Every so often the power goes out for a while during a storm, so I’ll grab a book or a deck of cards. (I still prefer paperbacks and hardcovers to eBooks.) Of course, when the juice is turned back on, the most fun is reading the online comments of young people who went into vapor lock if they lost internet service.
A few years ago a storm knocked out cell service for a couple of days. Many were apoplectic, as this was apparently the equivalent of a zombie apocalypse while a giant meteor headed toward earth as the evil empire was standing by with a Death Star. Digital Armageddon. If a foreign country wanted to paralyze half the population of the United States, all it would take is an electromagnetic pulse to knock out cell phones and the internet. Which would turn a lot of people into virtual zombies.
It reminds me of the entertainment we enjoyed years ago that didn’t take any electricity. Or the internet. Or a cell phone. And those forms of entertainment still exist.
I still have a closet full of board games, decks of cards, dominoes, a chess set, a pool table, and other no-tech fun. Perhaps it’s time to drag these out and show young people that things are a lot more entertaining when you’re playing a game against family and friends instead of sitting with your face buried in a digital screen. If you’re a parent, perhaps you might introduce your family to these games, because some of them are great teaching tools.
Monopoly: The classic board game of, well … greed. But buying and selling properties while acting as a landlord is a great way to learn business and money management.
Risk: The game of war, but there’s a lot of strategy involved. Where should you place your armies to start? Who in the family is the most likely to attack? And who might you enjoy getting even with? Revenge is a dish served with a roll of the dice.
Trivial Pursuit: Eventually want to be a contestant on Jeopardy? Lots of obscure knowledge in this game. Along with some stuff everyone should really know.
Scrabble: Wonderful for building word skills.
Chess: This one is a life skill, but well worth the effort.
Trump: The Game: Yeah, there’s a game named after the former president that’s a real hoot. Released back in the ’80s, the game is mostly about real estate, but you’ll need to work your memory to keep track of who has stashed the most money in their properties since you can’t see it.
For little kids there are classics like Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders and the Mouse Trap game. These are more fun than a Barrel of Monkeys – and that was a game children loved too. You can also teach a kid addition playing blackjack.
So try rolling the dice with your family by playing an old-fashioned game. You might be surprised that the kids find it a lot more enjoyable than a phone.
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