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. You come to Kavade for the kind of games you just won’t find 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 a range of interesting materials such as wood and palm leaves, making most of them unusually 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. What we especially love are the simple games that we could spend hours absorbed in. 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.