302 – How to Raise Little Gamers – The Family Gamers Podcast

boy holding large dice
boy holding large dice

Episode 302
How to Raise Little Gamers

You love to play board games and card games, and maybe your spouse does too. But now you’re parents. Must kids spoil all your fun, or can you raise them to enjoy games with you?

302 Fact! – Thor: Love and Thunder brought in a solid $302 million at the global box office for its opening weekend.

Sponsor message: Go to firstmovefinancial.com/familygamers to set up a quick chat and start taking steps to dig out of debt.

What We’ve Been Playing

Royal Visit
Marvel Dice Throne
The Adventure Zone: Bureau of Balance (our review)
Tussie Mussie with expansions – same length game, just more options
Karak (our review)

UNDO: Cherry Blossom Festival

SNAP Review – UNDO: Cherry Blossom Festival

If your kids are strong readers and not bothered by themes of death, this non-creepy UNDO game might be a good fit. Our family really enjoyed it.

Read the transcript or watch the video on the SNAP review page.

Engaging Your Littlest Gamer

Expose your toddlers and little kids to games. It’s scary to do this with your own games, but it will be worth it! Give them pieces to play with but nothing too small or delicate. Let them sit in your lap and see what you’re doing, maybe talk through a turn. Don’t expect them to sit with you for very long, though!

“One of the best ways to get your kids excited about doing something is by being excited about doing something.”

Start small. Really, really simple games – ones with big pieces that play in less than 10 minutes. Our favorites: Off to Bed, Rhino Hero Junior, Animal Upon Animal Junior, Go Away Monster, Don’t Break the Ice. Some of these games start as a toy and eventually can be played as a “real” game.

Practice taking turns – even if it’s not a “game” yet.

Practice rolling huge chunky dice – you can probably find large foam dice in the “outdoor toys” seasonal section of your local big-box store, or try something like the Thinkfun Roll & Play.

The next step up is something like Silly Street – another game that gets kids up and moving.

Not every kid is going to like the same kind of game, so try different types: movement along a track, matching & memory, dexterity & stacking, story telling, etc.

Don’t push too hard. Games are supposed to be fun! If it’s always not fun, you need to feel that out. Maybe they don’t have the necessary skills, or it’s a lack of confidence, or it’s not the right kind of game for them. If they’re a sore loser, that’s an issue you’ll need to address too.

Gaming is a safe place to fail. It’s always hard and it’s not enjoyable.

And watch out for older siblings pressuring younger siblings! Maybe that’s why some kids think they don’t like playing a game.

Before you know it, your kids will be beating you at your favorite game. And you’ll be loving it, because you’re sharing your hobby with your children, and grown your circle of gamers in the process.

For further reference: tabletopbellhop.com/gaming-advice/gaming-with-kids

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