One of my all-time favorite toys growing up was an enormous red and yellow truck that you could sit inside and wheel around. This was back when the computer was still an expensive, less-than-pretty clunk of hardware meant only for very professional adults — not the sleek, user friendly object it is today.
Now all of our time is spent on the computer. For work, for play, for relaxation; we look to the screen.
But let’s take a step back for a minute; there were games we played with before we were using computers for everything. Before technology slowly crept into our lives to the point that every two year-old now has their own IPad.
Real toys! It seems in this modern day and age we’re bred to use a computer before we can even walk.
Before video games and television, we must have done something for entertainment (well, other than reading, but that doesn’t count).
Many of you may remember some favorite toys you had as a young child, maybe a wooden train set, a doll or action figure, a play doh set, cars, those fantastic wooden marble mazes. Many things that don’t seem to be prevalent today.
What ever happened to all of the toys, the puzzles, the games; the charm of it all? Sure, we can learn a lot from the online computer game. But what about the feel and weight of a three-dimensional object? That red fire engine you carried everywhere with you? Will it be lost forever as technology starts to replace it?
Feeling nostalgic yet? Good. Here is a list of puzzles and games that you don’t need to go back to your childhood to enjoy, so you can still look like a sophisticated adult while essentially fondling wood.
Ahh, the classic strategy game, but of course it has to be on the list. Believed to have originated in eastern India around 1500 years ago. You can play online, but it is much more satisfying to play on a quality wood, or glass set. One of the best games ever, in my opinion.
Go has an incredibly vast history, dating back almost 3000 years. It is probably the oldest game in the world. While the incentive of this game is incredibly simple, many consider it to be the most difficult game in the world to master. A computer has yet to beat a human!
- Jigsaw puzzles
Yes, jigsaw puzzles come in almost every style imaginable, from the classic famous painting to the more advanced three-dimensional. Jigsaws can range in size from the typical 300-piece to the record number holding 32,256 pieces! The largest puzzle consists of 21,600 pieces each measuring 20”. The entire puzzle measured 2,438.8 m², it took 777 people to assemble!
A tangram is a seven pieced wooden puzzle, invented in China during the Song Dynasty. The aim is to create a silhouette using all seven pieces not overlapping. It is said to be the earliest ever form of a psychological test. And the amount of objects one can create is almost infinite.
- Disentanglement Puzzles
A disentanglement puzzle is a type of mechanical puzzle that involves disentangling a piece, or set of pieces. Reassembling the puzzles can often be as hard as—or even harder than— disentanglement. A great example is the Wine Challenge — a wooden device designed to lock any bottle until you can figure out how to release it. Got an invitation to a party?
Why not bring a bottle of wine? Kinda hard to enjoy that bottle if you can’t open it, eh? Sure to be a hit (or thoroughly annoy some alcoholics).
The Game of Global Domination; originally coined “La Conquête du Monde” (The Conquest of the World) is a strategy board game for two to six players, each commanding their own army. The board is a map of the Earth, divided into forty-two territories and six continents.
The object is to occupy every territory on the board and in turn, eliminating the other players. It sound fairly simple, but it escalates incredibly fast. It’s great fun, especially with more players.
So what are you waiting for? Stop staring at the screen, get off of your derriere on go and play one of these games!