Are Escape Rooms Well-Suited For Families And Children?
12 Tips for visiting an escape room with kids
Playing an escape room is an excellent family bonding experience, working together to solve puzzles and find clues. This doesn't mean however that every escape room is suitable for children. Different escape rooms vary in terms of difficulty, theme, and the specific skills that are necessary to complete the game. The design and production value of an escape room may also affect how suitable it is for children. Many escape rooms offer more of a horror experience which even some adults find unsettling.
Thankfully for parents trying to find new ways to satisfy the demands of tiny people, there are many family-friendly escape rooms. Here at Ilocked all of our escape rooms are suitable for children and the immersive themes will let their imaginations run wild.
Rooms frequently have a number of different puzzles active at the same time. This works very well for families since it gives the children a variety of options to engage with. For example younger children might prefer to just hunt around for objects and let the adults / older siblings focus on the more abstract puzzles.
One important thing to note is you are not actually 'locked in' you can leave at anytime. A member of staff is always contactable via walkie talkie. At any point if your children feel uncomfortable they can leave the room instantly and enter again once ready.
Different escape room companies operate differently and as such we recommended you enquire individually if you're visiting a venue other than our own. With that said we have put together some tips which hold true for any escape room you attend with your family.
Our top tips for taking children to escape rooms:
1. The first thing you should do is check the age limit. Normally it will be contained in the FAQ section. If you book a room only to turn up and find out your kids are too young to participate you might leave without a refund and some disappointed faces!
2. Double check the arrival time information. Often a briefing is required before entering which can take 10ish minutes. This might be included in your booking or they might prefer you to arrive early. Also if your kids have bladders the size of acorns you should probably consider time for them to use the bathroom before hand as well.
3. The age recommendation set by some Escape Rooms is often based on how difficult the puzzles are instead of the maturity level of the content. So if your kids have some experience or are above average problem solvers they might be able to forego the age recommendation unless it's for other reasons such as scary or mature themed rooms.
4. Toilet breaks can really eat into the time you have to solve a room (60 minutes) so make sure your little ones take a strategic bathroom visit before entering and don't go too crazy on liquid consumption. Of course you can still leave at anytime if nature calls.
5. If you yourself solve a puzzle, perhaps a more complicated one. You can always go through it again with your children, guiding them through the process so that they can enjoy the satisfaction of solving it.
6. Sometimes in an escape room even as an adult your focus is divided as there can be so many aspects to consider. You can give specific tasks to your kids to keep their attention focused. For example you can tell them to look for clues / items in low places or to find certain symbols and report back.
7. Encourage children to search for details you may miss and closely examine everything.
8. Keep them involved in the progression of the room. Try getting their attention before you do anything major such as unlocking a padlock so they don't miss any essential parts of the puzzle.
9. If your child is going through a curious “I wonder if I can destroy that phase”. It might be best not to bring them to a room. Some props are easy to damage and we imagine you don't want to pick up the bill as an escape room can be hi-tech and expensive.
10. Conduct some research and look for an easy escape room that you can complete first. This will provide some positive reinforcement and confidence for your child. Once they have become accustomed to certain aspects of solving rooms you can progress onto more difficult ones. Most escape rooms will give you a difficulty rating.
11. Remember MOST of all it's about having fun. Let your children know that it's not the end of the world if they don't make it out in time. It is not a failure or a reflection of their abilities. It's about working together and being immersed in the environment and after all there are so many escape rooms to try in Nottingham. It doesn't matter if you don't beat every single one.
12. Go somewhere afterwards like a restaurant or cafe so you can recap what happened in the room and talk through any skills that were tested. You can isolate what your kids found tough and what they enjoyed the most. From here you can work on building up these skills and choose escape rooms which are more likely to be aligned with your children's interests.
For more info give us a call and we would be happy to help your plan a visit to one of our escape games with your family in Nottingham.