Childhood · family · Modern Nostalgia

The New Trapper Keeper Game is a Nostalgic Trip Down Memory Lane

This year, my daughter started third grade. I’m unsure how this happened as I swear she just learned how to walk, but I digress…

Third grade is a big year at her school, because not only do third graders finally move upstairs with the big kids, they get their first lockers. What this meant was that she spent the better part of the last half of the summer deciding how she wanted to decorate her locker. She eagerly awaited back-to-school night with the enthusiasm of a kid on Christmas morning. And when that night finally came and I watched her unload a tote bag full of trinkets and decorations and pictures and magnets and a mirror into that sacred metal space, the one that had been assigned specifically to her, I couldn’t help but reflect on my own schoolhood days.

I wasn’t as lucky as my daughter when I was a third grader. There were no lockers for the grade school kids, which meant we were stuck lugging around our books and folders in our backpacks. When the school year rolled around, we weren’t assigned lockers, so we had to look forward to getting school supplies instead. New backpacks, pencil boxes, folders, pens and pencils fueled our enthusiasm for those Monday through Friday days.

I never longed for a locker of my own, mostly because I knew it wasn’t an option.

Instead, my childhood was mostly spent longing for the one school supply that everyone else other than me seemed to have:

A Trapper Keeper.

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Oh, long-lost Trapper Keeper of yesteryear, how I loved you. From your bright, 80s-inspired colors and graphics to your oddly sweet plasticy smell, you were a were a treasure. 

While I somehow managed to go through school without ever owning a Trapper Keeper, my nostalgia for them remains, even now, decades later.

So when I was presented with the opportunity to check out the new Trapper Keeper Game from Big G Creative, you better believe the little girl inside me raised her hand and waved it around as excitedly as I used to when I wanted to be picked for Heads Up 7 Up.

The packaging alone for the Trapper Keeper Game is enough to send any 80s or 90s child into nostalgia-laced trip down memory lane. An adorable, miniature-sized Trapper Keeper holds all the game pieces, which includes Trapper Keeper folders and a variety of cards you collect during the game. The homework, quizzes, signatures, report cards, notes from classmates, and field trip slips will make you feel like you’re right back in school, waiting for the bell ring for lunch. 

You score points by stashing these cards in your carefully selected (no fighting or you’ll get sent to the Principal’s office…) Trapper Keeper folder. Your overall total points will increase based on how many doodles you collect, too, so be sure to pay attention in class! At the end of the “school day”, the player with the most points wins the game!

The Trapper Keeper Game is actually a simple game, although it doesn’t appear that way the first time you read the instructions and play it. I think it was because it wasn’t quite clear at first what the “game” was beyond collecting cards and totaling up the points. When we were first reading the rather lengthy instructions, we felt there were too many things to do, too many types of cards, too many ways to get points, and the strategy behind it was not that apparent. 

But there actually is some fun strategy involved in deciding what cards to take, what “doodles” to collect, and where to put them in your Trapper Keeper folder. (There are a few YouTube videos you can watch that I think better explain the game play than the written instructions do).  

After playing one round, we understood the strategy, the game got easier, and we got into a groove with the rules and strategies for getting a good score. It seems appropriate for a game with its roots in school, where the same rules generally apply: once you get the hang of things, it’s so much better.

Even though my daughter has never seen a real Trapper Keeper, she thought this game was pretty awesome. Turns out you don’t need to have lived in the 80s or 90s to appreciate the fun products those years are famous for.

Keeping score.

Overall assessment: The quality and design of the Trapper Keeper Game is very good and certainly nostalgic. The instructions are detailed (7 pages), but one thing that seems to be missing is a clear and simple statement about the object of the game. The game is indeed simple to play, but it seems like you need to play it once to really understand how to play it. We actually discussed the game structure and thought this might actually be a better game if it were developed as a board game, along the lines of The Game of Life. For what it is though, it’s a pretty fun game.

So for some old-school fun, pick up the Trapper Keeper Game, play a few rounds, and stash away some new memories courtesy of an old favorite. (Ages 8+)

Childhood · Nostalgia

Remember Reminder #9: Have Fun

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#rememberreminder: Have Fun

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Remember playing silly games with your friends? Freeze-tag, Red-Rover, Marco Polo, Simon Says, Don’t step on the cracks… One silly activity making a recent comeback on the internet is “the floor is lava.” Yeah, being silly is fun…

And “the floor is lava” reminded us of this fun video at :55 Continue reading “Remember Reminder #9: Have Fun”

culture · Nostalgia · Throwback Thursday

National Scrabble Day 2017: Oh, My Word!

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We’ve been feeling pretty lucky lately over here on the The Nostalgia Diaries. For the past few weeks, some fun, nostalgia-inducing holidays have been falling on Thursdays, which means they were just begging for us to highlight them on #throwbackthursday. Two weeks ago, we had a colorful #tbt with National Crayon Day, and last week we had the pretty sweet opportunity to enjoy National Twinkie Day.

And then we couldn’t believe our luck when we discovered that today was National Scrabble Day—it’s like we hit a trifecta of Throwback Thursday goodness!

Trifecta, in case you were wondering, is the highest scoring word you can create if you have the letters F,R,C,T,E,I,T, and A on your Scrabble rack. It comes in at 13 points, whereas the other words you can create with those seven letters—ATTRETIC, CATTIER, CITRATE, and FATTIER—will get you at most 10 points. So plop those letters down on the board, make sure one of them falls on a triple word score, and you’ll have a true trifecta of goodness and a total of 36 points (even more if you play off another word or create a new one in the process!).

But we digress…

Scrabble—a game where “Every Word Counts”—has been winning over hearts and twisting words since American architect Alfred Mosher Butts created it back in the 1930’s. And, considering the board game is popular in over 120 countries and is found in one-third of all American houses, we’re betting that we’re not the only ones nostalgic for this famous, family-friendly pastime.

Heck, people love Scrabble so much that they’ve even come up with other ways to use those perfect little wooden letter blocks instead of just building words. You can find them (or some version of them) in jewelry, home decor, and artwork (Corey even has some hanging around her place). The massive success of the Scrabble app and other word game apps such as Words With Friends also prove the popularity—and staying power—of this simple, classic game.

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So in honor of this locution-filled holiday, we’ve rounded up 7 of our favorite Scrabble fun facts:

  1. What’s in a Name? Mr. Butts created the game as a variation on an earlier word game he invented called Lexiko. It was then referred to as Criss-Cross Words during the 30’s and 40’s and wasn’t trademarked as Scrabble until 1948.
  2. Hey! No Cheating! Feeling the surface of a tile when your hand is in the bag— otherwise known as “brailing”—is forbidden in Scrabble play.
  3. How Many? There are 187,632 words on the official Scrabble tournament and club word list.
  4. It’s Official! In 2014, 5,000 new words were added to the official Merriam-Webster Scrabble Players Dictionary. Some of the new words included pop-culture mainstays such as selfie, hashtag, mixtape, frenemy, and chillax.
  5. Bingo! When a player uses all seven of their Scrabble tiles to make a word, it’s called a bingo. Yell it out and your opponents might get confused as to what game they’re actually playing.
  6. 1782 Wasn’t Just a Year! It’s also how many points competitive Scrabble player Benjamin Woo won with just ONE word. The word was OXYPHENBUTAZONE, and he played it across the top of the board, hitting three Triple Word Score squares while making seven crosswords downward. Talk about an over-achiever…
  7. Nostalgia for the Win (Maybe…)! Playing NOSTALGIA on the board will score you only 10 points, so try to find a bonus spot to up your total.

So go on . . . get playing, and good luck!

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Tell us: Are you a Scrabble fan? What other classic “board games” do you remember playing? Monopoly? Life? Risk? Sorry? Clue? Yahtzee? What was your favorite? Do you still play board games?

P.S. We also think this might be the coolest Scrabble board ever…

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At the The Nostalgia Diaries, our goal is to help you simplify, enhance, and engage your lives by focusing on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.

We’d love for you to join us in this journey.

P.S. Don’t forget to follow our colorful, creative spaces on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. We’re fun and happy and whimsical and nostalgic over there, too. Pinky swear.

 

 

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culture · Nostalgia

“Sew” Long, Thimble: Monopoly’s Tokens Get a Modern Makeover

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Last Friday, Hasbro announced that the newest edition of Monopoly — which hits shelves this fall — will boast three new playing tokens: a duck, a penguin, and a Tyrannosaurus Rex. These new tokens give the boot to the boot (ha!), the wheelbarrow, and the thimble.

Continue reading ““Sew” Long, Thimble: Monopoly’s Tokens Get a Modern Makeover”