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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Gaming with Kids

Subject: Game for 25 6 year olds rss

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Andy Smith

Ohio
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Hi all,

Long story short is I will be in front of a group of about 20 to 25, 6 year olds and will be talking about law and logic (in very rudimentary terms). I wanted to play a game with them and I thought of a basic game that involves a bit of logic and wanted to run it by some people before I do.

The game plan was this. I use a deck of cards, each suit, A-6 in each suit (24 cards). Each person gets a card, but is not allowed to look at it (they can place it on their forehead for everyone else to see). Then they must, without talking, try and group together with the other kids in their suit. First group to get together wins.

What are your thoughts? Is this too hard for 6 year olds? Too easy?

The idea is there are two strategies to win. You can either figure out your card by looking around (deductive logic) or just start gathering people of a suit and see if they kick you out of the group or not (more of an inductive approach).

I have no experience with kids of this age, so advice or problems I may run into would be appreciated.

Thanks!

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Mike Bialecki
United States
Costa Mesa
California
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Although I don't have experience with that many 6 years olds at one time, I do have a 5.5 year old daughter. And one thing I have found is that the more kids she is around, the crazier she gets (kudos to kindergarten teachers whose job it is to minimize this effect). You are going to have a hell of a time getting 20-25 of these kids listening to your rules, let alone following them. The first problem they'll have is not looking at their own cards as they are walking around. And then you might have the problem that they haven't even hit the "deductive reasoning" milestone. I don't know when that kicks in. I think my daughter might be able to figure it out, but in that context, maybe not.
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Kirk Roberts
United States
Jonesborough
Tennessee
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Yeah, what Mike Bialecki said. Probably asking too much.

I have two eight year olds and have been working with larger groups of that age range recently. Whatever you come up with, make it 4x simpler and 4x more active. In other words, less rules and more running.
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Zedward Teach
Canada
Ontario
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Teacher here. I would disagree. I think they would be quite able to solve the problem. You will have a diversity of abilities, though, and I foresee something like this. Yes, some may take a peek at their cards. A small group will be unable to participate without speaking--especially if it's competitive. A small group will wait for someone else to take the lead--and a small group will step up and take that role, organizing the others into their groups, and someone will then help them into their groups.
Looks more like a whole class co-operative activity to me. This age group will have lots of issues with real or perceived injustices along the way. You can bet the 'legals' in the group will let you know who talks.
You could certainly discuss the legal and logical implications afterwards.
"How many of you managed to get through the whole activity without speaking?" What strategy did you use to solve the problem? How did you find out where you belonged?"

Beware of windows and other reflective surfaces. A gym or outdoors would be good places to do this.
Give it a try and see what happens.

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Adam P
United States
Seattle
Washington
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I'd let them look at their cards, you'll have the same results.
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Olaf Slomp
Netherlands
Moerkapelle
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My prediction: massive cheating.

I played some games with my kids' class last year (ages 6 and 7 at the time).
First one: I gave them a couple of mintes to draw a snowman, then had them switch their paper with somebody else to award points for the best snowman using conditions I had not told them beforehand (eg "one point if the snowman has a least three buttons"). (Game mechanics based on one of my favorite party games; Duplik)
Went pretty ok, but some kids added on features while judging, giving their friend they were judging higher points. Spotted by me, and told everybody not to do that. (In hindsight that may not have been the smart thing to do: this gave kids inspiration rather than the desired effect I'm afraid)
Then came round two (car) and round three (xmas tree). At the end of round three, many kids had the maximum score because they were adding on features during judging. I made no fuss about it, but did make a mental note: at this age many kids will rigg the system when it's too easy to get away with it.

In the game you describe it is VERY easy to rig the system (look at your own card then just quickly collect the kids with matching suits) without anybody being able to call them out on it
Not doubting their ability to solve it the hard way, but one kid cheating the system will break the game, and it's too easy to cheat.
Unless you are facing a class of angels of course...

 
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Andy Smith

Ohio
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Hi all,

Thanks for your help.

Just to give a post-mortem. Zeeward was right on most parts. There was some cheating, but minimal. To minimize any rule breaking, their coaches played the game as well, which i think discouraged any rule breaking. Some kids were just following the leader, but most participated, even the shy ones kind of grouped off and tried to figure out what they were.

The rule "no talking was" actually kind of a blessing, because it acted as a way to calm them down (they were getting excited at the prospect of playing a game).

I also added in an activity before the game where i had two cars and went through some car accidents and asked them who was at fault. They were really engaged.

All in all it went well, I was never more nervous speaking to a group (i have no experience with kids this age), but i think everyone had fun. Thanks again for everyone's input.

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Zedward Teach
Canada
Ontario
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(Zedward)
Thanks for the update. Kids that age respond really well to someone who makes an effort to do something fun with them.
Your pregame activity was a good idea to get them warmed up for it.
Way to go!

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