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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Gaming with Kids

Subject: Looking for ideas to foster a love of fantasy in my kid! rss

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Chris Leigh
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Leighton Buzzard
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Hey guys,

Hope I'm not in the wrong place here, as its not strictly boardgames that I was looking to talk about. We're due with our first little girl sometime in the next month, so I'll not really be playing any serious games with her for a good few years yet, but I wondered what cool things the creative boardgame community has done in the past to help kids spark imagination and play.

I've been looking at making fairy houses for the trees in the garden to get her excited about nature and magic etc.

Another wild scheme I've come up with is over the course of the next year or so, making a treasure map and burying some treasure, hiding said map behind some grotty portrait of someone bought from a fleamarket, and leaving it in the loft to gather dust for the next 6 years. Then when we watch the Goonies for the first time I can suggest she goes and hunts for treasure in our attic, and the rest, in theory, will be history! (though if you have any hints on clues and what form the treasure might take shape I'd be really interested to hear).

So any other cool things like that, that others have done? Oh and I know I'm getting WAAAAAAAAAAAAY ahead of myself, as she only arrives next week, but I'm just super excited!
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Dave
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blunder1983 wrote:

Another wild scheme I've come up with is over the course of the next year or so, making a treasure map and burying some treasure, hiding said map behind some grotty portrait of someone bought from a fleamarket, and leaving it in the loft to gather dust for the next 6 years. Then when we watch the Goonies for the first time I can suggest she goes and hunts for treasure in our attic, and the rest, in theory, will be history! (though if you have any hints on clues and what form the treasure might take shape I'd be really interested to hear).


I've had this very idea! I haven't gotten around to it, since I haven't found good treasures!
 
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Congratulations!

Read to her every day, and get her to talk with you about the stories. Participate in playing pretend with her. Introduce her to imaginative works from the likes of David Wiesner, Maurice Sendak, and Shel Silverstein.

Maybe four years from now you can try The Nighttime Animals Save the World.
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Daniel Kearns
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For my boy, the main thing was telling him stories. Not reading stories mind you (that is mom's thing) but making up stories on the spot. Then, he'd interject with something (usually random) and I'd add it to the story. We called this game "...and then what happened?" because I'd start to trail off and get distracted and that's what he'd say. Man, he loved that. I'm terribly unimaginative but he didn't care.

Now, at 6 his imagination is going crazy and he's starting to tell stories that make no sense to me but make total sense to him.

Not sure if he'll be a gamer tho. He struggles against rules and needs to "win" all the time so he will change the game to serve his purposes. He's incredibly clever at making an argument to aid his win tho so maybe he'll be a lawyer or something.

He has some incredibly clever modifications to tic-tac-toe I should share...
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John
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dkearns wrote:
Now, at 6 his imagination is going crazy and he's starting to tell stories that make no sense to me but make total sense to him.

Rory's Story Cubes might be a thing he would like. My brother and my children like them (the children mainly when they see my brother and can get him involved in making up stories).
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Nicolette Tanksley
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anything that helps them with imaginative play is good! Now that mine are 4 & 5 we've started doing an RPG called No Thank You, Evil!. Making play houses and forts, maybe try geocaching as it's like real treasure hunting. The fairy house idea is a good one...there are lots of nature crafts like this to consider, but I usually just let mine play with natural acorns/sticks/etc. and they end up putting together something on their own. We do the same kind of storytelling as the parent above, where the kids have input into the story. We do read stories about fantasy to them. Renaissance fairs are pretty cool thing to do as well, for a special trip into fantasy land.
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Nicolette Tanksley
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And congrats! You seem to already be a hands-on parent! BTW, early on...small tunnels are cool for exploring. As are couch cushion constructions.
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John
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Congratulations!

blunder1983 wrote:
Another wild scheme I've come up with is over the course of the next year or so, making a treasure map and burying some treasure, hiding said map behind some grotty portrait of someone bought from a fleamarket, and leaving it in the loft to gather dust for the next 6 years.

That's some serious forward planning.

I can't think of any good ideas at the moment other than suggesting doing lots of different things with her and seeing what she enjoys. For nature RSPB, Wildlife Trusts, wildaboutgardens.org.uk and probably others have good resources for things to do. You can build houses for bees, hedgehogs, bats, birds, frogs, make a pond (when she is a bit bigger, we waited until our youngest was 6 but I'd have happily done it younger - my brother survived having a pond in the garden his whole life and I wouldn't leave a child unattended in a garden even if it didn't have a pond). Geocaching is fun too.
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Chris Leigh
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RPGs sound like a good shout, I'd looooove to go to a renaissance fair, but despite all the castles we don't have much of that in the UK. Getting her involved in RSPB is a good shout, i've already convinced the missus she's going to need a rabbit!

It's sounding like 5/6 is about the right age to start out with that sort of thing, I'll be looking to get some Haba games for her when she's little too.

I've kickstarted Story Realms which looks like an epic rpg for kids, and the way its going it'll be ready in time for her 5th birthday
 
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Daniel Kearns
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zabdiel wrote:
dkearns wrote:
Now, at 6 his imagination is going crazy and he's starting to tell stories that make no sense to me but make total sense to him.

Rory's Story Cubes might be a thing he would like. My brother and my children like them (the children mainly when they see my brother and can get him involved in making up stories).


Tried and failed. Get this: he doesn't like it when the dice tell him what to do. Should try again though as that was like a year ago.

I've been wanting to use them to connect missions in Shadows of Brimstone.
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Liam
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Congratulations - I'm sure she'll bring the magic too!

Mangos make good dragon eggs.
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WD Yoga
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Maybe The Siblings Trouble will help? It is a tell your story game with beautifully illustrated card.
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Nicolette Tanksley
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blunder1983 wrote:
RPGs sound like a good shout, I'd looooove to go to a renaissance fair, but despite all the castles we don't have much of that in the UK. Getting her involved in RSPB is a good shout, i've already convinced the missus she's going to need a rabbit!

It's sounding like 5/6 is about the right age to start out with that sort of thing, I'll be looking to get some Haba games for her when she's little too.

I've kickstarted Story Realms which looks like an epic rpg for kids, and the way its going it'll be ready in time for her 5th birthday



I missed out on Story Realms. soblue Maybe I'll snag a copy from people whose kids grow out of it? Anyway thanks for mentioning it (I hadn't heard of it) and for other people looking it's now called Storm Hollow.
 
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John McD
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Honestly, I think children have awesome imaginations and are drawn to the things that interest them (Which are normally things like nature and fantasy worlds). I don't think they need specific help to achieve that, your children will amaze you daily.

Barthes wrote an interesting essay which I sort of agree with (sort of don't), where he argued that giving a child anything more than sticks and stones to play with was opressive and limited their imagination. A child with a stick and stone can do anything and be anyone, but a child with a toy car can only be a racing driver or policeman or whatever.

My two boys have more than sticks and stones to play with, but when they only have sticks and stones to play with they are still entirely happy and build unlimited worlds and adventures with them.

Basically, you don't need to try and grow an imaginative child, you just need to support the imaginative child you're going to have.

All that said, it sounds like you're going to be an amazing Dad! Congratulations and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
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Matt Price
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I backed dwarven forge dungeon tiles, which are these nearly indestructible tiles you can build a, you got it, dungeon with. They're rather expensive, but my four year old boy loves 'em. I've given him a handful of DnD type toy soldiers to play with, and I've even sat down and had him help me paint some minis too. We just had another boy (7 months old now!), so in a few years, I've got a built in RPG party ready to go!

He already likes some games (Rattlesnake, Gobblers, Go Away Monster, Animal Upon Animal) but often doesn't like to lose and is prone to bending the rules a bit. I pretty much let him do what he likes when we play, and it's all good fun.

Good luck!
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Mark Smith

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There was a role play game that me and my brothers kids played a few years ago. There were 3 children ages 4 to 6 and two dads. It was called Faery's Tale.

Had to make a call as he has the book and could not find it on search here .
We did not think they would all like it and it would only last 5 minutes . Boy were we wrong.

The characters get gifts and an essence rating which is used as hit points and can be sacrificed to help with an event or even a fellow Sprite , pooka etc.wonderful to play and creatures for the boys to play too (I would be a goblin).
Be ready and open minded for imagination explosions, they will not just be coming from the kids either.

Faery's Tale Deluxewow found it. A hidden gem for kids.
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Daniel Kearns
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Great thread by the way and best wishes!

Reminded me of this I wrote in case it helps:

I'm afraid it IS a little bit scary...
 
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elac yenwod
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I think you'll be amazed you won't need much. The best way to help foster a love of anything in your kids is to show them and share your own enthusiasm for your own interests. Don't try to force feed them anything if they aren't interested but keep introducing them to new things and encourage the things they do show an interest in.
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Nathanael Robinson
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First, congratulations. You are about to go on an interesting journey that will likely change how you see the world.

Like some have already said, you won't need to do much. Having fantasy-related items--particularly those that you use--will make them familiar to your daughter, and she will likely gravitate toward them because you like them. Fantasy also tends to be the most popular genre for kids older than 7 years. Before your daughter is at that stage, she'll probably go through several stages of interest: I like dinosaurs, I like rocks, I like planets, I like the amorphous purple creature that appears on TV, etc. It's easier to share your interest in fantasy than trying to direct her interest in it.
 
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Jason Brown
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LurkingMeeple wrote:
Read to her every day

+1, you can't fail by starting here. The Goonies treasure map thing sounds awesome!
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Arvid Alfredsson Grahn
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As some people have already pointed out: read to her.
 
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David Bailey
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Geekgold for this! I may have to steal this idea for my grandson.

blunder1983 wrote:

Another wild scheme I've come up with is over the course of the next year or so, making a treasure map and burying some treasure, hiding said map behind some grotty portrait of someone bought from a fleamarket, and leaving it in the loft to gather dust for the next 6 years. Then when we watch the Goonies for the first time I can suggest she goes and hunts for treasure in our attic, and the rest, in theory, will be history! (though if you have any hints on clues and what form the treasure might take shape I'd be really interested to hear).
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Chris Leigh
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Well I've been reading to the bump for ages (Winnie the Pooh first and now were right at the tail end of Wind in the Willows ) and will read to her everynight when she's here.

Still need treasure ideas! And clue ideas for my hidden treasure hunt!
 
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David Bailey
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blunder1983 wrote:
Well I've been reading to the bump for ages (Winnie the Pooh first and now were right at the tail end of Wind in the Willows ) and will read to her everynight when she's here.

Still need treasure ideas! And clue ideas for my hidden treasure hunt!


Treasure:
how about some of the cool kickstarter metal coins in a pirate or fantasy theme. You can dirty and weather them up nicely to look aged. Maybe include a note from the treasure burier about how these aren't to be spent because they are all lucky coins or some such. You could maybe get some vintage or vintage-looking old toys (bonus points for wind-up toys) to throw in with them.

Clues:
rather than clues, how about a treasure map, using obvious landmarks in the area to lead them, eventually, to your back yard.
 
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Scott
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My daughter is 5 now, but she has been very interested in fantasy type things for a long time. I have a lot of games with miniatures and let her play with them at time. We also have some of the Dwarven Forge tile sets that she enjoys building dungeons and such with. She very memorably built a mechanic/dentist shop for the various dragons and trucks that she has figures of, but everyone had to hide when the giant walked by. She also really seems to enjoy painting miniatures with me, she started doing that when she was three and actually wanted to have a miniature painting station at her fourth birthday party (it was art themed).


Here is some of her recent work, she keeps the figures on her nightstand as bodyguards to help keep away nightmares.

I also have the game Story War. There are three different kinds of cards; characters, items, and locations. We will flip them over, she picks which ones, and then together we tell a story using whatever is revealed. She has memorized about half of them and loves to get them out and play and tell stories.
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