Traditional games may not have the glitz and glamour of today's games. However, these age-old games require skill and memory to play.

You must have heard your grandparents, elderly aunts and uncles going on about “in our days we played games that were challenging and exciting”. Annoying though they may sound, these games did have their fun and excitement. Here's a few, try your hand at them – you might even like them!

There are many outdoor games that could be played during the cool of the evenings, but there are also games that could help while away the blistering hot afternoons.

Summer is the season for fruits, so when you eat the fruit remember to save the seeds. Wash, dry and keep them in a safe place or a pouch so that you can use them in homemade board games. Mango seeds, washed and dried make perfect “throw” pieces when you play hop scotch.

For starters, you can take two chart sheets and draw a large eight by eight box on each. Divide your friends as teams and choose the seed that you want to play with. Keeping one on the first square, gently try to blow it, up to the final square. If the seed goes into the next box, then the player is out. The other member of the team has to start over again.

Another variation would be to draw a long box divided into 12 squares. The two team members will have a “race” by blowing the seed, box by box and the winner is the one who blows the seed finally out of the box first.

If you have a garden, here's a game that will hone your concentrating and deducing skills. blindfold one person. Fill his cupped hands with soil and hide three seeds or a leaf in it.

Turn him around a few times to confuse his sense of direction. Make him drop the soil and take him back to the place you started from. Turn him around once again. Take off the blindfold and ask him to find the pile of soil within the count of 50.

Pallankuzhi is board game with 14 pits and played with cowries or tamarind seeds or shells.

Rope in grandmothers, aunts and cousins to have a pallankuzhi day. Everyone can bring their own set so that there will be many teams and more fun.

A guessing game that's a real riot is “Raja-Rani”. On bits of paper write names of characters from an epic or a well known story, depending on the number of players. Fold and distribute it to the players seated in a circle. If the epic chosen is the Ramayana, the person who has Rama has to raise his hand and then has to guess who Sita is. If he is right, he wins a point. Otherwise the next person takes over and the game goes on, till every character is revealed.

Hit the pot is hilarious and ideally played during the cooler time of the day. From a branch of a tree or a vantage point, hang a terra cotta pot, that is full of candy.

Blindfold each person and hand him a long stick. Twirl him around (so that his sense of direction is confused) and then get him to break the pot.

The goat and the tiger

Aadu Puli Aatam is played by two people and is a game of skill and strategy. It is something like chess. The two players represent the three tigers and the 15 goats. The tigers try to kill the goats while the goats try to corner the tigers so they cannot move.


Bored? Try the boardMay 7, 2012