Playing Escape Games With Kids

After my very first Escape Game, I thought to myself, “My kids would so looovvvee this” and I really wanted to share my new hobby with them. Upon looking for venues that allow children, I was surprised how few were actually appropriate.
For our Game, it was important to me to provide a game that kids could play along side their parents. I am careful with how I word that as this is *still* a very challenging game packed with twists and turns. Kids cannot fully play the game on their own as adults still need to be present. I have learned a lot from watching kids play the game and I have a few tips that I want to share.

  1. Know your child: I am slowing coming to terms that Escape Games are not for everyone (I have a few friends that refuse to play- but honestly if they just *tried* they’d see how awesome it is!). The same can be said for kids. If your child is very anxious and doesn’t like the idea of being ‘locked’ in a room they might not want to play.
  2. Find the right venue: Use Google, read reviews and find a highly reviewed venue with accommodating staff. Customer service goes a long way to allow for some adaptability that your child might need. Also, some facilities allow for extra people outside of your group to participate so make sure you’re booking a private group.  
  3. Find the right story: As for the game, you’ve got to make sure to find an acceptable story. Even if there is a mention of something spooky it can set off a child’s imagination. Props are usually present.. so even if you can shield them from the story there might be some upsetting props in the room.
  4. Find the right game: Make sure the game is recommended for children as certain games split groups up, use handcuffs, lock you in a prison cell or have a mix of puzzles that just won’t be interesting to children.
  5. Ratios! While it’s fun to play alongside your kids or a few kids– you don’t want to have the kids outnumber the adults by too much. Make sure you are with a group that you have the ability to rein in if they get too excited or distracted.
  6. Hints are your friends: find a venue where they offer hints and preferably unlimited hints. Groups made up with children can get a little chaotic at times. You might find that you might need some extra hints to get you through some tricky parts.
  7. It’s not as easy as you think: Don’t assume just because the game allows children that it’s easy. Our game for example is challenging for both adults and kids. Our unique puzzle design appeal to a wide variety of people but we still need adults to play. This is not time for you to sit back and let the kids do the work– it’s best as you work with the team.
  8. Listen and cooperate with the kids: Children are good scavengers, they often find items or have ideas that may get disregarded by the adults. Kids are very intuitive and naturally great at puzzle solving (plus they play a lot of video games) so certainly listen to their suggestions! Be open minded, listen and cooperate as a team player. If they are showing signs of being frustrated or bored- give them small tasks to complete or involve them in your thought process.
  9. This is not another life lesson:  Try to refrain to use an escape game as a teachable moment. I understand the temptation parents! There are plenty opportunities for teachable moments, I believe this discovery needs to come from within and that is why it’s such a good experience for kids. This is a game first and foremost– would you do this with Monopoly? Mario Brother? I hope not!  Instead, go out for ice cream or a treat afterwards and discuss your experiences after you play.

Escape games are an excellent opportunity for friends and families to play together and bond together as a family. Try to involve your kids. Let everyone play a part no matter how small and overall just have fun! If you’re in the Toronto area and would like to try a game with your kids, please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns or to enquire about booking a spot.  https://www.lookingglassadventures.com