6 Traditional Games For Some Old School Fun!

Introduce the youngsters to these nostalgic card and board games this June holidays.

By Trishal Kaur        21 June 2021

It’s safe to say that many of us grew up being surrounded by technology. For most of our parents and grandparents, however, mobile phones, game consoles and computers were unheard of, and many of them revelled in these old school games of yesteryear. Let’s take a trip down memory lane with the list below! 

Old Maid & Snap

Before Uno came to Singapore, Old Maid and Snap were the real deal. Although they are nothing like Uno, we can guarantee that these old school games have the potential to bring about a competitive streak you didn’t even know you had inside of you. These games are great for playing with family, but fair warning though, they can potentially cause chaos. In Old Maid, you have to get rid of your cards as soon as possible without holding onto the Old Maid card, while in Snap, be the player with the greatest number of cards at the end of the game. The kids’ versions of these games come with illustrated characters, but Old Maid can also be played with regular poker cards. Check out the gameplay of Old Maid above.

You can get some of these old school card games here!

Pick Up Sticks

Pick up sticks are undeniably one of the most underestimated games on this list. This game encourages you to think strategically and puts your focus and motor skills to the test. The key to winning this game is having a steady hand combined with strategic thinking. All you have to do is remove the sticks one at a time from the bundle without touching or moving the other sticks. The objective is to be the player with the greatest number of sticks by the time the game ends. Think of pick up sticks as the traditional version of Jenga.  

Five Stones

The mention of this game would conjure up a host of images in your mind – think kids sitting cross-legged on the floor tossing up small triangular bags into the air. Five Stones was exceptionally popular amongst kids from the 1950s to the 1980s and will set off a wave of nostalgia – especially for your mother and grandmother. Although the game is relatively simple, a myriad of variations has since come about, each with a varying level of difficulty. The aim is for you to score as many points as possible by completing a full set of eight steps. Watch the video above to learn how to play Five Stones. 

Aeroplane Chess

Before Monopoly, there was Aeroplane Chess. Similar to its western counterpart called Ludo (above), this was one of the go-to games for children of the 80s. Played between two to four players, Aeroplane Chess could be the new alternative for board game night for you and your family members. This game requires players to move all their pieces in a clockwise direction on the board and into the home triangle. Sounds relatively easy, doesn’t it? Don’t be fooled though – this game requires a fair bit of strategy to win. 


If you love chess, the classic game of checkers would be right up your alley. While most of the games on this list give off a lighthearted vibe, checkers exudes an air of seriousness. This two-player game is perfect for those who love to strategise and get their minds thinking. Aim to capture all of your opponent’s pieces to claim victory. This game would be an excellent chance for your parents or grandparents to show off their skills! 

Share your favourite old school games with us at magnsman@sph.com.sg!