... what do you do? Answering it's a game for bigger kids or for adults gets tiresome after the forty-second repetition, so you end up making up simple rules for your kid. Here they are:
1. Keep only the King, the Bishop, the Merchant and the Warlord (that's yellow, blue, green and red).
2. Deal four cards to both player, and give them two coins each.
3. The older player (that would be you) gets the King token.
All the characters have the same powers: they give you one coin for each district of the character's color. Additionally, the King character gets the King token.
Now the game starts.
At the beginning of the turn, the player holding the King token chooses a character, then the other player. Each player can then take two coins or draw one district card, then may build one district, according to the number of coins indicated on the card.
The game ends when a player has eight districts. The winner is the one who has the most coins on his cards.
I played it with open hands with my daughter this evening, and she liked it. She started to get bored just before laying her eighth district card, so maybe limiting it to seven would be a good idea. As a variant, a random character may be put face down by the King before choosing the first character, I'll try this next time.
Rio de Janeiro
My 5 y.o. son plays with us eventually. The only problem is that he becomes upset when we steal or kill him. So we ruled that he is what we call in Brazil "Cafe com Leite" (Coffee and Milk, a very beginner) and cannot be killed or have his money stolen... Everything else is just the same. It kind of makes the game more boring, but it works...