Well, it’s officially winter now that the clocks have swung and the evening darkness is upon us. This means that it’ll be pretty miserable on and off until the spring comes round again, but only because the children won’t be very interested in going out and they’ll mope around the house saying, “I’m bored!”.

Before you think my sprogs are deprived, they’re both in their mid-teens and they have absolutely every entertainment device known to man – this man anyway. They have stuff with names that seem to be only letters and numbers, like a PS3 or a 3DS; then there are blu-ray players, HDTVs and all manner of electronics.  Our electricity bill is enormous and there’s always conflict about who left all the lights on.

So thinking of simpler times, when the most exciting thing to do on a dark evening was build an Airfix kit, I’ve brought together a few alternatives to exploding pixels.

Now brace yourself, because this first one is what the Americans call a humdinger (I have no idea what that really means). I’ll tell you first of all that Waitrose sells, through its wine cellar website, bottles of Château Lafite Mouton Rothschild at a mere £1,150 each.  That’s £6,900 for a case of 6 bottles. Meanwhile, we have Outrage Deluxe which is similarly outrageously priced at £7,990 (and a lot more fun than a box of wine). You have to check out the specifications to see why it’s so excruciatingly expensive. It’s a special purchase for a special person (or to really impress your friends).

Outrage Deluxe

Alternatively (and strictly for adult couples) there’s Monogamy, the game that enables you to have an affair – with your partner!  It has several styles of play for you to follow and it really is fun.

For something more innocent we have a game that turns tic-tac-toe (boring noughts and crosses) into an action packed game for all the family. In Flick Tac Toe you power your O and X counters up the ramps to try to hit the correct slot on the board. Play it sober and it’s brilliant, but if you play it after a few sherbets it’s completely hilarious. It even folds away for nice and easy neat storage.

I’m also quite partial to a game of golf, but not the sort that has you walking about looking for your ball or the computer screen variety that my son used to thrash me at when he was four.  Tiddlywinks Golf is in a completely different league. It requires manual dexterity, concentration under pressure and there are 8 fairways and 4 different putting greens, so you can mix it up and make lots of different courses.  I still usually get thrashed by my son, but by a smaller margin.

Lastly, if you have a smaller one (age 6 or over) they’ll love this little Dinorobot self-assembly toy. When built using the kit pieces it’s about 1ft long and at the flick of a switch it zooms off across the floor. The best thing is that it’s pretty easy to make and your child will be able to say ‘I built a dinosaur’. Buy them two and they can race them against each other.

That’s just old fashioned fun.

Have fun and stay safe,

Rick

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