Vacation rentals are getting more tech-filled. Play Stations, Xbox, Wii, Nintendo…you name it, there is a rental home that can supply it. And that’s great but as an owner who has also been a rental guest, it’s the traditional games – those old favorites we remember from childhood – that get my attention. Do you like to bring back the classic board games?
When I stay at a vacation home with my family, one of the first things we check out is what’s in the games cupboard. Here’s our top five:
There’s one member of our family – he who shall remain nameless – fancies himself as the trivia genius. He’s the one who will deliver a ‘fact’ on any occasion, on any topic, and is annoyingly correct most of the time. When Trivial Pursuit first came out in the 1980s , he was ecstatic. We refined the game so he doesn’t play by himself – he becomes a roving consultant and if his services are used during a game, the player loses the next turn.
As Brits we love the traditional set – the one with Pall Mall in purple, Trafalgar Square in red and Old Kent Road in brown. With so many versions of the old favorite available, it’s a challenge to find the orginal version, but a pleasure when we do.
Get the family doing their own sleuthing rather than mindlessly watching Criminal Minds or Law and Order. One of the simplest traditional games to learn, it’s great for all ages. I was playing this recently with family, including three kids aged 6, 8 and 10. They love this game and clamor for TV to be turned off so they can play.
Forget the mobile versions, although I’m hooked on Scrabble on the iPad. (My claim to fame is that I can complete an entire game against the computer while the kettle boils.) This was the game that grew my kids vocabulary early on. They can still come up with obscure two-letter words they know the meaning of – check out qi, za, xu and ag and try to use them in a sentence!
Risk is like that peculiar British spread, Marmite – people either love it or hate it. It can go on for days, inspire arguments and laughter, and generate strategy discussions long into the night. I’m the one who loves it; my husband kicks in with his Trivial Pursuit mentality and will argue that proposed treaties and alliances would never happen.
What are your favorite vacation rental games? What takes your kids away from the TV and the Xbox?