There are many things I loved about my time in Finland, and learning about the game Molkky was definitely one of them.
One evening when we were staying with our family they suggested we play Mölkky. As we sat at dinner they tried to explain this summer garden game to us. Like bowling, but with no ball, I was having trouble envisioning it. Once it was all set up it became clear and just as they had described it.
Veikka volunteered to keep score for us, and after setting up we were ready to get started.
Nancy began with a bang, knocking down all the pins on her first try, scattering them about. We set them up where they fell and then it was my turn to give it a try. In my first attempt I was not quite as successful as Nancy but still made a decent showing.
There were a lot of laughs as we played. So simple and so much fun.
Rules To Play Mölkky
1. First player to 50 wins
2. If you knock down 1 pin you get the amount shown on the pin, if you knock down more than 1 pin you get the number of pins you knock down
3. If you go over 50 points you go back down to 25
4. When pins get knocked down you set them up exactly where they fall
5. Have fun!
By the end of the first game we knew we needed to bring it home.
When we returned to Helsinki a few days later, we were on the hunt. We couldn’t leave Finland without our own set of Mölkky. We tried several sports stores, toy stores, big department stores. The answer was always the same. We don’t carry that game, but you should try (fill in store name) they should have it. This led us on a wild goose chase through the city. Mölkky was eluding us!
It wasn’t until we made it to the airport hotel that we finally found the game.
With time to kill, we walked over to a mall not far from where we were staying (we promised each other we would only be getting lunch since we had NO ROOM for even one more souvenir). And wouldn’t you know it, there was Mölkky, sitting on the shelf of an outdoors store waiting for us to take it home.
Of course as soon as we saw it we all looked at each other and realized that we had been searching for something we didn’t really like have any room for in our suitcases. What were we planning to do if we actually found it? Buy it.
And that’s exactly what we did. We bought a game we didn’t really have room for, that we somehow managed to find a way to squeeze into one of our carry on suitcases.
I’m so glad we found Mölkky so we can play at home. I’m thinking I might have to make a few more sets and introduce it to my students next year. It is the perfect game to practice addition!