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Games They Could Have Played

By Judith Anne


I set out to find games that were readily available and made out of materials that would have been available in the middle ages; wood, rocks, dice, fabric, etc., and to have you open your eyes and look around you to see what you can come up with. And make.

Dice were common! Start out with plastic dice, then you can find wood dice and buy them, then you make your own dice out of wood or bone.

Games boards can start out as poster board and eventually become painted on wood or fabric or embroidered or carved.

Game pieces can be the colored glass that is commonly available or rubber animals bought at the dollar store. If you are interested in woodworking or carving or clay you can make your own game pieces. Then you research period paints and finishes and you have an Arts and Sciences entry.


Establish all rules before you start playing. If you are not clear on how things should go or are teaching the game, state that the first round or two are learning rounds and will not be scored.

The rules I list for the games are the rules that I have. Feel free to change them.

Finding Games and things

One of my dice with 6 colors was a bead in a toddler bead stringing set.

Some of my best finds have been at Garage/Yard sales.

Use the Internet! The usual ―be careful‖ applies.

Go to amazon.com, to books, and type in ancient board games and many wonderful sounding books come up.

Amazon.com and Ebay.com are great sources.

Some Games to Look at for Ideas
 Animal Yatzee by HABAAnimal on Animal by HABA (a Blockhead version) Cathedral, the wood version is beautiful 
Quarto! Shut the Box Blockhead 
Sennet  Marbles Horseshoes
Zitternix (colored sticks) Dreidels and other tops  Funny Bones
Parchesi and versions   

Some Sources for pieces, games and ideas

· Greathallgames.com – has wood dice and dice that have the colored dots

· Gamedaze.com

· Tarahill.com – has beautiful wood versions of several known Viking games

· Hearthsong.com – I’ve spent money here

· Do an Internet search for board games, amazing sites come up. 

· Do an Internet search for giant yard games.

· Ancient Board Games, Irving Finkel, ISBN 1556706588, the copy I have has all the game pieces with it.

· Please let me know what you find and where you find it.  And PLAY GAMES !


Use the hyperlink to display the game:

    Balancing Games


    Horse Race Game

    Snail's Race


    Other Games