Rules of the game

Indoor games have long been a popular way to pass the time.

With multiple players and defined rules, they are ideal activities for the whole family - especially on rainy days and dull evenings. Relatively few older examples have survived intact, in comparison to how many were made, as they were often played until they fell apart.

Games come in a range of forms, from games of chance to those of strategy, games of physical skill and dexterity to those of intellectual or conversational prowess.

You can see these games and more in Toys through time at the Museum of Sydney. But hurry, the exhibition closes this Sunday 9 August! 

Squails a nineteenth century table game
John Jacques & Son, London, England, c1870 mahogany, ebony, boxwood, fruit-wood, metal, paper Courtesy Megan Martin Wolryche Henry Whitmore Jones (1837–1874) invented Squails and its vocabulary of eccentric terms. The game involves two teams of players who take turns flicking small wooden discs (squails) towards the jack (procese). The distance between the discs and the jack is measured by a ‘swoggle’, and the team with its discs closest to the jack wins the game. Photo © Jamie North for Sydney Living Museums

About the Author

Alysha Buss holding out a piece of cheese at a museum tasting event
Alysha Buss
Assistant interpretation curator
Interpretation & Exhibitions
Alysha Buss remembers being awestruck as a child by the mystery and wonder of museums. As the Assistant interpretation curator at Sydney Living Museums, she hopes to instill the same kind of thrill and excitement in visitors today.
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