Board Games in the 1950s

Rat Patrol Board Game

Board games were very popular in the 1950s. Electronics hadn’t completely taken over yet and there are many board games that came out in the 1950s that we still play today.

Instead of plopping down in front of the TV, families would plan entire evenings around board games. “Family Board Game Night” wasn’t a joke, it was what people did for fun.

Let’s break down board games from the 1950s from year to year, shall we?

Board Games in 1957

Games in 1957 tended to be family affairs. A record number of board games were introduced. They were scientifically planned to encourage primary-grade youngsters, teen-agers, and adults to join together for competitive fun.

Another strong trend was the slanting of game play toward mastery of the three Rs (readin’ writin’ and ‘rithmatic), history, and geography.

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1957 Milton Bradley Name That Tune

1957 Milton Bradley Name That Tune

The first commercial game basing play on a phonograph record was introduced. This game by Milton Bradley contains an LP record with excerpts from 160 of the world’s most famous melodies. Players are given boards similar to those used in bingo. The first player to recognize and cover the names of five tunes in a row wins.

New in games that aid education was Steps to Learning, an integrated series of games keyed to teach preschool and primary-grade youngsters basic understanding of shapes and forms, clocks, calendars, and arithmetic.

Another unusual approach to fun with an educational angle was Fractions Are Easy as Pie which based play on sections of delicious cardboard pies and placed in pie plates

Go to the Head of the Class, featuring three levels of quiz questions, was another popular family game.

An indoor version of a childhood pastime Take a Giant Step, in disfavor outdoors because of traffic hazards, was introduced. The game board was marked into steps of various sizes for competition keyed to interest all age groups.

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2 thoughts on “Board Games in the 1950s

  1. Arthur

    Hi,
    What about, sling shots, Yo Yo’s, rubber guns, skate boards, hop scotch, and the game MONOPOLY !!!
    Art

    Reply

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Last modified: Mar 22, 2013 | Written by Paul Phipps