Tim from Ohio writes…
Hello, Father Geek!
Just started coming to your site and love your format. It is so nice to read reviews about games that are great for kids. THANK YOU!
From your posts, it looks like you have all boys. I am the exact opposite. I have all girls. Four, in fact. Ages 10 to 2 1/2. Can you suggest any games that girls will like?
Thanks and keep up the great work! I’ll keep reading if you keep writing!
What an excellent question! Let’s pretend I’m an expert. Short answer is “no”; long answer follows.
From what I have seen and witnessed firsthand, there is no connection between what games children will or will not like based on their gender alone. However, it is perfectly likely a child will be naturally drawn towards or repelled from a particular game genre, theme, or narrative. The child does, after all, have interests and dislikes of their own.
As a parent or guardian responsible for the upbringing or welfare of a young Geek, it behooves you to know about the child’s likes and dislikes. In many cases, these will be exceedingly easy to recognize as there will be toys and books scattered about the room and posters on the walls. Take a moment to look at these and you’ll get a good idea of what they are interested in. For example:
- Transformers – most likely interested in all things “robot”
- Barbie – most likely interested in fashion, dress up, and “playing house”
- Books on <insert topic here> – most likely interested in <insert topic here>
- KISS poster – they like KISS
There’s a good amount of guessing here, admittedly. The point is, it is not hard to figure out at least a few of the child’s interests. Take a look, gather what you can visually, and then go right to the source.
Flat out ask the child what they are interested in. Bring up the things you saw so you don’t sound like you’re totally clueless. Odds are very good they will correct you if you are wrong in any of your assumptions based on your observations. This is a good thing as you want to get to the nitty-gritty of what peaks their interests. Once you feel like you have learned enough, it is time to go game shopping!
With your new found wisdom, finding a game should be fairly straight forward. Go to your friendly local game store or an online game store and search for or ask for games that are similar to your child’s interests. I’m a big proponent of learning anything and everything about a product before you buy it. If you have the time, research the game over at Geekdo.com (that is if I haven’t reviewed the game already).
In addition, take into account the child’s age and ability level. Do not, for example, get Star Wars Monopoly if your child loves Star Wars but doesn’t know how to do simple counting yet. Your goal is to straddle that thin line between easy and moderate difficulty as best you can. After all, you want to challenge the child, not frustrate them.
Got the game? Great! Time to read the rules. I would suggest you do this by yourself on your own time. No need to have the child sit there and watch you read in silence while you scratch your head about certain questionable game mechanics. Do your homework and know the rules. It will make it easier to teach and get to the fun.
Loooooong story short, be your little Geek a boy or girl, old or young, their interests are their own. Experiment with different games, learn from your experiences, and never stop playing and sharing. Enjoy the journey.
Wow, great question, Tim. I hope I have answered it in full, if not in a roundabout way. Best of luck to you and your “little ladies”.
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