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Subject: How to play 7 Wonders with your 4 year old rss

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Thad Hobson
United States
Flint
Michigan
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I'm an American, but I'd much rather raise my children on Euro games than Ameritrash. Frankly, I'm embarrased by most of the games created in my country (not including American publishers of Euro games). This often creates a problem because Euro games generally require more brain function than Ameritrash, and that can be difficult for a 4 year old (Heather). So I have been in the process of dumbing down some Euro games so that we can play as a family, even with Heather. Last night we played 7 Wonders for the first time, and this is how we did it:

NOTE: Since I have children, we personally prefer to put some of the blue background cards back into the box and replace with others.

1) Play the game like it is a 3 player game even though the 4 year old makes up a fourth player. In other words, everyone is everyone's neighbor. Say the 4 year old is N(orth) and the rest of the players are E,S,W.

2) The 4 year old does not use money, and players pay the bank when they would have normally paid her.

3) The 4 year old does not worry about resource requirements or technology tree stuff -- she can do whatever she wants.

4) The 4 year old gets to play one card per turn of their choice no matter what it is.

5) Cards that have an arrow pointing to one direction extend beyond the 4 year old to one more player. In other words, if West has an arrow that points back to North, this will also include East as well.

6) Military cards affect all players since everyone is considered a nieghbor.

7) The 4 year olds point count up at the end just like anyone else's.

8) Heather chose not to do any monument building, but it might be best to just give straight victory points per level.

We thought we were all going to lose to Heather last night because she kept playing all of the blue victory point cards. It was brutal for a while, but I am came back to beat her by a few points. What can also be brutal is if she likes to play all of the military cards.

So of course this game does not play out quite as deeply and strategically with a 4 year old, but if you want to scratch a Euro game itch and include everyone in your family -- especially that little girl with the cute smile who always wants to play but can't understand that the games are too heavy for her -- we found this to be a lot of fun and will be doing it many more times in the future. Plus with 7 Wonders being fast, that's good for the attention span limit of a 4 year old anyway.
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Kenneth H
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A splendid idea! Now if we could just keep Sofia from putting the cards in her mouth...
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Thad Hobson
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Flint
Michigan
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Even the best sleeves have an opening on one end -- that won't help too much.

We've also come up with variants for her to play additional games with us (I'll be making write-ups on these sometime, too.)

Jet Set
Airlines Europe
Through the Desert
Zooloretto
Portobello Market
Paris Connection (works well with a 4 year old -- just let them put down 5 trains each turn and not worry about stock)
 
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Enrique Canales
United States
Texas
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I'd try these instead,
Kids of carcassonne
Hey that's my fish
Spot it
Backgammon
Dixit
Magic labyrint
Survive

Lots of thinking, short playtime and age appropriate.
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Thad Hobson
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Flint
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We've played Hey That's My Fish with her, and that works pretty well.

I'm afraid to try Survive with her: she'll probably feed all my swimmers to the sharks and let my wife get away with everything.

We've also played German Railways with her -- same principle as Paris Connection above.
 
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Brent Wenerstrom
United States
Riverton
Utah
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Sweetcurse wrote:
I'd try these instead,
Kids of carcassonne
Hey that's my fish
Spot it
Backgammon
Dixit
Magic labyrint
Survive

Lots of thinking, short playtime and age appropriate.


Does Dixit work with 4 year olds? I have Dixit and a 4 year old and I don't see it being a lot of fun, but I could be wrong.
 
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