3 Apr 2020

Parlour games for the bubble!

From Nine To Noon, 10:31 am on 3 April 2020

Is your family in the clutches of Covid-19 cabin fever? How about a game of knucklebones or wink murder?

We have some suggestions for simple indoor fun from Myfanwy Jones and Spiri Tsintziras' award-winning book Parlour Games for Modern Families.

Spiri Tsintziras and Dolores

Spiri Tsintziras and Dolores Photo: George Mifsud

The young mums were watching their kids play in a Melbourne park one day when they started chatting about the games they played as kids like knucklebones and marbles, Spiri says.

"We were a bit challenged in terms of remembering the rules but also we thought how wonderful it would be to introduce some of these games to our children and keep those traditions going."

They first put a parlour games book together for their own use.

Myfanwy's personal favourites the book are knucklebones (which her grandad taught her to play) and Dictionary (sometimes known as Fictionary).

For the latter, you just need a dictionary, paper and a pen, she says.

'Someone picks an obscure word out of the dictionary. Everyone comes up with a definition and you go round the circle hearing them. Then there's a voting system about which is the right one.'

Wink Murder is another favourite in Myfanwy's house.

"You sit around the table and write on pieces of paper 'murderer' or 'citizen' then pick them out. No one knows who the murderer is. They kill people by winking at them [and these people then act out a] dramatic death. The first person to figure out the murderer is the winner.'"

Myfanwy and Spiri's book also includes 'parlour games' versions of popular board games like Balderdash and Battleship, but none that require people to go out and buy anything, they say.

You can order the book or E-book from Scribe Publications.