ad // I’ve made a vow to myself to spend more time outside this Summer. For the last however long, I’ve had various reasons why I hated Summer and would often stay cooped up inside and not venture out past my front garden. Anxiety (which was hugely triggered by heat and getting hot) and then a bloody pandemic. I’ve got a lot of time to make up for!
But I’ve come to really enjoy Spring and Summer (unless it’s like, 28 degrees+ and then it’s not so enjoyable anymore) and I want to try and make the most of it a bit more this year. We have a fairly big garden and I live right next to a park. Even for the basic things, like going for a daily walk, I’m in a prime spot to encourage me to get outside more.
But on those lazy weekends and long afternoons where the sun is beating down and there’s nowhere to go, I don’t want to stay cooped up in my bedroom watching Netflix. Don’t get me wrong, I love binge-watching a great Netflix series but I don’t want to spend all Summer doing that. I don’t want to waste my precious time, staring at a screen, any more than I need to.
Perhaps it’s my age talking; I am going to be 30 this September so the fact that this is the last Summer of my 20’s is a kinda scary prospect, now I’ve said it out loud. I guess as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to relish the smaller things and realise how important getting out and experiencing life is.
So whilst in the grand scheme of things, sitting in your garden playing games is so minute, it can also be a great way to spend some quality time with people – or even for Summer date ideas – and get off of screens for a couple of hours! So with the help of the wonderful Jaques of London, I’m going to share some awesome games to play outside in the sunshine this Summer!
But first, who are Jaques of London?
Jaques of London – established in 1795 – are one of the leading companies for making and selling beautiful wooden toys and games, aimed at bringing the family together through more traditional means, encouraging less screen time (not just for the kids!) and bringing educational elements to their products too.
Jaques of London are actually the oldest games company and sports manufacturer in the world, having been passed down through eighteen (yes, 18!) generations and being the idea behind many games we’re all familiar with today, including: Croquet, Ping Pong, Snakes and Ladders, Ludo, Tiddledy Winks, The Staunton Chess Set, Happy Families, Snap and more.
Why should you consider Jaques of London for toys and games?
Not only are you buying into a family business, you’re also getting the best quality in the products too. The wooden toys and games are all handmade and beautifully produced. And don’t forget the sustainability aspect of buying wooden toys and games too – they’ll last the test of time and are much more eco-friendly for the environment.
If you’re buying for children, most of their toys and games are designed by UK teachers, so the educational element of play is right there. But a lot of their games are designed for the whole family to enjoy, so even if you’re buying for adults, you’ll be able to find something beautiful and unique. Their products also come beautifully packaged and wrapped.
So, what are some games to play outside this Summer?
I’ve never actually played Backgammon before but it always makes me think of the series LOST because John Locke is seen playing it in one of the very first episodes. So this Luxury Backgammon Set is my first time owning this game. This set is absolutely stunning and comes in a beautiful leather case.
This backgammon set would make a wonderful gift, especially with how beautifully it’s presented. Perhaps for Father’s Day, which is just as Summer is beginning to really show it’s face here in the UK, so it would be the perfect opportunity to get outside with your father or father figure and have an afternoon of Backgammon!
The second product I was sent for this collaboration was the Mexican Train Dominos Set, which is a beautiful little set that comes with everything you need, neatly packed into a sturdy tin box, for travelling and safe keeping. Again, I’d never played Dominos properly before (aside from stacking them and watching them all fall over as a kid!) but this was easy to pick up and an entertaining game.
Another game that’s perfect for outside use in the Summer, if you have a level surface, this is a great game to play with the whole family, adults and children alike! As with all Jaques products, this is beautifully presented and would make a great gift for any occasion for someone that likes old fashioned games.
During my previous collaboration with Jaques of London, I received this beautiful chess set. The hand carved wooden Staunton chessmen are stunning and neatly tucked away inside when the board is closed. My boyfriend and I played with this a lot over Christmas but I’m definitely going to get it out again in time for Summer.
Chess is a beautiful game to play in the sunshine. I’m sure you’ve seen on films or TV shows (like The Queen’s Gambit) or even in real life, people sitting around playing chess in parks, often in cities. Despite it being incredibly difficult, it can also be a very chilled game to enjoy with a friend over a glass of wine.
I love a game of cards and with my boyfriend being a magician (yes, a magician who’s worked with Dynamo type magician), we are NEVER short of a packet of cards in this house. From Rummy to Uno and even Snap, there are so many fun and competitive card games to learn and enjoy and what better way to do that than lazing on the grass in the Summer.
Probably a game you’d more associate with Christmas and cold Winter nights but there’s no right or wrong time to play Cluedo – I absolutely LOVE a game of Cluedo and I get super competitive with this game. Probably more so than any others! It’s so much fun, so get some mates round, order a pizza and enjoy a couple of drinks with a game of Cluedo in the evening!
I’d highly recommend Jaques of London for beautifully presented and esquisitley made wooden toys, games and gifts. Their range is huge with products suitable for a variety of ages and I think the games I’ve received – chess, backgammon and dominos – show that they can cater for older generations too.