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Escape rooms for kids? Yes! Read our tips.

Escape rooms are often designed for adults and older teens. However, more and more younger kids want to participate and have fun in an escape room. So if you want to take a 7 or an 8-year-old with you to an escape room, but are worried if it will be fun for them, read on for our escape room tips. Escape rooms can be great for kids’ birthday parties, but they are also great for an outing with family even if you have younger kids.

At The Other Tales Escape Rooms our games are family-friendly and we’ve seen many younger participants playing over the years. We have compiled a list of tips that will help parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles to ensure everybody has a good time.

12 Escape Room Tips on how to play with younger kids,

so they will also have fun.

1. Choose an age-appropriate theme and story.

Not all escape rooms have stories, but all are usually themed. Make sure the games are not scary or inappropriate for the younger kids. There are plenty of family-friendly themes out there: Adventure, Fairy Tales, Treasure Hunts, Pirates, and Magic. Some escape room companies don’t have a lot of descriptions of the games on their website, check their reviews and see if a lot of families with kids visit this escape room. You can also call or email the company.

2. Select a private game.

Make sure the facility that you are going to offers private games. A private game means it will be just your team playing. In public games there is a chance that your team might be grouped together with strangers. When you have younger kids, playing with strangers might ruin your experience. Some escape room centers have private games at an additional price, some offer them at no extra cost.

3. Work as a team.

Talk to the kids before the game about being a team. Explain to them that working together is very important in escape rooms. Working together in escape rooms means sharing information, giving everybody a chance at solving puzzles, and taking turns examining unusual objects.

4. Share the information.

During the game talk out loud, and explain the things that you notice. In short, lead by example. Once the kids see you sharing the information, they will start doing that as well. One example of how to start the game would be, as you explore the environment, describe out loud things you see. “I see a locked cabinet with no visible lock, a painting of a ship, a locked box with a word lock, etc.” 

5. Help kids to solve puzzles themselves.

Once you think you have an idea, call the kids over, and nudge them with a slight hint, maybe they will get the puzzle and will be able to solve it on their own. There is nothing that beats the “aha” moment of solving a puzzle in an escape room.

6. Listen to the kids, they often have the right idea.

Escape room games are not about outside knowledge, they are more about noticing connections between objects, or looking at something from a different angle. Kids often intuitively have the right idea, so don’t dismiss any ideas that are brought in. Spend a few minutes thinking through these ideas.

7. Take turns examining game objects.

Make sure that everybody takes turns interacting with game objects. Some kids (and some adults 🙂 ) can be a bit possessive and if they find a cool artifact in an escape room, they often like to hold on to it. Gently remind everybody about sharing the information rule, and have other people examine the artifact. Sometimes a new pair of eyes is what is needed for the light bulb to go off.

8. Explain the puzzles.

 If someone solved a puzzle, have that person explain to everybody how it was solved. Explain to the kids the thought process behind solving a puzzle. If something is unlocked as a result, let everybody know and examine the new information together.

9. Feeling stuck? Pause, don’t rush.

Review the information that you have and what you can do with it. Call the team over and explain that you need to regroup. Say out loud what still has to be opened or solved, and review the clues that you have that weren’t used before.

10. Ask for hints.

Don’t be afraid to ask for a hint from a game guide. Game guides are there to help you. At good escape room centers their goal is for you to have fun. Ask for a hint, if you are stuck. In some escape rooms the hints are unlimited, in others, there is a limit on hints. 

11. Celebrate!

Celebrate the victory even if you didn’t finish the game in the allocated time. Usually escape room games are fun even if you didn’t finish on time. Some escape room centers allow players to finish the game if there is an opportunity to do so, some – don’t. In either case, you spend at least one hour playing together as one team, solving puzzles, and progressing through the story. Celebrate with your kids even if you didn’t finish the game. Even if the game guide cannot give you extra time, ask for a walkthrough of the rest of the experience; sometimes game guides would be able to do that for you. Take a photograph to remember a fun experience.

12. Ask about the easy version of a game.

Contact the venue ahead of time, they might have an easier version of the game. At The Other Tales Escape Rooms we have easy versions of some games. The games stay the same, only some props and some clues are modified to make the games more approachable for the younger kids.

Are escape rooms for kids a reality?

Absolutely, just follow our escape room tips and all will have fun. We hope these escape room tips will help you on your next adventure with your kids. And if you played with kids and there is a tip that you want to share, let us know, we’ll be happy to add it to this list.