Thrifting a Game

Now that we’re adjusting to the new school year routine, it’s time to take on this month’s 12 Months of Thrifting prompt by taking the kids to pick out a game at Goodwill. We decided to choose a board game, but other people may prefer video games instead. It’s important to let children choose themselves. Video games are normally pretty affordable too. One of my friends allows her kids to play video games and they use Gamulator to find copies of different games that they can play on the computer. They most recently played the legend of zelda: a link to the past and four swords. Maybe that’s something I should let my kids do in the future. For now, we’re playing board games. If you’re not a big thrifter, you might be surprised to know that thrift stores carry an excellent variety of games for the entire family. Games can get to be pretty pricey at regular retail stores, so I always keep an eye out for new or like-new games at Goodwill. From classics like Wizards of the Coast games like Magic: The Gathering to modern-day games, there’s something for everyone.

Here are some tips to keep in mind the next time you’re out thrifting a game at Goodwill:

• Look inside the box or game to ensure it’s still in good playing condition. Don’t worry about the outside box, as long as the game is in great playing condition, you can always use a Zip-Lock bag to store the pieces.
• Set a spending limit or wait for sales and discount days to get the best deal.
• If the instructions aren’t included, don’t worry! You can find hundreds of game instructions online, either on a website, a downloadable pdf, or even a YouTube video. Do a quick Google search on your phone when you’re at the store.
• Look for old games! The thrift store is a great place to try out a new-to-you game. I also love hunting for games from my childhood.
• Keep an eye out for educational games. I always spot great educational, STEM, and brain teaser games for kids and teens.
• If you’re shopping for puzzles, stick to the ones that are sealed and have never been opened to ensure all the pieces are in the box.
• Reuse and recycle! If you find a game that’s missing parts, you can always use the parts for different activities. A friend of mine, an American Sign Language teacher, thrifts games and re-purposes the board games by asking her students to recreate a new game to make it ASL-friendly. She also uses pieces for crafts and other activities.
• Plan a family game night, head to Goodwill, and ask the kids to pick out a game. It’s a fun and affordable way to get the family together.

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