Playing during lock-down.

I sympathize with those who are trapped at home and feel desperate to fill their day.  As a full-time employee in an essential industry, I’m not facing the same struggles, but if I were, these are the ways I’d want to spend some of my time.  Keep reading for some suggestions on where to get free card and board games.

I think the importance of play for humans is misunderstood at best, undermined and declared childish at worst.  While so many of us are stuck at home, please don’t neglect this important aspect of our mental nourishment.  There should be times for learning, times for working, times for relief, but also time for play.  This goes for those without children as well.  It feels good to veg out, but taking time to be mentally active is very important for everyone’s well being.

Even with only a few supplies, you can provide hours of fun and games to those in your house.


There are thousands of games that can be played with a simple deck of cards, or a handful of dice, or dominoes, etc.  You could literally learn and play a different game every day with only one set of any of these game system components.

Other, more modern game systems that should be on a game lovers radar are the public domain Piecepack system, a set of 56 components on which hundreds of board games can be played.  One way to get a pack commercially is The Infinite Board Game: Introducing the Amazing piecepack System.  


Another gaming system of note is Looney Pyramids.  These plastic, stackable pyramids have had over 500 game rules developed for them.  A great way to jump into the system is through the Pyramid Arcade.  This box provides rules and enough pieces for 22 different games with the possibility of many more.


But there is still fun to be had in things you already own.  There are dozens of different games that can be played with a checker/chess set.

Plus there are free physical games available to you.  If you have a printer, and preferably some cardstock, you can find lots of different print-and-play games across the internet.  Some are demo versions of full games, while some are the full experience.  Here are some of my favorites games or resources:


BattleCON Free Preview Game

And of course, my free print-and play-game! Mario Kart Card Game

(I actually have several more print-and-play game files that I didn’t mention here, some are likely hard to find on the internet.  Let me know if you would like me to post more.)

Printing an entire game, depending on the number of components, can be a daunting task.  But there is value in handcrafting something and you can do it together as a family.

So in the end, please be safe and take care of yourself.  Pay attention to all aspects of your physical and mental health.  These are trying times for all, but it’s okay to find moments for enjoyment.


P.S. If this helped you at all, please consider sharing it with others.


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