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Subject: Co-op games for little kids (ages 4-6)? rss

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aymaster
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I'm wondering if there are any co-op games for little kids. I own Pandemic, Flash Point, Forbidden Desert, and Space Alert, but I think that right now they're too advanced for my 6- and 4-year-olds. I have plenty of games for them, but I'd like to see about co-ops so that I can use games to teach them to work together rather than always facilitating competition. Any suggestions?
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Nimrod Becker
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Haven't played it (mine are younger than 4 ) but take a look at
Geister, Geister, Schatzsuchmeister!
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Mako Chan
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All the games by Peaceable Kingdom are co-op games. Probably the one that has some actual strategy is Race to the Treasure!



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T. Dauphin
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Any of the games by these guys;

Family Pastimes

They're specifically designed for that age group. The upside is that you can usually find some in your local neighbourhood thrift shop.

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Jerry Martin
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First Orchard
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Derek Lee
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My just-turned 4 year old daughter loves Richard Scarry's Busytown: Eye found it! Game.

We sometimes play with her cousins who are 5 and 7 years old and they really enjoy it too.

I'll also second the recommendation for Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters. I have that but haven't had the chance to introduce it yet.

Another popular choice is Castle Panic.

Good luck.
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Nimrod Becker
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+1 Family Pastimes

Was just about to add
Hoot Owl Hoot!
 
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Cliff Roberts
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Our first family co-op was Caves & Claws. Nothing extraordinary, but it was a nice light intro for them.
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Brendan Riley
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+1 for Castle Panic, though I'd buy the Wizard's Tower expansion, as after 5 games or so of the original it will get a bit tired -- the wizard's tower adds a lot.

I haven't got the other expansion yet, as the kids seem to have moved out of Castle Panic enthusiasm.
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Robert Beachler
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tanik wrote:

Any of the games by these guys;

Family Pastimes

They're specifically designed for that age group. The upside is that you can usually find some in your local neighbourhood thrift shop.



These for sure, they are poor quality overall but perfect for that age. Another might be Escape: The Curse of the Temple as it's mainly just dice rolling and moving around.
 
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Josh Buchanan
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wombat929 wrote:
+1 for Castle Panic, though I'd buy the Wizard's Tower expansion, as after 5 games or so of the original it will get a bit tired -- the wizard's tower adds a lot.

I haven't got the other expansion yet, as the kids seem to have moved out of Castle Panic enthusiasm.


I respectfully but completely disagree with adding Wizards Tower for kids this young. Castle Panic is perfect. Adding WT turns it into something not only considerably more difficult, but you will constantly be looking up rules for the new monsters.

As for other suggestions the 6 yr old could definitely play Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game.
 
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aymaster
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Thanks, everyone, for your responses! Lots of good ideas for me to consider.

I'm going to check out Caves & Claws some more. Sounds intriguing and funny. Race to the Treasure! might also work for us.

Sadly, I think that Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters, Castle Panic, and Escape: The Curse of the Temple wouldn't work for us for thematic reasons. My kids might find them too scary.
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TTDG
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Max = 3 small animals evading the cat named Max. The game is simple enough to draw a quick copy on paper, add 2 dice, 4 figures and 3 treats and start playing a crude version of it in minutes. If you have different figures at hand than cute animals, retheming it is nearly instantaneous with a bit of imagination. I think there is some story of someone playing it with just a chalkboard and a die, and another with a Star Wars retheme. Give it a quick go with what you have. But, it is also cheap to buy when you want the fancy art.
 
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aymaster
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Max is a great recommendation! I'm excited about that one, and I think the kids would like it too. Thanks!
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Sonya ~
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We played a LOT of Family Pastimes cooperative games when my kids were in preschool and early elementary. Our favorites (and the ages where they hit the sweet spot for my kids) were:

Walk in the Woods (2.5 - 8)
Max (2.5 - 8)
The Secret Door (4 - 9)
Caves and Claws (4 - 9)

Family Pastimes' components are very basic (I wish the cardboard chits were thicker), but the games only cost about $12 each and we definitely got our money's worth from many plays of the games before our kids outgrew the games.

The best part about these games is that they allow the players to make decisions that actually affect the game. So many games for very young children just have the players roll or spin or draw a card and then move their pieces however luck dictates (Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, etc.).

And the games have enough theme and suspense to them that they are still fun for older siblings and parents to play with the youngest members of the family. I don't think I could have coaxed my nine year old to suffer through a game of CandyLand with his four year old brother, but he was content enough to play any of these quick 15 minute cooperative Family Pastimes game with younger siblings.
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Justin Fuhrmann
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I know you said you had Forbidden Desert, but have you looked at Forbidden Island? It's a little simpler than the desert version. Personally, I think desert is a better game, but island might work better in your situation.

My daughter is 8 now, but she has been playing co-ops with us since she was 5. Her favorite from day 1 was Mice and Mystics. If a whole chapter at once is too long, it might help to break it up and just play one tile at a time. She has also enjoyed Gem Rush, Castle Panic and Flash Point for several years now. Gem Rush actually has both a co-op and a competitive mode, and we found we liked co-op better.

We learned to avoid real-time games with her. We tried Escape, and she just didn't have the dexterity yet to roll that many dice, that fast, without constantly dropping them on the floor. I know Space Alert would not go well with her because she doesn't like to make decisions and doesn't usually do well under pressure.
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Shawn
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We've been playing Castle Panic with our kids for over a year and it goes pretty well. The 5 year old needs a little help with strategy now and then but it's very easy to guide him through his turn.
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aymaster
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Thanks for all those Family Pastimes recommendations! I had never heard of the company before starting this thread, and I'm very intrigued by all their games. I think that's more their speed than games like Forbidden Island, which I think would be too complicated right now.

Justin, good point on real-time games. I agree that my kids are too young to really do well at those.

For thematic reasons, I'll hold off on Castle Panic. Perhaps when the kids are older.

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Bart R.
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I second Geister, Geister - my daughter (5) loves it.
 
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Ir. Marcel
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Wer war's?: Mitbringspiel is a very nice and cheap game. I never played the big version of it, so I cannot comment on that, but I have the small edition and my 4 year old daughter loves it.
 
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John Wilder
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If you don't like Castle Panic, you might not like Zombie Kidz, but that would work well for that age.

My daughter loves to play My First Carcassonne as a co-op. We try to see if we can get all the meeples on the board before we run out of tiles. That got too easy fairly quickly, so now she plays that we need to place the last meeple for all the colors on the same turn in order for it to be a win (which isn't much more difficult, but I have her make most of the decisions). I enjoy playing that with her.


 
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Arno van Mark
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My kids (also 4 & 6) love Mmm!. It is the perfect next step game after My First Orchard.
 
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Mike Cribbs
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My 4-yr old daughter and I play "Hoot Owl Hoot" from Peaceable Kingdom fairly regularly and it's a nice break from Princess Candyland and Finding Nemo Go Fish.

Although it doesn't have "real" strategy there are some decisions for the little ones in regards to which owl to move with your drawn card. Mine has a tendency to want to try and get the Owl in front home as soon as possible, even to the detriment of the other owls chances (and likely a victory).

Mike C
 
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aymaster
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All great suggestions. Thanks!
 
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James C
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Forbidden Desert
Forbidden Island
 
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