Games and Puzzles

I’ve written before about how amazing my grandparents were / are – and I wanted to expand on how their influence in my life is filtering through to the experiences that I want Grayson to have, and to enjoy. One of the most vivid memories I have from time with my Gran is the games and puzzles we used to play when we were at her house.

When my Gran passed away, we were able to keep a few of her belongings as keepsakes. For me, it was important that I could remember the fun we had together – so I managed to get a few of the old games that we all used to play on those rainy Saturdays when we couldn’t get out in the garden.

Of course, back then (yes, I am old), the most “tech” thing we had was a portable FM radio – the TV was pretty much out of bounds because there was only 4 channels to chose from, and none of them showing kids stuff. Cbeebies, was non existent! So it was games and puzzles for entertainment.

A selection of the games from my Gran

Gran had a cupboard in the back bedroom, this is where the games and puzzles lived. Not many, but we were easily pleased back then. The two player games were less favoured, because I have 3 older brothers, and 2 cousins, and we’d often be round at the same time, the two player games were a bit unfair – so Gran would pull out the dominoes, a sneaky game of lotto, Chinese Chequers was a four player. These games and puzzles would keep us entertained for hours.

What’s more amazing, is that now, some of the games must be over 50 years old (guessing here, but I imagine my mum and uncle would play with these when they were younger) – and they are all intact, and complete. Not a single piece missing from any of them. That’s either a huge testament to the players, or more likely, to my Gran ensuring we put everything back properly!

A complete box of dominoes!

Whilst it’s pretty much impossible to avoid modern technology in kids toys – we’ve tried to keep some of the old school activities available for Grayson.

Of course, he does have some tech toys (although not too many, because, I’m sick of batteries and charging cables!), he’s genuinely more than happy to play with his games and puzzles – you’d be amazed at just how many times you can take apart and put together the same puzzles without getting bored. We have a modern version of this snap game from Orchard Toys which always piques Graysons interest.

Spears “Kiddy Snap” – Circa 1980 (ish)! – Not a single card missing.

Another one of Graysons favourite toys are his wooden counters, and his wooden rocket. These both came from Hema – and have helped him with many core aspects, such as counting, learning his colours, and more importantly for me, putting things away again when he’s finished with them (the counters and the rocket are put back together when he’s done with them, although that’s mostly done by me or Ashleigh at the moment!)

These counters from Hema are one of G’s favourites

For Graysons birthday – we got him a range of puzzles. The Orchard Toys range (available on Kerrison Toys) are incredibly robust – the pieces are are laminated so they won’t bend or break – which is great when you have a giant toddler man-handling them for hours!

I’m not saying these puzzles will last as long as the ones from my Grans collection, but you never know….

I’m sure Grayson will out grow these puzzles fairly soon – but we have younger kids in the family, and it would be great to see them passed down. Who knows, maybe one day, it’ll be our grand children getting the enjoyment from these games and puzzles, and creating the life long memories that I was lucky enough to make when I was younger.

Grayson has so many favourite toys – but these puzzles and wooden toys are the staple. The ones that he goes for first thing in the morning (along side his wooden train set). I haven’t let him loose on the games I inherited from my Gran – yet – they are kept safe upstairs for now. Maybe one day, I’ll enjoy a game of draughts of Chinese chequers with him whilst the rain pours down outside – with a nice cup of tea and a tin of biscuits.


Do you have any games or puzzles that your kid loves to play with – or any from your childhood that bring back memories?

Hello! I'm Mark! I write mostly about nonsense things that tend to bug me on a day to day basis. Excuse the rants, and be gentle with my opinions (but please do let me know yours, discussion is good!)

6 Comments

  1. Ludo, snakes and ladders, draughts, buckeroo, hangman (using pen and paper), operation, snap, solitaire are some games from my childhood I can remember.

    • Mark Reply

      Ahh the classics! Operation used to drive me crazy, as did Buckaroo!

  2. Mark Reply

    Ahh the classics! Operation used to drive me crazy, as did Buckaroo!

  3. We love the orchard toys games, pig has a few of them. Me and my brother used to play a lot of games especially when we went camping in the caravan. Games were monopoly, card games, othello, connect 4 and not sure if you could class it as a board game and I know you will have played it mark…. Subuteo (think that’s how you spell it).

    • Mark Reply

      We used to have family monopoly games, tension was high! Haha! Agggg subuteo – I used to love that – had all the extras too, the stands and scoreboards. Moved to another one though but I can’t for the life of me remember it’s name, where the players and the ball were magnetic. Hours wasted ironing the playing surface to get a smooth roll 😂😂

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