5 Things That Childhood Board Games Taught Us
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5 Things That Childhood Board Games Taught Us

Who knew that the classics like Monopoly, Clue or Scrabble would teach you life lessons?

5 Things That Childhood Board Games Taught Us

If your childhood was anything like mine, you probably grew up with a closet full of board games. There were the family favorites that were pulled out on a regular basis during family game nights like Sorry!, Apples to Apples, Guess Who? and Pictionary. If you were lucky, you even had special themed games like Scooby Doo Clue or Disney Monopoly. Whatever your collection of games may have included, board games taught us important lessons as children that we’ve carried through the decades.

1. They taught us to improvise.

Lose a playing piece from Candyland? Missing cards from the Uno stack? What about the dice that have gone missing from Chutes and Ladders? Board games taught us how to improvise. We had to learn to create our own cards out of construction paper or go dig dice out of another box of games so that we could play. We cobbled together made-up words during our turns in Scrabble and our parents totally let it slide. Board games taught us to make do with what we had and to find the best possible solution under the circumstances.

2. They introduced us to adult life.

Boards games like The Game of Life and Payday were our first glimpses into actual adult life. There was something satisfying about racking in that flimsy, colored paper money when you hit Payday or rolling the dice to easily determine important life decisions. We spun our way through The Game of Life in little plastic suburbans and barely had to think twice about school, work or family. If only it was still that simple.

3. They taught us to always watch our backs.

One of the most important things that board games taught us was to always watch our backs. Family ties and friendship only go so far on family game nights. Truthfully, most of us are probably too competitive for our own good. So if someone nudges the table during an intense round of Operation or if things get heated in an unforgiving game of Monopoly, you learn to expect snide comments, icy glares or even frustrated tears. One wrong move could start the next big sibling rivalry and family grudges are known to last for a while.

4. They uncovered a person’s true colors.

You can tell a lot about a person by how graciously they accept a win or by their reaction to a crushing loss. Board games can bring out a person’s true colors. For example, you now know never to let your younger sibling play as the banker in Monopoly or they’ll constantly be stealing a little extra from the bank when nobody is looking. Or maybe that one quiet roommate that no one suspects will play that shocking card in Cards Against Humanity that sends everyone into a frenzy. The person that you trusted most could be the one to hit you with several “Draw Four” cards in a game of Uno. Whatever happens in the game, though, you’ll be left with memories of laughter and friendships that last a lifetime.

5. They taught us what matters most.

Sure, there were times that we walked away from the game table with a sour attitude. But what matters is that we always came back. The people seated around the board game—your family and friends—are what these memories and these lessons are made of. You don’t remember the winner of that last game of Connect Four or Clue, but you remember the people and the moments that made you laugh until your sides ached.

So maybe the next time you head home for a visit or the next quiet Friday night that you’re spending with your friends, it might be worth digging through the closet for a board game. Brush the dust off the Yahtzee box or pull Mouse Trap from the top shelf for a change instead of scrolling through social media or flipping through Netflix, and let the fun begin.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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