Wrap it up: Ta-Ka-Radi


small-takaradi-image-originalLooking for a bit o’ gen-u-ine Maine to give your true love this holiday season? Don’t want to spend a fortune? Okay, from now to Santa’s Big Day, I’ll post some ideas.

Here’s a game for all ages, Ta-Ka-Radi ($18.95). Jeff and Pattie Parsons learned the simple game while working in Africa with Outward Bound. They fashioned facsimiles of it as presents for friends and family as presents in 1978, and the game’s popularity took off.

I discovered the game in the early 1990s, and we’ve always loved playing it. No electronic gizmos or wingdads, it’s a simple game that requires calmness and strategy. And it’s fun. It’s small enough to tuck away for a trip, and since it doesn’t need any power, you can play anywhere, even on a camping trip.

So what exactly is it? Well, it’s a bag of 50 blocks. You begin by building a tower with the blocks, laying the blocks on end, three by three, in a grid pattern. When it’s complete, the game begins. Each player takes a turn pulling out a block from the tower, then placing it on top to continue the pattern. The game continues until the tower becomes increasingly unstable, finally falls.

By the way, the Parsons also operate Bethel Outdoor Adventures, so if you’re looking for something more active to do in the Bethel area, check it out. They offer kayaking, camping, canoeing, biking, and fishing programs.