June 18, 2024


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Board games are a good form of entertainment for families, especially during the pandemic | Columns

The DeForest Area School Board moved on July 27 that all schools in the district would begin school in a virtual instruction model. But they will work to intentionally phase in in-person instruction as soon as possible.

It was a tough decision for the board but there is not going to be any good and safe way to begin this next school year, which is now just two weeks from opening day.

While this might not be a popular decision for many families in the area, we at least have this option available to consider. There are many school districts where virtual instruction is not possible. The only choice for these districts is to open school and hope for the best.

I asked my granddaughter, Isabelle, who is entering sixth grade at DeForest Middle School, how she felt about the school opening this year. She said that she was hoping to greet all of her classmates on the first day of school, but since the school will have a virtual opening, she will still look forward to the start of school at home in a few days and hopefully get together with her classmates later in the year.

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting all of us, I’m sure that many families have started playing more board games to entertain themselves and take their minds off the worries of the day. When I was growing up, before television, game boards were a top source of entertainment in the evening. I remember the family would gather around the table and spend the evening playing all kinds of board games and card games. These games included Monopoly, Parcheesi, checkers, chess, dominoes, Chinese checkers, Rummy Royal, Pit, Uno, Crazy Eights and Hearts. We had a backgammon board, but I had no idea how to play the game. We seldom played Monopoly because the games took so long to play. Nobody in the family could play checkers better than my sister, Jeanne. But I usually won if I played her in chess. Dad usually won the card games.

When Molly and I were raising our family we played many board games. We had all the games that I mentioned above plus we added a few more. We liked to play a board game with marbles that we called Wahoo, but I have heard it called by other names also. Mexican Train was one of our favorites. Clue and Pay Day were played quite often.

Both of my sons enjoy playing board games with their family and friends. I’m sure both granddaughters will continue to play board games with their families in the future.

We all have a tendency to not get enough exercise during our sheltering in place during the pandemic. To combat inactivity, I spent 45 minutes on my treadmill today. I think I might try and turn it on tomorrow.

Dick Emerson is the former publisher of the DeForest Times-Tribune.