Kavade (pronounced ka-va-day) ToyHive in Sheshadripuram, has been around since 2009 and is named after the Kannada word for cowrie-shells, which are often used in a traditional game of Chowkabaara. Games at Kavade aren't really available anywhere else. These include one-of-a-kind cloth or wooden chess sets, Kalamkari-printed boards of Pagade/Chaupad (a mythology and strategy game) or charakas (spinning wheels).
The wares here are made with natural material like wood and palm leaves, making most of them eco-friendly. Kavade also stocks games that double as learning aides – for example, games that help teach counting, strategy, or hand-eye coordination. Also look for Channapatna toys, puppets, and simple musical toys such as rattles and whistles. Spinning tops, marbles, gilli danda, brain-teasers, and even books that mean we’ll no longer panic when our phones die or the internet’s down.
Like many others, the games have recommended minimum ages – and no upper limit. So you needn’t be a parent to spend a day browsing the nostalgia-steeped offerings here. In recent years, they’ve also expanded their activities to include workshops, story-telling sessions, game afternoons, film screenings, and neighbourhood walks. If you visit when the knowledgeable, passionate owner is around, you’ll be lucky to get recommendations and a wealth of trivia on the board games. Kavade's latest launch is a DIY snake & ladder kit in gond and kalamkari variants. The gameboard comes as a jigsaw puzzle and you can paint the gameboard and the game elements taking inspiration from the artforms. Pretty cool!