Pro Tips Needed: Getting Kids into gaming and sitting through a game

Supporter

Alright everyone, I need your best tips for getting your kids interested in gaming and then, when they are there, sitting for a rules explanation and a game play. My kids are fairly young and while they are excited to play a game, they'd rather play with the pieces than actually play or get distracted pretty quickly. Help!

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Supporter5 months ago

Incidentally, the most recent podcast episode from Board Game Closet was on this very topic: 

http://boardgamecloset.com/ep-58-raising-gamers/ 

5 months ago

I started mine around the age of 3-4 just playing simple games that got them used to rolling dice, taking turns, moving pieces, etc.

By 5-6 they were playing games I actually wanted to play for myself, but it does require some managing. I found the following helpful:

  • Kids have shorter attention spans so short games work better
  • A toy or something to fiddle with between turns helps keep them at the table and happy
  • Games with open information are easier to help them with, especially if they aren't reading a lot
  • Co-operative games can be easier to ease them into as you are working together. You have to be able to let them make their own choices, though.
  • Don't try to push games on them too often. I found it better to keep it to once a week or so until they started coming to me to ask to play things. Any more than that and they tended to want to do other things.

There are a number of pretty good games for smaller kids available, too. We've enjoyed Rhino Hero, Ice Cool, Outfoxed, Om Nom Nom, Tsuro and Race to the Treasure.

Now my kids are a bit older (5 and 7), Zombie Kidz Evolution is a big hit, as well as My Little Scythe, Love Letter: Batman, 5 Minute Marvel, Santorini

My 7 year old likes Wingspan and Stone Age too, but it's tricky to find time to play those as we don't like to exclude the 5 year old.

Supporter5 months ago

Awesome suggestions! @CutGlass was the inspiration for this post with a suggestion he made on a different post thread. I just got Rhino Hero so I'm looking forward to playing that with them!

5 months ago

I've been teaching my now-five-year-old different games recently, seeing what he gets and what still eludes him. He just loves being a part of it. One of his favorites is #Forbidden Island, and it's a good one to play with him since we can coach him. I taught him #Bullfrogs on Sunday, and while he understood the actions, thee strategy was way above him haha

In general, I find cooperative games are good (#My First Castle Panic, for example), and dexterity games are also very accessible (#Animal Upon Animal, #Ice Cool, etc.). But games more to their level are also good, like #Don't Break the Ice, #Snakes & Ladders, and those simple roll-and-move games. They're pure drudgery for the adults sometimes, but it is a good place to start since they're able to follow what's going on. We also play stuff like #Hungry Hungry Hippos, #Angry Birds: Knock On Wood Game, #The Puppy Game, #Escape from the Hidden Castle (formerly known as Midnight Party), and other classics.

But it does get easier as they get older.

Supporter5 months ago

Nice! We have another classic roll and move - Candyland - that my kids like. It usually devolves toward the middle end of just picking up and playing with the pieces or my son just wanting to only land on blue squares because that's his favorite color lol

Supporter5 months ago

How old are your kids? I've got a 3 year old and I've tried playing a little bit of #Ice Cool but it's mostly just flicking things in the direction I point him in. It's fun in it's own way but I do look forward to when he can think through things and think before acting.

5 months ago

We play Ice Cool with our 3- and 5-year-olds (he turned 5 today!!!). They are good at it! Even the younger one. Very accurate. But the concept does elude them sometimes and we have to coach them on who to go for and what to do. It's definitely a good one for kids, even if you do just flick around for fun without the rules.

Supporter5 months ago

#Ice Cool has been a theme in this thread. I'll have to pick it up sometime

Supporter5 months ago

I have a 3 and a 5 year old. Ice Cool would be a good one to get them 

Supporter5 months ago

I think right now I'm getting my kids excited about future gaming by letting them play with some of the pieces to other games just for fun. Later, I'll show them the actual fun they can have with them. I've done this with #Stuffed Fables and #Heroes of Land, Air, & Sea

5 months ago

I'm not sure I'd trust my kids with my HoLAS minis haha You're very brave.

Supporter5 months ago

haha! Well I didn't let them play with the cardboard constructs and only one of the races so it was just one color out. So it was bravery in a very controlled setting lol