Shop Etsy

Game Time

Apr 1, 2013

by Cate Fitt handmade and vintage goods

When the power is out after a hurricane or blizzard, board games and decks of cards become the perfect way to pass the time. For some of us, dominos and Parcheesi stir up memories of epic rivalries and alliances. On rainy summer afternoons, long sessions of Monopoly and Canasta sped past as we learned strategy and betrayal. We played Scrabble and cribbage so innocently, never realizing we were learning vocabulary and arithmetic.

Spending time solving puzzles and playing cards created moments so vivid that I can still recall each player and where they sat. Wandering among the games and puzzles here on Etsy, I was flooded with memories of shouts of triumph and high-pitched laughter.

[Clockwise from top left: Old Maid Card Set from RankandFileVintage; Animal Brooch by AnnaSiivonen; Chess Board by woodmosaics; Scrabble Fans Linocut by artcanbefun]

My mother played Tiddlywinks as a child and never forgot the sharp click that signified a perfect squidge of a wink.

[Clockwise from top left: Edible Game Tiles by andiespecialtysweets; Travel Cribbage by barkupatree; Game Table by ShadyTreeCreations; Pillow by schindermania]

I have great respect for friends who do the Sunday New York Times crossword in ink.

[Clockwise from top left: Puzzle by ArtByKatieK; Card Game Linocut by magprint; Puzzle Book from mothrasue ; Bingo Set from BtownPickers]

Completing jigsaw puzzles moved at a slow pace and allowed plenty of time for conversations and confidences.

[Clockwise from top left: Monopoly Pin by HarrieteEstelBerman; Rustic Checker Set by FunnyFarmToyBarn; Vintage Card Games from fishlegs; Puzzles from FairchildsInc]

The crisp flapping sound of cards still reminds me of my joy when I finally learned how to shuffle accurately.

What are your favorite games and puzzles to play with friends?


  • TwinkleStarCrafts

    Judith and Raymond from AnnaOliveDesigns said 7 years ago

    Wonderful article. My children and I spend rainy days working jigsaw puzzles through to completion when we camp. The talks we have during these times are so special to me.

  • H88255

    H88255 from HillarysSuperfoods said 7 years ago

    I love boardgames. Every weekend we would all play them with Grandma. Those were the best times!

  • lifemeetsart

    Jolynn from lifemeetsart said 7 years ago

    In a day where mobile devices are king, it is nice to see some way of interacting that doesn't require wifi or electricity. There was a day when entertainment was about beating the pants off someone during a rewarding game of checkers. I'm gonna go play Angry Birds now.

  • jessgreenleaf

    Jess Greenleaf from GREENLEAFblueberry said 7 years ago

    A good old deck of cards is the best. I make sure I've always got my trusty deck with me! Never know when you're going to get tent-bound or held up. I love the idea of handmade board games.

  • DewyMorningVintage

    DewyMorningVintage from DewyMorningVintage said 7 years ago

    I LOVE vintage games! Of course, vintage games remind me of my childhood and playing games with friends and family. I always wanted to be the cute dog piece when I played Monopoly!

  • slathered

    Sharon Moores from slathered said 7 years ago

    We don't eat in our dining room, because that table is for puzzles! Our 7-year-old is old enough now to help. Her favorite puzzles are vintage ones made by my great-grandfather -- he cut many of the pieces to look like animals, and she loves finding them. It's a nice way to spend some time together on the weekends, especially in the winter.

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 7 years ago

    Boardgames are the best! My favorites are Risk and Parcheesi. I also love card games. They are so much fun and a great way to bring the family together.

  • rebeccagoebel

    Rebecca Goebel from OctoberNative said 7 years ago

    Amazing post!! I have some vintage games in my shop just like these .. I am always tempted to keep them and play them with my husband :)) and now I'm extra tempted to buy some of these fun games too :)

  • Fullerjewelry

    Jane Fuller from Hoopsetc said 7 years ago

    Yay... somebody else who loves a game of canasta...a rare find!

  • valeriephoto

    Valerie from valeriestitchery said 7 years ago

    This post is full of great ideas. I'm a big fan of games. I spent many hours playing them both as a child and an adult, in particular Scrabble, Parcheesi, and Trivial Pursuit.

  • richardlithgow

    Richard Lithgow from RichardLithgow said 7 years ago

    Board games rock!

  • auntjanecan

    Jane Priser from JanePriserArts said 7 years ago

    Fun and games! Fun read

  • mirabellamorello

    mirabellamorello from mirabellamorello said 7 years ago

    My mother and grandmother LOVED to play a card game called Flinch. I own a vintage deck of these cards and have tried teaching my husband and my neighbor, but I'm not sure I will find anyone again who will be as crazy about playing this game as my mother and grandmother were!

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 7 years ago

    Awesome! We played chinese checkers during Hurricane Sandy.

  • tatesipoo

    Tate Pannabecker said 7 years ago

    Great collection! Scrabble and Boggle are two of my favorites whenever I can convince anyone to play with me.

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 7 years ago

    Playing Monopoly at xmas is one of my earliest memories, before I was old enough to join in with the Scrabble. Long chess games by the light of a single candle during power cuts, a three year long cribbage tournament with friends until they moved away & raucous late night Trivial Pursuit sessions fuelled by wine... happy memories!

  • WingedWorld

    Vickie Moore from WingedWorld said 7 years ago

    I used to love playing Monopoly with my sister and trying to beat her. My extended family also used to get together at my grandma's house to play card games. We had to set up two or three tables to fit everyone. With some of my loved ones now gone, I would so love to be back there playing cards. Thanks for bringing back wonderful memories, and reminding us to create new ones.

  • StillVintage

    StillVintage from StillVintage said 7 years ago

    Love all the games. We still get out the board games when enough people get together.

  • WhisperingOak

    Quality Handmade Items from WhisperingOak said 7 years ago

    Oh so much fun when all the cousins got together to play and the laughter started

  • AnatomicalQuilling

    Sarah Yakawonis from YakawonisQuilling said 7 years ago

    Just popping my head up out of a sea of quilling paper to say I really enjoyed this!

  • WhisperingOak

    Quality Handmade Items from WhisperingOak said 7 years ago

    So much fun to play board games

  • AnatomicalQuilling

    Sarah Yakawonis from YakawonisQuilling said 7 years ago

    Just popping my head up out of a field of quilling paper to say I really enjoyed this!

  • debragalbo

    Debra Galbo from HowCuteAreYou said 7 years ago

    I absolutely loved playing Monopoly as a kid with my family. It was such a thrill to set up houses on your property and if you were really good eventually hotels.

  • ClassicMemories

    ClassicMemories from ClassicMemories said 7 years ago

    I am also a Monopoly game fan. When my family gets together we play the board games and also card games. Back to basics can be the best way to spend time with loved ones.

  • nativestrandsjewelry

    Rachel from PeppersJewelry said 7 years ago

    Interesting post on games. Thanks!

  • agebo

    Ann Cosgrove from acbcDesign said 7 years ago

    I love games! It's a great way to spend time with friends and family, without always just being zombied out in front of the TV. I also feel extra super lucky that I found a husband who shares my love for Monopoly - even if he always wins.

  • PKBrownWoodworking

    Kaj Brown from PKBrownWoodworking said 7 years ago

    There is nothing like a "game night" Good food, good family/friends, good times equal good memories. You are never to old for a game night. Great article.

  • WoodrockTurning

    Kerry and Rie from WoodrockTurning said 7 years ago

    Where is the Backgammon?!

  • minimalblue

    Jim Long said 7 years ago

    I loved completing jigsaw puzzles with you, Cate. It was the only board game I could play with you that your win wasn't la fait accompli, and only because there were no winners or losers... at least so I thought.

  • mim4art

    Mim Golub Scalin from FritziMim said 7 years ago

    I wanted to learn how to play Mah Jongg when I was a child because I loved the sound of the tiles clicking on the table, and the women saying things that were mysterious - like 3 Jade, 6 Bamboo, oh the mystery of it. I never did learn but I can still remember the sounds.

  • Ludwigsshop

    Jackie Ludwig from TheLudwigShop said 7 years ago

    We love game night! We get together with our families and neighbors! The kids get games and so do the adults :)

  • PruAtelier

    Jeanne B from PruAtelier said 7 years ago

    I used to LOVE the old games! Growing up, we would all sit around the dinner table playing Monopoly, Scrabble, Parcheesi, card games, etc. What a great way to connect or reconnect as a family...even as a group of friends, wiling away the hours in friendly competition. Throw all your troubles away.....corral the family, call up a group of friends, and let the TV and computer suffer in silence as you enjoy a new day of old time fun!

  • decembermoondesign

    Doreen from decembermoondesign said 7 years ago

    Yahtzee. We'd play for hours and hours.

  • Caitiec23

    Caitie and Jamie C. from NuitHiboux said 7 years ago

    I love Scrabble! Too bad nobody ever wants to play with me :( So I have to play online instead.

  • Caitiec23

    Caitie and Jamie C. from NuitHiboux said 7 years ago

    I love Scrabble! But nobody ever wants to play with me since I always win!

  • Caitiec23
  • VintageMarketPlace

    VintageMarketPlace from VintageMarketPlace said 7 years ago

    Yes so many memories flood back thru my mind. Life and Risk were the favorites of our home. That wizzz of the spinner on Life still rings loud. So much fun.

  • MrPimm

    Meghan P from BustinCaps said 7 years ago

    Boozing and Game Night........That's what BustinCaps does! Cheers!

  • justgivemepeace

    justgivemepeace from justgivemepeace said 7 years ago

    And now I'm camped at the River and we throw quarters on the table , toss the dice, and hoop and holler through beers and laughter tears while we play" Shut the Box".... with a good ole game box I scooped off Etsy:)

  • sjp118

    Sarah from ChantilleFleur said 7 years ago

    My favourite board game is Monopoly. If I'm in a relaxed enough mood, I also love charades :-)

  • Sleepwellfamily

    Rachael Kozielec from SleepwellFamily said 7 years ago

    I'm sorry.... this has nothing to do with games or the post but I LOVE CATE'S HAT!! I also love scrabble tiles, even though I am a wreck when it comes to any games with spelling in them!

  • joliefemme

    Diana from joliefemme said 7 years ago

    Bring back family game night! It's an awesome way to relate to your relatives and have fun!

  • aressa

    aressa from OriginalBridalHanger said 7 years ago

    Used to play games when I was younger...Don't see too many people playing them anymore...Nice post!

  • KMalinka

    Natalia from KMalinkaVintage said 7 years ago

    Great post!

  • MakeMesses

    MakeMesses from MakeMesses said 7 years ago

    Although we all enjoy playing video games together as well, there is something really fun about sitting down to play a board game as a family. :) Our current favorite is Ticket to Ride - not a classic (yet) but a lot of fun! Clue was definitely a favorite of mine as a child!

  • MakeMesses

    MakeMesses from MakeMesses said 7 years ago

    We still love playing games! One of my son's favorite activities when we go visit my parents is to dive into my mom's (extensive) collection of games from when we were kids to find something new and fun to play.

  • BozenaWojtaszek

    Bozena Wojtaszek from BozenaWojtaszek said 7 years ago

    Yeap, avid player here - thanks for a good reading and lovely finds!

  • bedouin

    Nicole from Crackerjackarma said 7 years ago

    Great reading, fun finds and a reminder to stretch the brain a bit ~

  • knitsbycaitlin

    Caitlin Edge from knitsbycaitlin said 7 years ago

    Classic. Lovely.

  • HairAccents

    Charm Accents from CharmAccents said 7 years ago

    What a lovely article and the featured items are stunningly beautiful! My best friend is visiting from out of town and we enjoyed a game of Trouble with my children tonight. Totally fun! The other option was Candyland but my daughter decided she'd rather play Trouble. :-)

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty said 7 years ago


  • poplovedesigns

    Andrea Hughes from PopLoveHers said 7 years ago

    We really need to pick up a few sets of old board games for lazy Saturday afternoons. Some scrabble and a deck of cards would go a long way to pass away a few leisurely hours... I think I'll stay away from the Monopoly though... the capitalist in me tends to rear its ugly head and go straight for the throat (or for Boardwalk & Park Place!)

  • khateraahmad1

    Khatera Ahmad from Khatera9 said 7 years ago

    We've had so many dinner parties and some of us would stay up for hours playing board games.

  • beachseacrafts

    Marilyn from beachseacrafts said 7 years ago

    Good ole fashion fun that doesn't require batteries. Nice post.

  • GeorgieGirlLLC

    D George from GeorgieGirlLLC said 7 years ago

    Love this article, you can learn a lot of life's lessons over a board game!

  • SpaceMauve

    Caroline Bee from SpaceMauve said 7 years ago

    Great .

  • yswlch

    zeng ming from luckycollection said 7 years ago

    Of course yes,i am really like board games.i think that is the perfact way for me to pass the time.every weekend.i will play with my friends,it's funny!

  • irishandmore

    irishandmore from irishandmore said 7 years ago

    Not a single Backgammon board? Never played, Cate? If not, you should learn! I make custom appliqued Backgammon boards. You could start on one of those!

  • clgifts

    CL Gifts from CLGifts said 7 years ago

    As adults, we started playing games as a family a few years ago and it has been a great boon to our time together. I have learned that the key to a fun, engaging time with family is to have a central activity when we get together and games are the best way to do that. So much laughter and fun!

  • HoneyandBumble

    Mishelle and Vickie from HoneyandBumble said 7 years ago

    Vintage Board Games and cards bring back many memories of fun times at the cottage when I was young. We still do not allow any electronics when we go up to the cottage with our children now and they love rummaging through the old games to pick their favorite to play!! Monopoly and Life tend to be the Board Game favorites and nothing beats a good old card game of Crazy 8's. It is a great way for a family to spend time together and take a breather out of their hectic life! Many great family memories are created around a table playing games.

  • irishandmore

    irishandmore from irishandmore said 7 years ago

    No Backgammon boards? Have you never played, Cate? If not, you should learn! I make custom Backgammon boards. Check out my shop listing - you could start on one of those!

  • EdelweissPost

    Patrick from EdelweissPost said 7 years ago

    I'm game!

  • NirvanaRoad

    Lisa from NirvanaRoad said 7 years ago

    Candy Land, Monopooly, Sorry and Rook! Bring back the face to face games!

  • Iammie

    iammie from iammie said 7 years ago

    Those reminds me of the old good days. :)

  • dizhasneatstuff

    deb fearon from dizhasneatstuff said 7 years ago

    Games and their boxes are my attraction. One of my favorite movie scenes is the Royal Tannenbaum's where they have secret talks in the "game closet" it says so much about home, family and tradition. the colorful vintage graphics also visually bring me back to my Great Aunt Pearl's attic and her stack of games. I've tried to recreate that closet in my storage room and now the kids are shaking their heads and hinting that I've gone overboard. smile!

  • BambuEarth

    Amber from BambuEarth said 7 years ago

    We ♥♥♥ games! Our closet is filled with them. They are a sure way to put a smile on the faces of family during a night together and actually have interaction with each other instead of being hypnotized by tv and cell phones...

  • timelapse

    timelapse from timelapse said 7 years ago

    Spent many hours playing board games as a kid, and I am thrilled that my teenager still loves them too! Really love the old ones that have survived at our house. Thank you for a fun posting!

  • BookGlassesBlue

    M. Q. Collier from EloquinntCreations said 7 years ago

    Seeing a huge come back in the popularity of tabletop games in my area. Mostly from by a desire to connect with other people and fueled by small local game shops that encourage people to try out the games they carry. It's great to have another hang out option besides just popping in a movie. You also get to know your friends in new and sometimes surprising ways!

  • knitfitt

    Cate Fitt said 7 years ago

    Thank you all for your comments. I admit that I never learned how to play Backgammon. However plenty of other games were left out - Clue and Chess, are two important examples. And, thanks for the compliment about my favorite hat. I designed and knit it myself. Cate

  • lovelygifts

    Linda from lovelygifts said 7 years ago

    Great article! Love to play games!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage from accentonvintage said 7 years ago

    Love the article! What fun they can be!

  • TheresasGourmet

    Theresa Ryales from TheresasGourmet said 7 years ago

    What fun these games can bring and good family time! Love the hat too. My sister also knits!

  • LinaNstich

    Lina Rodogianni from LinaNstitch said 7 years ago

    Very interesting!

  • losethecurse

    Sara from HiraganaAmericana said 7 years ago

    I love love love retro games. I've been searching for some classic versions of my favorites. I also have a soft spot in my heart for the rare and weird. "Clue" was always my favorite game to play as a child (and even now I suppose). I also loved passing the time at camp with games of euchre. For lovers of card games, I recommend Fluxx, especially the Monty Python version if you are a fan.

  • CharmingShopLove

    Marissa Howes from CharmingShopLove said 7 years ago

    Wonderful! I love board games!

  • isabelehendren1

    Blaire fly from Blairefly said 7 years ago

    Great idea!! Love it very much!!

  • honeycombstudio

    Courtney Hamill from honeycombstudio said 7 years ago

    My parents have suddenly become dominoes fanatics and have been scouring the earth for vintage, bone dominoes to decorate with. I hadn't thought to look on Etsy (duh!). Off I go....

  • sprouthead

    Aijung Kim from sprouthead said 7 years ago

    great post! i love games, love playing them and love the look of them. i used to like scrabble until my boyfriend starting beating me every time. i like Scattegories, Settlers of Catan, and Boggle.

  • divinecartomancy

    Bren from PsychicBren said 7 years ago

    This is a Wonderful Post.....I have always loved board games.....I traveled as a child, so Most of my games were played in the back of a Volkswagen Rabbit....LOL.... As an adult I Love to play Chess, I win some.....and Loose a lot....but I still love the game......Thank you for taking me back to my child hood. Divine.

  • FreakyPeas

    FreakyPeas from FreakyPeas said 7 years ago

    We do lots of board games in our house. Since I have youngish children we play a lot of Apples to Apples and Yatzee.

  • deadsetbabes

    dead set babes from deadsetbabes said 7 years ago

    we love gaming night in our house! Monopoly, Yatzee, Game of Life - love love love it!

  • shaginyandtil

    Shaginy and Til from ShaginyAndTil said 7 years ago

    Our parents had five kids and board games were often under our Christmas tree. When I was raising my own kids, I quickly learned that board games were affordable as well as a way to spend valuable time as a family. Personal favorites? Operation and Clue from the 1960's. I never had Yahtzee but received Kismet one year and loved it. Thanks for a great article Cate.

  • eshannon12

    Eric Shannon from BigBarkerDogBeds said 7 years ago

    There's some really cool chess, backgammon, and checkers sets on Etsy. And on Ebay there's so many classic old school board games.

  • jdumroese

    Jeffrey Dumroese from JigSawMemories said 6 years ago

    My family has over 50 games including board games and card games etc...That doesn't include the puzzles. I wish more people appreciated the sit down time with family.

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