When we visit my husband’s family, after the kids are in bed, we sit down for a good-natured but competitive game of Dominos. They taught me to play and I love it! As soon as my girls are old enough, I want to start a family game night. I know it’s a little corny, but I don’t care. I love a good game and I want to pass some old-fashioned pasttimes onto my children. The selection of games shown here are as decorative as they are entertaining, and can convert even the most avid video-gamer, if only for one night.
2. Stacking Dominos, $59: A sculptural take on the classic game, these solid wood dominoes stack easily for storage.
3. Classic Games Compendium, $28: I love this retro wooden box, which hold an assortment of old favorites: cards, dominos, pick up sticks, marbles, jacks and a wooden yo-yo.
4. Folk Art Game Boards, $249: This collection of four decorative game boards is a reproduction of authentic 19th century pieces, and is another take on the game-as-decoration theme. Unfortunately, this set is no longer available, but I love the options available at Etsy.
5. Chess Set, $65: For the modern chess lover, this striking set is made of cherry and maple wood pieces that fit together like a puzzle for easy storage. And the size and heft of each piece reflects their relative importance in the game.
6. Bone and Horn Game Sets, $59-99: These sets feature playing pieces made of natural bone and horn, which develop a patina over time. I think the playing cards are especially interesting.
7. Handcarved Mancala Game Set, $49: Mancala is an African game that dates back many centuries. This handmade set is as beautiful as it is fun to play.
8. Game Pens, $9.99: Portable fun! These ballpoint pens are also favorite old games, including Operation, Yahtzee, and Etch a Sketch. Great stocking stuffers.
9. Retro Stocking Stuffer Games (prices vary): Vermont Country Store is a great source for old-fashioned treasures, and these games will take you back. Their selection includes vintage tin pinball games, a Mini Simon (my old favorite!), Jacob’s Ladder, Click Clacks, Pick Up Sticks, a Classic 15 Puzzle, and Tiddledy Winks.
10. Nostalgic Games from NapaStyle (prices vary): NapaStyle has an enticing array of old-time favorites, including Tiddlywinks, Family Bingo, Dominos, and Pinball, and some you’ve probably never heard of, like Hopla, Snap, Animal Grab, Who?, and Flipping Fish. I also like their Compendium of Games, $44, which features 11 British favorites in one highly giftable box.
11. Classic Bookshelf Board Games, $59.50 each: I know this make it an odd number-ed list, but I couldn’t resist these! On your bookshelf, they appear to be just another set of attractive leather-bound books, but open them up and you’ll find all the components to one of four favorite games: Sorry, Yahtzee, Clue and Stratego.