Tree Services Toys

You’ve got to think I’m nuts. What is this guy on about? Barrels of Monkeys and now some tree services¬†toys? What are those and who the heck cares about it anyway? I want to read about board games and this guy is writing about everything but those things.

I hear you. I know how frustrating it can be when you look forward to someone writing stuff on a blog that you actually want to see. Well, sometimes blog writers get a little off course and next thing you know, they’re writing about all sorts of stuff that you aren’t really interested in. I promise you that won’t happen here. I’m a lover of board games and that will always be the case. What I am doing here is going off track a bit to talk about little kid board games rather than adult ones.

Melissa & Doug are an American toy manufacturer that primarily makes toys for preschoolers and some young school aged children. The great thing about their products is that they tend to be made out of wood. It is my understanding that the initial wooden pieces came from having a tree cut down in their yard. That sparked the idea of going old school and making toys out of wood like they would have been made pre-WWII. It was only with the creation of plastic did wooden toys go by the wayside. Plastic was cheaper to make, could be molded pretty much into any shape and was durable. Wooden toys just couldn’t compete.

Melissa & Doug’s toys are great for little kids. If they happen to chew on them, no big deal as the paints are non-toxic and the little bit of wood won’t hurt them any. Because their target audience is younger children, the pieces are large and much easier to find than for adult games or games with plastic pieces. I can’t tell you how many times we lost our Sorry! or Trouble markers when we were little. It was a pain because we had a cat and she would love to bat them around. Sometimes we could find them and other times we just couldn’t.

I wanted to give a shout out to these wooden toy makers. They have really made a big splash in the toy and games market for younger children. Their stuff is everywhere and it sounds like they are …


Barrel of Monkeys

barrel of monkeys

I know, I know, this technically is not a board game but it is a game that I loved playing by myself and with my siblings. I’m not even sure how old I was when we got 2 Barrels of Monkeys to play with. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, they were HUGE in the 1970s. Someone made a killing on these things. The great part was that you could string them together and do all different things with them.

My sister used to string them around her neck and make a monkey necklace. My brother and I would fling them around the room. We’d try to see how many we could put together and then gently try to swing them to see how high we could go and how far we could fling them. We also created a ring toss kind of game where one of us held a monkey and the other would try to toss another monkey and get it hanging from the first. I think we never got more than 4 or 5 hanging before we had to climb up on a chair or the couch to be able to get a few more on there.

We had a lot of fun with these stupid things. We would make a train of them by combining the 2 sets and we would drag them across the carpet. One of us would try jumping over the monkey train. We would have monkey invasions with our GI Joes where it was sort of a Planet of the Apes meets GI Joe. It was a lot of fun kids playing.

I recently rediscovered the monkeys at my parent’s house when I was searching through some stuff in the garage. I only managed to find 4 of them. They’re really faded. No idea where the other monkeys are or where the barrel is. Maybe some day I’ll find them and maybe I won’t. Either way, coming across 4 of them was pretty exciting. I was immediately flooded with memories of playing with these little guys and the hours of fun we all had with them.…




Obviously, I’m referring to the game by that name. I loved playing this game with my siblings. We would sit around usually on a weekend night and we would play.

What I liked about it was the simplicity. Pretty much, if you could count, you could play the game. It was great. My little brother could play with us because he could count and we would help him with the cards. It’s a great way to teach kids how to count and recognize numbers. The rules are really simple as well making it a game that pretty much anyone can play so long as they can count and move the pieces around the board.

The best part about this game was the sliding. We would love to bump other pieces off the board when we got to slide. I’m sure if you were like us, you would do the same thing and practically send your opponent’s piece flying off the board on a slide. We would just love doing that. I swear there would be a devilish look in our eyes when we would count and realize that we were landing on a slide and could knock our brother or sister’s piece off. It was such a little thrill!

We played this game a lot. Monopoly didn’t come into play until we were older and could strategize better. Sorry was simply following what the card read and going from there.

Not much else to say about this game. Like Monopoly, it is quiet old–early 1930s. It just goes to show that simple games can have longevity.…


I’d love to have a Monopoly

I don’t know for sure if I can even call this name by it’s proper name or if I will be somehow getting myself in trouble with Parker Brothers¬†for using the name of one of their most famous games without permission. I believe I can use the smaller “m” version. Either way, you know what game I’m talking about.

I think I was around 7 years old when we started playing. I usually played with the thimble. My brother played with the racecar and my sister played with the dog. I can’t remember what everyone else played with.

I just read this article not long ago about all the different player pieces the game had. There were originally 6 pieces. Story goes that the creator of the game wanted people to play with articles from around their home that they were familiar with. The original pieces were:


monopoly game pieces





Now that I’m thinking about it, who would have a cannon and an battleship in their house? Not most people. So I’m starting to think this story isn’t exactly accurate. Or maybe part of it is. Given that the game started in the 1930s, people would have been very familiar with these iconic pieces. I think the truth lies somewhere in between.

The history of this game is fascinating. The idea for it was created by a woman in the early 20th century. It was originally called “The Landlord’s Game”. She had it patented. She was part of religious organization and she used it to teach her fellow congregants. It appears that many people copied her game and made their own boards. Ideas for the game changed over time. Eventually, it came to be known as the Monopoly game we’re familiar with today.

It’s really interesting to read about how the game has changed over time and about the whole issues of patents for the game. Parker Brothers originally rejected The Landlord Game yet bought the rights to Monopoly which was based on The Landlord Game. Monopoly has several features that are different but the basis of the game is essentially the same.

Either way, it has been a very popular game for a long time. I don’t think there are many adults who have grown up in Canada and the US who haven’t at least played it once.

One of the most …