Friday, October 8, 2010

Fun and Games

I had to participate in Flashback Friday today because this week's prompt is all about games from your growing up years. My family will tell you I like to play games. I also like to follow the rules when I play games and they sometimes refer to me as the game nazi. Whatever.

Growing up we didn't have a family game night that I can remember but my younger sister and I shared a room and played lots of games. We especially liked Trouble, Sorry, Clue, and Go For Broke. And one of my absolute favorites was a game called Masterpiece where you bought and sold art which may or may not have been forged.

I do remember a game called Hands Down where you were dealt a few cards and when you got a certain combination you slapped the plastic hand on the board. That one stressed out the 10 year old me. I didn't quite have a handle on my competitive nature back then.

My family might say this is an area that could perhaps still use some work.

How many of you remember the game called Cootie? It was essentially a race to put together a plastic bug. Whoohoo! But it was fun and that word cootie took on a life of its own when I was a kid. Telling someone they had 'cooties' was about the meanest thing you could say. It was the equivalent of saying they had fleas or a contagious disease. Sigh. Times do go a-changing don't they?

My parents liked to work jigsaw puzzles and every now and then they'd set up a puzzle on a card table in our living room. My mom always got a jigsaw puzzle for Christmas and we'd all help put it together. We didn't use our living room except on special occasions and I loved sitting out there in front of the fireplace as family members rotated in and out around the table. Sometimes you need to walk away from a jigsaw puzzle and come back with a fresh eye.

In my own family we usually work a jigsaw puzzle when we take a beach or mountain holiday. We find a place to set one up and work on it all week long. I still like puzzles of all kinds and since getting my Ipad am loving Words with Friends. If you play, email me your screen name and I'll look for you. Unless I've scared you off with all this talk of competition.

We also played loads of outside games back in the day, like Freeze Tag, Hide and Seek, and Capture the Flag. Our neighborhood had lots of kids of every age and we all played these games together. My favorite was Kick the Can...we'd divide into teams and then put a #10 can in the middle of our street and would run and hide two or three streets over. The sense of freedom was something I will never forget.

My sister and I had big imaginations and we played lots of make-believe games with our across the street neighbors. One of our favorites we called Naugahyde which essentially involved running and hiding from a monster by that name. I never thought much about it until I was sharing this with my hubs family and they looked at me and said, 'Naugahyde? Like the fake leather upholstery fabric?" Don't ask me how we turned this into a scary game of chase but we did. Like I said, we had big imaginations.

I played a lot of games with my girls growing up. My least favorite was Candy Land and I used to stack the deck so that darn picture card wouldn't turn up at the end and send the near winner all the way back to the start. I know I said I'm a rule follower but I'm also a big believer in mama maintaining her sanity. Which reminds me that my girls used to play Aggravation and they had a song they'd sing while we played and it was, well, aggravating.

My favorite game to play when my girls were growing up was Pretty Pretty Princess. Hubs would play too and was a good sport. We also liked Barbie Dream Date, Kerplunk, Mastermind and Mancala. We played Sorry too although my oldest was too tender hearted to ever send anyone back to their start so that one often ended with her in tears. She is ruthless in Monopoly though so go figure. When my girls were teens we spent many an evening sitting around the kitchen table playing Hearts. Hubs would play too and also act as DJ because music was essential and made it more fun...we all loved those times.

I confess I still like to play games. We went thru the Trivial Pursuit phase and the Pictionary phase but these days my favorites are Scrabble, Scattergories, Mexican Train Dominoes, and Backgammon. My hubs will play cards with me if I pester him but he's not a big game player unless I'm suggesting golf or pool. When we get together with extended family on either side we play games like Outburst, Cranium, and Catchphrase.

I really do think that playing games is good for the heart and soul of a family. Its fun together time and a place where memories are made. As the saying goes...the family that plays together stays together. It's kinda true.

For more Flashback Friday posts visit Mocha with Linda by clicking on the button at the top of this post ...or better yet, share your own flashback and then link to the party.


  1. I love playing games and cards too. I'm pretty competitive when it comes to backgammon. My hubby won't play w/me any more. He says I cheat! He's just a sore loser. ahaha. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend. Blessings, SusanD

  2. What? No pictures of your hubs playing pretty, pretty princess? How disappointing! :D
    My kids at school love to play Cootie; it's a great game! When I was growing up the kids on the street would come to our house ('cause that's where the majority of us lived) and play kick the can, hide & seek, and rolly bats. What great memories!

  3. Game Nazi??? You are so funny, Joyce!
    I loved the part about stacking the cards for Candyland--I know exactly what you mean.
    I agree about the family playing together, staying together, too, and I mentioned that as well...Have a great weekend!

  4. I'm a "gamer"'s good to know there are other ex-Kick The Can pro players out was my favorite summer night game growing up...also keep a jigsaw puzzle going at the beach every summer and the whole fam plays Mexican Train at least 2 nights over the holidays every year...thanks for this post, I loved reading about all the games I have loved playing...btw, I am Leeleeqba on Words With Friends....

  5. I am waaaay competitive! I loved reading your memories.

  6. My daughter loved Pretty Pretty Princess too but her brothers would not play with her. Ha

  7. Games are fun. I don't remember playing a lot of them when I was young. We did play Kick The Can all the time in the summer or Flashlight Tag. I don't do well on Trivial Pursuit, to this day my daughter and I will get asked the kids questions while my son & husband will answer the normal ones!! We love Scrabble and Scattergories too along with jigsaw puzzles.

  8. What fun memories. Enjoyed reading your post. I feel the same way about games - a very good memories maker, the best! Hands Down was always a fun one and Kerplunk, but they were so noisey. If you ever get your pogo working let me know. We spend a lot of time on pogo, probably too much. lol My husband and I both have computers, so we play Canasta, Gin, Pool, Dominoes and lots of others against each other, along with lots of others.
    I thought about another game, I did see it mentioned once. Twister, I am sure you played that growing up also. It was always fun!

    until next time... nel

  9. We didn't have Candy Land when I was growing up. My first introduction to it was when I was babysitting--and I quickly learned to detest it. Bleh!

    One of my aunts always gives my grandma a puzzle every Christmas. She works her hardest to find a puzzle that has as difficult a pattern as possible. But Grandma (with help from children and grandchildren) always managed to have it finished by the time the family emptied out of the house (usually after 2 or 3 days.)

  10. Masterpiece! I forgot all about that game! My neighbors had it. At their house we always played games on the stairwell landing. It was the best place in the house to enjoy the heat from the wood stove!

  11. You are a game Nazi and a gameaholic I do believe. Mrs. Jim and I are alone and mostly Canasta is the only game we play.
    I win at Monopoly and Canasta so people just don't want to play with me either sometimes. Sometimes I try to let Mrs. Jim win but then my cards are sooooooo nice there is no way I could lose.

    Most of the games you played weren't invented by back in my day. But I know them well as our kids played them a lot. The Cootie game was for our youngest, Karen.

    I am with you on the family game time. It is a lot more interaction than watching TV or playing computer games.