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What To Do with Old Games – Repurpose Guide

Board games have been a staple of childhood since time immemorial.

Whether they’re played at family gatherings or during the summer after school program, kids love them and parents have always embraced the idea that board games are a form of ‘learning to learn.

But as our lives change and we find ourselves in increasingly demanding jobs, many of us don’t have time for board games anymore.

Are you stuck wondering what to do with the many old games you have lying around your house?

What to do with old board games

You might have been holding on to a collection of board games because it’s a tradition within the family or because you have fond memories of the games.

But now that you’re an adult with too much responsibility, you don’t have time for board games anymore.

How do you handle this?

Well, for starters, don’t get rid of the games.

Instead, repurpose them using the following ideas.

Start playing

The reason your board games have become old and forgotten is that you haven’t played them for a long time.

They’re gathering dust in the garage and are beginning to look old and out of fashion.

You could try to rekindle the magic of your childhood by picking up the games and bringing them back to life.

You can add some new life and excitement to the games by playing them with your kids, spouse, or friends.

There is so much potential in games that the average person attending a family reunion or summer camp can learn a lot.

Just think about all of the toys you had in your childhood, and how much better off you are now because of these simple plastic pieces.

There is also something so satisfying and nostalgic about playing board games again.

The process of getting together with friends, laughing, arguing, and having fun reinforces friendships that have ebbed over time.

There is no better way to spend time with your friends or even kids than by playing board games.

Host a game swap

Hosting a game swap is an excellent way to clear out the closet and put those games to good use.

Invite a handful of friends over, tell them you’d like to play a few old favorites, and assign each person two or three games.

When the party starts in earnest, pass out the games that were assigned to you.

You can create your own rules as a group; maybe every third game is determined by a raffle or lottery.

No matter how you divvy up the games, this is a great way to enjoy your old collection and gives your friends a chance to play some new games.

Sell old games

The truth is times are hard, and we all have to cut costs whenever possible.

If a couple of your board games featured prominently in the family’s summers, you might be able to auction them off if the value is right.

And many gamers are willing to buy old games from fellow gamers at garage sales, flea markets, and other yard sales.

Another suitable option is the online marketplaces.

By setting up an online auction you can receive bids on your games and increase their value.

The nice thing about auction sites is that you can regulate the process independently.

They even offer an escrow service; so if you’re uncomfortable with a sale to a bidder who has no history with the website, your payment is held until it is released by the website.

Try online sites such as eBay, Amazon, Champs, and Pawn Stars.

Donate old games

If you’re completely done with your board game collection and have no desire to play ever again, consider donating them.

There are many groups devoted to teaching children basic skills through games.

The opportunities are endless and your donations will be put to good use.

Old-fashioned games can be enough fun to keep the children busy for hours at a time.

Consider donating some of the games that may have been a part of your childhood, for example, the original Monopoly, Snakes and Ladders, and Candyland.

Donate old board games to children’s daycares, children’s hospitals, and schools.

Many schools are doing away with the recess in favor of more interactive learning time in the classroom, so they could make excellent use of these games.

With that said, ensure none of the games you’re donating have missing parts or pieces.

Make a game board purse

Creativity is one of the most stunning qualities in a person, and part of what makes it so great is that you really can’t teach it.

If you’re crafty, you can repurpose your old games by turning them into a purse or tote bag.

Just be sure to choose games that are easy enough for a novice to use.

You can use a board game like Monopoly for your base and cut the playfield out to turn it into a bag.

On top of the playfield, you can glue pieces of fabric to create pockets and storage spaces.

If you’re worried about the look, you could always use some colored fabrics or decorate it with charms.

Alternatively, use a game like Yahtzee for your base and sides, and then add pockets to the inside of the case where you can store your makeup, phone, and keys.

When you go out with friends, proceed to show off your new board game bag.

Homemade journal

Journals are great for keeping a record of your life.

They’re more personal, less formal, and unique than anything else.

It doesn’t matter what you write about, just as long as the content is interesting and meaningful.

Writing about experiences can be a very practical form of therapy, especially if it’s something that you can relate to personally or something that’s close to your heart.

You can use journaling as a means of creative expression or even use it as a means to improve your memory and learn new things.

Use the board from your old board game to make a cover for your journal.

The only thing you’ll need to do is cut the board to suit the size of your journal and bind it into the book.

It will not only be unique but also fun to look at.

Make wall art

Board games often come in different designs that are colorful and eye-catching.

You may have old Monopoly games and puzzles that you can recycle into some great wall art.

The board game wall art will make amazing focal points for your home because of its size and vibrant colors.

With a little creativity and a simple design, use your old board games to create some amazing wall art.

Just be sure to pick a game that has big bold colors and avoid those that are too busy or complicated, otherwise, it could end up being too difficult to make out specific details.

Choose a good frame for the board game wall art and you’re good to go.

You’ll be reducing clutter while holding on to sentimental pieces.

DIY board game shelves

If your board games are taking up a significant portion of your closet and you’re looking for a way to display them so you can still see them, consider making your own custom shelves.

This technique is a fantastic way to get organized and it can be especially useful if you have a large board game collection.

All you need to do is get the board and add some L brackets at the back before hanging it on your wall.

Put small and lightweight items on top of your new shelves to avoid damaging the board.

Create scrabble signs

Do you have a large collection of scrabble puzzles?

Then you should definitely use them to make some great signs.

You can use them to alert people to important messages in your home or office, such as “no shoes”, “do not disturb”, or “ceiling fan”.

Whatever message you want to express, you can put it on a scrabble sign for your family and friends to see.

Another great way to use your scrabble signs is to hang them on the walls of your home or office.

This will create a decorative touch, while also reminding you of important things that should be done.

This is especially a good idea when there are a few scrabble tiles missing from your collection.

DIY Jenga keychain

A Jenga set can look absolutely boring and pointless when sitting on a table.

However, you have to admit that the game is quite fun.

If you have some spare time, why not make your own Jenga key chain?

It will remind you of your love for the classic board game while also allowing you to carry your keys in style, all on the same key ring.

It’s a quick project that is easy to create.

And you’ll have the chance to paint the block your favorite color if you want or make beautiful designs.

Make scrabble or Jenga jewelry

Do you have some pawns and scrabble pieces lying around?

It’s time to put them to good use.

Use them to make delectable jewelry, such as this scrabble bracelet with a message on it.

You can use a bunch of scrabble pieces to create gorgeous necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.

You just need to bundle up all your old scrabble pieces and begin crafting.

It’s a great excuse to get your hands messy and enjoy the process with your children while they create their own jewelry designs together.

DIY Dominoes clock

Another fun and simple project is the DIY dominoes clock.

Make a clock out of dominoes and hang it on your wall or place it on your desk.

Display it in a prominent place so you can see the time at a single glance.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an expert at dominoes, just be sure to organize them properly to create the right pattern and order.

Once you get the hang of it, it will be a breeze.

You can use this DIY project to teach your children the basics of time, or simply to keep it as a reminder that you have more than enough time to accomplish your work and fulfill all your goals.

Final Thoughts

The world of board games is a wonderful place that provides endless opportunities for entertainment and education.

Board games are a great way to provide an enriching environment for growing minds.

It’s a great opportunity to spend quality time with children, and they can be used to bond with different generations too.

You’re bound to have some great memories attached to old board games in your home.

There is no limit to creativity when it comes to creation, and you can use your old board games in a fun new way every day.


What do you do with board games you don’t want?

Donate them to children’s hospitals, family shelters, and orphanages.

There are plenty of charities that can help.

Are board games environmentally friendly?


Most board games are made of wood, plastic and cardboard/paper, and once you’re done with them you can either donate them to charity or recycle them.


  • Jen Wheeler

    Jen Wheeler, co-founder of Recycling-Revolution.com, holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Yale, and Stanford. A renowned environmentalist, she's championed sustainable practices at global events and leads EcoBright Solutions, focusing on recycling education and eco-friendly products.

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