It is assuring to see that some old things do become new again. For example, weekly board game nights started up recently at the library.
The board games themselves weren’t familiar to me but their suggestion certainly brought back many memories.
All year round there are a variety of board games available and more so at Christmas. Growing up, there were always board games under the tree, both at my parents’ place and also grandparents. Back in the day, it was games like Monopoly, Scrabble, Parcheesi, Operation, Checkers, Chinese Checkers, and card games like Snap, Fish and Solitaire.
The adults had a definite interest in a rousing game of Euchre or Cribbage with plenty of yelling and cheating … very entertaining for the kids! The benefit to all was the social interaction these games provided and a chance to see up close and personal just how an opponent felt. It was also excellent for eye-hand coordination and having to make split-second decisions.
A game my grandfather taught me that I grew to love was Canasta. I have not played in many years, as this game seems to have fallen by the wayside. I became so good at it that beating grandpa happened on more than one occasion and he was not happy with the result.
Something else that was old and has become new again is colouring books. In my youth, myself and siblings could always count on a new colouring book and crayons under the tree, or maybe a painting kit or paper cutout books. This was way before the stickers and books that have been so popular for many years and still are.
The newest colouring book this Christmas season was ‘the adult colouring book’. Some have never heard of it, while others received a colouring book and crayons or markers as one of their gifts. They can be found at local bookstores, which is where I came across them. They feature scroll-type drawings with lots of swirls and paisley patterns. Many have themes that can be noticed as the colouring progresses. My mother-in-law received an early present of a colouring book and crayons and had to chuckle at this unexpected gift. She is a very ‘artsy’ lady and will, no doubt, enjoy it.
Like board games, colouring books provide excellent hand-eye coordination, are soothing and relaxing, and require very little thinking other than the next colour to be chosen.
I think they would be a real hit at nursing homes, not only allowing the seniors to revisit the past but also bring the past into the present.
Nadine Wark is a retired office administrator and freelance writer who resides in Sarnia