we just stop the game and start over again, can't we do that here". Those words still stick with me because they say so much about why I play games with them. Poor Linden did not win the game but both boys really won a good lesson on not cheating or adjusting the game to tilt it one way or giving up. So now I am all packed and ready to head up there for more lessons on life through those vintage games I keep finding. Anybody want to play cootie?
Check out Carmel Collectibles for your own reminders from the past. Find vintage games, kitchen tools, old glass and pottery. Browse the memories.
Written by Carol Henckel
CarMel Collectibles on Ruby Lane