Games became a craze in the 1920s. Board games and especially sports were a new mode of being together, especially for young people.
Young men and women wanted to share their life and their spare time and did spend a lot of time doing activities together.
A new way of spending time together
The new companionate couple changed the way young people spend their spare time.
Up to before the war, men and women would seldom share time in the same activities. They usually engaged in different activities in different places.
This changed when young people started to want to spend time with people of the same age, also in the view of choosing a life partner. In order to choose, they needed to be together and see the person acting and reacting with other people. Although dances and parties were the most popular events where youths engaged with each other company, sports and sports events became increasingly popular.
The rising popularity of sports
Being in the sun had been avoided for a long time. In the 1800s, people, especially women, did all they could to protect themselves from the sun.
But around the 1920s, doctors started to support the idea that being in the sun was actually very healthy. Young people began to be in the open air a lot more often, and one of the best things to do in the sun was sports.
Going to the beach became a favourite activity for young people. Getting tanned became fashionable after being shunned for decades as the mark of heavy labour.
The beach allowed to show more bare skin. Bath suites became their own attire and for the first time, showing naked legs and arms became acceptable (though there were outcries against it and even police patrolling to check the shortness of the bathing suits).
As women dresses became lighter and the corset ever more unpopular, there was very little that could shape the body of a woman. But the desirable silhouette was thinner than ever. This made dieting and physical activity extremely popular. The modern young person was a person involved in sports.
Besides, sports events also created the opportunity to be together. Team sports, like soccer or football, often supported by colleges, became all the rage. It gave the opportunity to young men to show off their physical prowess and to women to cheer for them.
Fass, Paula S., The Damned and the Beautiful. American Youth in the 1920s. Oxford University Press, New York, 1977
Kyvig, David E., Daily Life in the United States 1920-1940. How Americans Lived Through the ‘Roaring Twenties’ and the Great Depression. Ivan R. Dee Publisher, Chicago, 2002