Room Escapes are games, but does that mean they are for children?
Can kids play escape games?
You know your kids.
If they are generally jittery, then they probably aren’t ready.
If they struggle to focus, then this probably isn’t going to be their thing.
If they meltdown when they lose, then there is roughly an 80% chance they will meltdown at the end of the game.
What should I do differently to make this fun for kids?
Ideally, find something that is designed with children in mind like 5Wits (Espionage & Tomb) or Can You Escape? Long Island’s Back to Basics.
Truly child-friendly games are few and far between, so I’d pick your nearest escape game and follow the tips provided by Errol from The Codex & REDivas:
Let them ask for the hint – If asking for a hint bruises your ego, get your kid to do it. That’s what I do.
Flashlights are fun – If you have a dark room, make sure they give you enough flashlights for the kids to hold. You DON’T want arguments on who gets the flashlight.
Searching is fun – Hide and seek is still a fun game for them. Let them search for stuff. They’ll be better at it too. My youngest loves looking through books to find things. Good thing, I hate doing that.
Keys and Locks are fun – The act of unlocking a lock is fun, regardless of who solved it. Let them do it.
Give Hints – If you see a solution to a puzzle, then help the kid out with hints! Show them the pattern or clue that lead you to the solution. Don’t tell them the solution or do it for them. Let the kid get the satisfaction of solving the puzzle!
Tell them what to do – Some may need direction. If you aren’t normally the one to help guide the flow of an escape room, you will have to with kids.
One addition to Errol’s tips
Buy out the room you’re playing.
While I haven’t experienced this firsthand, I’ve had friends buy half a room and find themselves playing with a young family. The mother got angry at our friends because they were trying to play the game, and she wanted her kids to do everything. That’s a perfectly reasonable desire… If, and only if, she had bought the full room.
Instead she bought half a room and gave some strangers a really bad experience. Our friends showed up to play and found themselves babysitting.
Escape games are an awesome way for a family to have fun.
Remember, most of these games aren’t designed for children. So if you want to play with your kids choose your game carefully, be considerate of other players, and with a little effort it can be a family experience you all can enjoy.
These tips are specifically for playing with children. For more tips, check out our Player Tips section.
Oh! Buying out a room is a very good tip. Where I am, rare is it to be in an escape room with another group.
Interesting. That is not the case in the New York area.
I never considered that being a common thing. If I ever make it to a room there (or elsewhere) I’ll take that more into consideration.
Here, there are two companies that require 12 people, so they will fill it with randoms (as we call them). But every other room, we’ve never played with people we don’t know.
We call them “randoms” as well… Sometimes “randos.”
My observation is that the more expensive rent is, the more likely you are to have them. Around NYC and San Francisco it’s very common if you don’t buyout the room.
Yes, that makes sense. I should add that tip to our tips…
Here in the Netherlands, it seems that the only option is to pay for the room as a whole, which makes it more expensive for smaller teams. They don’t seem even give an option to put different groups together in the same room.
I’m about to try my first room in a couple of weeks. 🙂
From what I can tell, playing with strangers is far more common in the United States (and more specifically in cities with expensive rent like NYC and San Francisco).
Good luck on your first room!