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International Tabletop Games days

Players holding game cards as they sit around a table playing a board game. Source: Canva

Do you love a good game of Scrabble? How about Cluedo, Monopoly, Snakes and Ladders? Or what about Dungeons and Dragons, Exit, or Suspects?
If you (or your kids) do, then 1 June is the day turn off the screens for an hour or three and celebrate National Tabletop Games Day. It’s what some of us at the Coop did!

Missed the 1 June celebration? It’s never too late to schedule a belated tabletop game session with your nearest, dearest, or gaming pals, then take heart: the whole of November is International Games Month!

Chess pieces, dominoes and wooden counters mixed together in a jumble with a dark circle and white text that reads 1st June International Tabletops Games Day.

What is TableTop Games Day?

Back in 2013, Geek and Sundry’s Boyan Radakovich (a games producer), established 1st June as International TableTop Games Day in a bid to get players off their gaming screens and indulge in some old-timey good fun with people in the same room.
On 1st June, players gather in homes or at venues hosting games such as cafes with large tables. Dice are rolled, cards are ruffled (maybe even some feathers), and hands are dealt with the aim of having fun or to settle competitive grudges, so continuing a tradition of game-playing believed to be over 2,000 years old!

What is International Games Month?

It all began in 2007 when Jenny Levine and Scott Nicholas hosted an event to attempt a Guinness Record for the most number of people playing the same game at the same time. International Games Month began in 2008 when the American Library Association (ALA) decided to grow National Games Day internationally. In 2022, International Games Month was declared, and now includes International Games Day (1 November) and International Games Week (1 to 8 November), leaving you with no excuses to miss out on all the fun.
This tradition has grown across the world. It numbers thousands of libraries across various countries as participants, and hundreds of librarians and volunteers as facilitators.

Colorful Uno cards in a person's hand with more cards on the table with a dark circle and white text that reads International Tabletops Games Day Time To Lay Down Your Cards.

What Games Can We Play?

These days, with a wealth of boardgames available, you’ll be able to find a game to suit any theme, skill level, or number of players.

If you’re unfamiliar with newer boardgames, begin with a nostalgic childhood one: Scrabble, Monopoly, Risk, Battleships, Cluedo… take your pick. If you’re already very into boardgames, then choose your favorite, or swap a game with a friend to see if you’d like to add it to your collection. Don’t forget! This fun games day is the perfect excuse to run an extra Dungeons and Dragons session or stage a Murder Mystery Dinner.

Feeling creative? Why not make up a new game or modify and old one with the kids, your friends, or just by yourself?

Wooden African game with colorful marbles as counters in depressions while a dark circle and white text that reads International Tabletops Games Day Pick one.

Are There Free Resources?

Yep, and a lot more than you may realize!

  • Begin at your local library that may have a few games on loan. During International Games Month, there may be some new ones to try out if they are donated by game companies and stores.
  • Look online. ALA has a dedicated page for free games with printable downloads. Some game producers often have free printable versions of their games particularly for role-playing games (RPG). Searching on dedicated online games stores can also unearth printable games that may be exclusive to that site or games-maker looking for some feedback.
  • Swapping with friends and family is another good way to extend the number of available games, especially if you’d like to try before buying.

How Can I Make It More Fun?

Here’s where the Coop can help you to turn an annoyed cluck into good luck! Creative folk are invited to support our store owners by buying unique, handcrafted gaming pieces (including RPG dice), clothes and accessories for costumes or to dress up the table, paper-craft for stationery enthusiasts wanting to make a greater impact, and printables from our digital art and crafts stores. Some stores carry handcrafted games, too. For those with a strong creative-streak, we have lots of interesting and one-off items that would serve wonderfully well for a truly one-of-a-kind game or game set up.

Mahjong tiles piled on each other in a scattered way with a dark circle and white text that reads: 1st June Make Your Move. International Tabletop Games Day.

For more ideas, you may want to read our blog post for gamers and cosplayers.

So, unpack that game (or game idea). Gather those friends and family. Snag some snacks and personalized game pieces, and take a few hours to put your own spin on this age-old past-time.

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