Recommend
6 
 Thumb up
 Hide
29 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Gaming with Kids

Subject: How do you play your heavy euro games WHILE the kids are around? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Sam Mason
msg tools
I'd like to hear about other people's experiences with playing heavy games (component-heavy as well) while kids (3 to 5 year olds) are around.

My wife and I play a lot of games with the kids, but sometimes we're just itching to play more, um, age-appropriate games. We have a feeling the kids would want to participate when they see us playing, and we wouldn't know what to do. We certainly don't want them playing with the game pieces, but at the same time we really don't want to restrict them from participating as well as we feel it might somehow negatively affect their love for games. Or is the effect the complete opposite and the kids would actually become more excited as they would see bigger and grander games they would look forward to playing? What are your experiences?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carsten
Germany
Schkeuditz
Sachsen
flag msg tools
"The only thing you are going to see, is the burning hand of overdue justice." - Lobster Johnson
badge
“There are only three forms of high art: the symphony, the illustrated children's book and the board game.” - Saga
Avatar
mbmbmb
I only play these games when the kids already sleep. I really see no other solution. Heavy means mostly that the games takes long. When my older kids were at the age of 3 or 5 they never played by themselves. At least one of us had to take care of them so the other had no one to play with.
16 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Nelson
United States
Draper
Utah
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My wife might team up with the oldest 8, while I have our youngest in my lap. Or...send them to bed or to watch a 2 hour movie. Mostly, we have interruptions and just take 4 hours to play a 90 minute game. Or leave it out and play it the next day if it is a 4 hour game.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sweetgotham
United States
New York
New York
flag msg tools
badge
I saw pale kings and princes too, Pale warriors, death-pale were they all; They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci Hath thee in thrall!’
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We got a 4.5 year old game blocking us, so I sympathize. We've shifted to more light and medium wieght games that are good for 2p to play after bedtime and for heavily games I will take a day or two off from work (husband's a SAHD and student) every few months and we'll spend the day gaming until the kid's school bus gets back.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Man thinks, the river flows.
United States
Riva
Maryland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb

The advice I got here ten years ago -- "send them to bed early on trumped up charges."

Not much you can do with kids that age. They'll be older plenty soon.
19 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stuart Holttum
United Kingdom
Southend on Sea
Essex
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
They grow up, very fast. And while there are benefits (mainly to do with toilets, dressing themselves, and generally them not requiring 100% attention ALL the time) I do miss the little guys.

Can you possible have two games running on the table? One for them, one for you? My 9-year old is quite happy just being in the room with dad - he playing war with my C&C Ancients while I do a proper solo C&C Nap.

9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Reilly
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
mbmb
We have the same aged kids, and the three year old is a swiper and a grabber so having him 'help' doesn't work unless it's a kids game and he can play with extra components or something. I'll have to agree with full length feature kids movies and bedtime others posted.

Alternatively, which I'm sure you do this already, try to get some modern kids games that are a bit more play for grown ups and lap the three year old and all play. Ticket to ride first journey is one that comes to mind that has worked with us recently. Kids are just so darned cute, have fun!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Pollack
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
That is a pretty rough age. I am not out of it yet so I am also stuck only playing at home when they are asleep. That sucks but my oldest is slowly starting to learn "real" games so I know its only a matter of time before I have a few more games to play with in the house. But until then most of my gaming happens at a game night out of the house or after they go to bed.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jonathan
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
With 3 young kids, my wife and I rarely play a game sitting down. What we do instead is play on our china cabinet shelf with is about 4ft high. And we'll play a game over a few days.

18 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stuart Holttum
United Kingdom
Southend on Sea
Essex
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
polish_lancer wrote:
That is a pretty rough age. I am not out of it yet ....


Allow me to be the first to commend you on your writing skills - excellent for a 5-year old!
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt D
United States
Peachtree corners
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
brassomason wrote:
I'd like to hear about other people's experiences with playing heavy games (component-heavy as well) while kids (3 to 5 year olds) are around.

My wife and I play a lot of games with the kids, but sometimes we're just itching to play more, um, age-appropriate games. We have a feeling the kids would want to participate when they see us playing, and we wouldn't know what to do. We certainly don't want them playing with the game pieces, but at the same time we really don't want to restrict them from participating as well as we feel it might somehow negatively affect their love for games. Or is the effect the complete opposite and the kids would actually become more excited as they would see bigger and grander games they would look forward to playing? What are your experiences?


My daughter would never let us play a game without involving her. She loves games, and it just wouldn't happen.

As others have said, bed-time is about the only option. We don't want to use screen time to give ourselves a break, so we can't pop in a movie to have her watch while we play. And even if we did - I frankly don't think it would work.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Laudermilk
United States
Orange County
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Usually it's Friday or Saturday evenings so the younger two (4 and 6) are watching a movie while myself, my wife, and the 12yo are gaming. Eventually the little ones fall asleep. Other times, the littles will play together. Sometimes the 4yo really wants to be involved, so she gets a few spare pieces off to the side to play with or helps distribute counters, money, etc as needed. The short attention span means this lasts at most a couple of rounds before she heads off to do something else. BUT. My evil plot is I am culturing an interest in heavy games and building up my in-house gaming group. devil I am playing the long game.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
lampeter
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
uniconfis wrote:
With 3 young kids, my wife and I rarely play a game sitting down. What we do instead is play on our china cabinet shelf with is about 4ft high. And we'll play a game over a few days.



Wow, what an incredibly creative solution!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Cory Kelso
United States
Racine
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
like others have said, we just don't. it's either bedtime or not at all. personally, trying to play while they're awake would make me crazy.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
maf man
United States
Waunakee (madison area)
WI
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
brassomason wrote:
but at the same time we really don't want to restrict them from participating as well as we feel it might somehow negatively affect their love for games. Or is the effect the complete opposite and the kids would actually become more excited as they would see bigger and grander games they would look forward to playing? What are your experiences?

(I do not have kids but my siblings and cousins have plenty and we game all the time. So take with grain of salt that I only worry about this every once in a while)
When their under middle school age their interest in gaming will not be heavily impacted by not being included in a game once in a while. Its more about the attention or being part of a group. As they grow older you can try talking about what your playing with them more even if their eye glaze over its still being included and eventually they will get it.
All situations are different, try some of these ideas (all of which I have heard work for at least one family)
game after bedtime
play long games where a turn marker can be used and have it set up in a room the kids don't use. Long term gaming.
Play boring looking games when kids are in a touchy mood
play a game in the same room as kids as they are occupied with other activities
include them with related gaming activities; i.e. ask them to count your money
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
tfoz 15
United States
Maryland
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
6, 4, and .5 year olds here. Like many have said, we can't play while they are awake. Our gaming occurs after bedtime. I'm a night owl, so this is fine with me. My wife who is my primary gaming partner, finds herself mentally exhausted by the time the kids go to bed and prefers to watch TV. Thus, game playing doesn't happen as often as I'd like right now.

I do play games with my 6 year old while the others are in bed and my wife watches TV. We'll play Kingsburg, Catan, Agricola all Creatures, Zooloretto, Forbidden Desert etc.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephanie Prince
Canada
Lacombe
AB
flag msg tools
I'm holding out for a Euro 'til the end of the ni-ight...
badge
Misumena vatia
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We have no kids, but when we want to game with those who do, we make sure to invite other families with kids around the same age. We have an assortment of toys and LEGO so the kids can entertain themselves for hours.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
anthony rivera
United States
Florida
flag msg tools
When my boy was that age I found that besides the bedtime bit, if I played on a table high enough you can do it. Out of sight out of mind.
Now on a heavier game the other issue is concentration which is harder lol.

My son is Autistic so I don't know if this applies to everyone, but normally what happens now is he runs over, asks a million questions in the span of about two minutes, then goes back to whatever he was doing before. This cycles every fifteen minutes.

I basically double the amount of time for a game and try not to worry about finishing it because as we parents know so well, something is bound to happen lol. Usually injury.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Minken
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
flag msg tools
badge
Connect More to your family, friends, and community over a board game.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have 3 kids - ages 7, 5, and 4. My wife and I also have a huge love for heavy-ish board games. Here are some strategies that have worked for us and our family - they are not right or wrong, just trying to contribute some additional discussion points to the conversation (great question by the way!)

1. Have a open door policy to your game room. If your kid has an interest in looking at, playing with, or exploring a game on your shelf - let them, no matter what. Do this during your time with your children. If your heavier games remain a mystery or "forbidden fruit" to your kids, then they might be a little crazy (i.e. grabby and inquisitive) when they finally see you playing it. I am not suggesting that you try to force your kids to play these games - but let their imagination and curiosity trump your gaming OCD. (Yep - a game or 2 may get damaged, but it will be cheaper than the car your kid will crash in 10 years).

Let them do a Dice Tower component drop. How fun is that. But then let them re-bag everything afterwards!! Kids love organizing stuff!

I have found that 100% of the time that my children's disorganized play of any of my board games has evolved (over time) into playing a round, or two, or even the whole game for any game that they have an interest in playing with.

When you and your spouse do play these games around your kid, they tend to be in more of a learning mode and want to see what you do with the pieces (as opposed to being more interested in the pieces themselves, which can cause a lot of problems).

A cool side effect of this policy, is that your kids will learn these games in their own way and timing. This approach generally results in the most positive outcome for both parties (regardless if they choose to want to play games in the future or not).

2. Plexiglas. Buy a piece of Plexiglas that you can lay the game on. Start playing. If your littles ignore you - keep playing. When they start seeking your attention, put the game away. Getting frustrated with your kids because you are trying to work out the perfect combo is not really a desired gaming outcome. This takes me to point #3...

3. Don't take your game seriously. I tell my kids to play to win but don't win at all costs. Similarly, don't worry if you are playing very poorly due to the multiple distractions that can/will occur. Rejoice in the fact that you are playing and people want to be there with you...that is the main goal of playing board games after all...isn't it?

Let them even take a turn for you. Why not - what's the worst that will happen - you might lose?!! It can be as simple as letting them roll your dice (Voyages of Marco Polo) to choosing a card to keep while drafting to laying your tile in Carcassone.

4. Movie Night = Game Night. The movie night suggestion has already been made, but I would like to second it. I would also add that maybe game night should start with some kid's games - include them in your game night at their level before they rush off to watch Frozen.

5. Set Up. Going back to point #1. If your kids love the pieces and playing with them. Get them to help you set the game up. I am always impressed and often surprised at how many great conversations I have with my kids when they help me set a game up.

"What is this piece?" "What does this do?" "Why are these cards different?"
And in a very sneaky way I have started to teach them the game!

6. Personalize the game for them. I am a big fan of re-theming games, or parts of games based on my kid's interests. For Desperados of Dice Town we made our own gangs. (Ok, this is not super heavy, but it can be done for a lot of games).


Dress the part. Make them a part of the game. You want to play Great Western Trail - dress like cowboys. Want to play a penguin game, put on your penguin suits!


By putting a little more effort into the environment that surrounds the actual board game, the board game becomes more interesting to everyone involved. I find that this helps with the general level of respect your kids will have for you trying to play the game and helps include them into your gaming space in a constructive way.

I show this picture, because my son wanted to wear his helmet to play Flamme Rouge so we could ride together!


But above all - make it fun for them!


Again - my intention is not to suggest that these suggestions are "right" or that I have figured anything out. I am simply sharing my experiences in hopes of generating some thoughts to those who are in a similar situation as my family.

And remember, your kids are only young once - playing a game that includes them trumps my desire to play something that does not every time.
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt D
United States
Peachtree corners
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ConnectMore wrote:

Dress the part. Make them a part of the game. You want to play Great Western Trail - dress like cowboys. Want to play a penguin game, put on your penguin suits!


But above all - make it for them!



You are an amazing parent. Kudos to you, sir.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David B
United States
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have an extra large dog kennel. But I do not have an extra large dog. devil
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Timothy Young
United States
Ogden
UT
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
brassomason wrote:
Or is the effect the complete opposite and the kids would actually become more excited as they would see bigger and grander games they would look forward to playing?



I've experienced this to some degree. My wife talked up Smallworld and Agricola to our kids when they were younger. I finally played Smallworld with my 8- and 10-year-old sons a couple weeks ago and they were thrilled to finally be able to play it.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
cliff hutton
United States
Plymouth
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
two words - duct tape
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steven P
United States
Livermore
California
flag msg tools
Who am I sir? A Utah man am I!
badge
I carve cool pumpkins
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
hestiansun wrote:
You are an amazing parent. Kudos to you, sir.


I second "amazing parent" and add "amazing gamer" -- your suggestions are great in general (play to have fun, duh), but dresing up for the theme is beyond fun!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sam Mason
msg tools
ConnectMore wrote:

1. Have a open door policy to your game room.


This still means that the games are out of reach and exploration is by request and supervised, correct? I don't want to walk into my game room and find game boxes open and components strewn all over the floor. cry
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.