an electronic free day

Amys Gluten Free Pantry

We allow our son a designated amount of recreational time on the computer each day. Tonight, he finished up and asked if he could play on my smart phone. He didn’t immediately understand the phrase “that totally defeats the purpose”. I was in the middle of making dinner, so I gave my husband one of those looks.

To my delight, moments later, I found them at the kitchen table playing Uno. After a round, my 14 year old daughter meandered in, asking if she could play. Forty-five minutes later, they were hard at it and I couldn’t put dinner off any longer. After a relaxing dinner, my son gave me a raised eye brow look that said, “it’s Friday night…no school tomorrow…can I return to the brain-sucking computer?”

I, in turn, gave him one of those looks that said, “I want you to be a contributing member of society who can string a variety of meaningful sentences together.”

As I write, a rousing game of Battleship is ensuing back on the kitchen table. And I am happy.

I grew up without a television and as a result, my siblings and I are all prolific readers, card and game players. We rode bikes, hiked down the cliffs in from of our house to explore the tide pools, and we worked in the garden with our dad. Anything electronic simply wasn’t on the menu.

Often times, I think we forget about the board games of our past, and some of the wonderful newer games that pull a whole family together for laughter and fun. Here’s a few oldies, but goodies:

You can be way behind, catch up and win at the last moment. Very satisfying

Every little boy should play battleship with the man in their life.

Playing to everyone’s entrepreneurial spirit, this is one of those games that can span an entire weekend.


For the older kids, but when you play with young ones, phonetic spellings are perfectly acceptable. I played this game with my mom and only ever beat her when I was in my 30’s (she was in her 70’/80’s), and that was rare. Try  Scrabble Junior for the younger ones.

C’mon. You gotta get your kids started on poker sometime.

And the newer games we love…

It’s like gin-rummy with tiles. We change the rules and play simultaneously without taking turns. Probably my favorite game.

Apples to Apples
Designed to make you laugh. Sour Apples will make you laugh louder (for bigger kids).

Wildly creative, fun game your kids will love.

My newest fav. A Swedish game of wooden pegs that must be knocked over. My German nephew Bernhard introduced us to this game and we played this all summer at the beach. Half a dozen people asked us for the name as they watched us play. Addicting.

And while you’re playing games, have a few snacks on hand.

Oven Applesauce
Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pumpkin Spice Cookies
All Fruit Smoothie
Chocolate Puffed Rice Treats





What are your favorite games?


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