So you want to play an escape room but your nephew is 10 and you aren’t sure he will stay engaged the whole time. Your 12-year-old sister wants to play too but you don’t want her to because she won’t help. I get it, kids don’t seem like an asset in an escape room. They seem like a distraction and one you have to pay attention to at that. I’m not going to tell you that all kids every time are helpful in an escape room, but don’t underestimate them either. Here are my top reasons why kids can make great escape artists.
They got skills.
The first thing I want to point out is that I am referencing kids that are at least 10 years old. The younger they get the less likely they are to stay engaged, as feared above. That being said, kids have some useful skills that come into play while solving your way through the room. One of the biggest is a kid’s ability to find hidden things. Kids don’t have that wall in their heads that stop them from interacting with certain objects or trying to open secret panels. They naturally touch everything anyway and in an escape room it’ a perfect environment for them to do that.
They have a great perspective.
As a parent, this is something I have to remind myself of more and more, listen to the kids more often. I mean in the room, but sometimes listening to them in general, is good too. Kids are capable of making connections that as an adult we don’t settle on because it’s “too easy” and the solution has to be harder than that. Right? Kids don’t see it that way and can sometimes bring the adults back down to Earth before they go overthinking something again.
They love it!
Finally, kids experience and express excitement, sometimes in a crazed too-much-sugar manner, but excitement. That can be infectious and you should latch onto that. A kid’s excitement sometimes heightens our own and adds to the enjoyment of the room. Have fun in the room with the kids, not in spite of them.
Kid Friendly Rooms
That leads me to the last bit I want to mention, which is accessibility. There are escape room places that just don’t allow kids under a certain age and that is because of the sophistication of the design of the rooms. The rooms are likely fragile to younger curious hands and may not engage kids under a certain age. Some places do not offer restrictions at all. Do some research when planning where to go if you have younger players to know which places are right for you and the tiny humans you are bringing.
At Escape Games Live, we have rooms that are designed for younger players. There is a temptation to think that because it’s a kid’s room that it will be too easy for them. The truth is that even though they are designed for younger brains, they are just as challenging as adult rooms are for older players. Designers don’t want their rooms to be so easy that everyone escapes in half the time. Trust that the room will be challenging and remember that the rooms are made to be fun for those ages. Also, don’t hesitate to play with them in the room if the kids let you… Let your inner child out!
Escape rooms should be fun for all ages but use some discretion when engaging kids and make sure it is suitable for them to play by checking the website of your location and making sure the room is open for the kid’s age. The rest is all about just having a good time.
James is a super nerd that has been playing games at a table or on a screen or with the sanity of others since he was about 6 years old. Some time may or may not have passed since then. James has been hosting Escape Rooms for over two years and also manages both locations for Escape Games Live as the GM. He has also played numerous escape rooms and has learned much through personal experience watching and playing rooms. In his time away from work he enjoys life with his wife and daughter as well as volunteering time with The Bodhana Group, which is a local organization that uses tabletop gaming as a form of adjunct therapy for those in need of their services, helping to develop critical thinking, planning and strategy, social skills and building self-esteem and identity by exploring each individual’s “character”. He is a fan of all things nerd which is good because his name would be a waste otherwise.