If you are looking for fun activities to do as a family without leaving home, you should try the escape room. Escape rooms, as they are also known, have become very popular among young people and adults, but now there are also versions for the little ones at home. This game is not only entertaining, but offers exciting challenges and gives you the opportunity to work as a team while immersing yourself in an exciting adventure.
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What is the escape room?
The escape room or escape room is an adventure game where physical and mental abilities are mixed. It consists of locking a group of players in a room to solve different types of puzzles that will allow them to discover a story and escape before the available time runs out.
The most interesting thing is that each game can be set in a different setting, from a haunted house to a military bunker, a spaceship or a school principal’s office. Generally, the problems to be solved are related to the setting where the plot unfolds.
How did this game come about and how has it evolved?
Although the history of the escape room is uncertain, it seems that its origin dates back to 2003, in Indianapolis, United States. At the time, Jeff Martin, a game designer, created True Dungeon, an event where people came together to play in small groups exploring a physical space and cooperatively solving a series of puzzles to reach a certain goal in a limited amount of time.
Later in 2007, the film director and screenwriter Takao Kato created the Real Escape Game in Japan. His idea quickly spread to Singapore, where it became very popular, and in just five years it arrived with some changes in the United States.
During this time, similar games were also being created in Europe that included hidden key lock puzzles, invisible codes, and scientific instruments. In fact, in 2012 a Swiss physics teacher created a scientific escape game for his students that he later offered to the general public under the name of AdventureRooms, which was distributed in 20 countries.
Early games basically consisted of solving a series of puzzles using paper and pencil, but as escape rooms became more modern they introduced physical locks that could be opened by finding combinations, hidden keys and/or codes found on objects in the room. stay.
The original ideas have evolved hand in hand with technology, so that today’s escape rooms offer immersive decorations, more elaborate plots and more interactive puzzles that enhance the experience of the players. In fact, in 2017 there were already more than 8,000 escape rooms around the world and at the beginning of 2020, more than 1,600 escape game rooms had been opened in Spain.
There is also an escape room mode that is played outside. Obviously, in this case the objective is not to escape from a room but to find a “treasure” or stolen item, deactivate a bomb or find a character, depending on the narrative thread of the story.
Of course, there is also a children’s version of the escape room. In this modality, children are not usually locked in a room and time is not so strictly limited so that they do not feel so overwhelmed. A Game Master Junior or an adult is usually present at the game session to help them play and give them some hints when necessary so they don’t get frustrated.
The benefits of the escape room for children
This game is particularly beneficial for children between the ages of 8 and 12, as their social life expands during this stage and they have to learn to adapt to new environments, such as after-school activities and camps. Escape rooms give them the opportunity to develop the skills they need to face the challenges that this new stage of their lives represents.
- Promotes collaboration. The escape room is an eminently collaborative game in which all children must work together to achieve a common goal. This game takes them away from competition and individualism to teach them the value of teamwork and the importance of cooperating. It also helps them develop the necessary skills to integrate into the group.
- Stimulates communication and conflict resolution skills. Since children must work together to solve the puzzles, this game encourages them to dialogue and bridge the gap with others. The little ones will have to explain their reasoning and points of view, as well as reach agreements with the rest of the team. At the same time, they will have to learn to listen and trust others.
- Consolidates logical thinking. Since the escape room poses a series of enigmas and puzzles that children must solve, it creates the ideal conditions for the development of cognitive operations such as analysis, synthesis, inference and generalization. Each problem tests children’s deductive logic and stimulates their thinking.
- Train decision making. Escape rooms are not a simple challenge that is completed quickly, to achieve the objective children must solve a series of problems and make decisions that allow them to advance to the next stages. For this reason, this game is ideal for them to learn to solve problems outside the school environment and train themselves in the decision-making process.
- Develop creativity. During the escape room, children will also have to put their imagination and creativity into action to glimpse possible solutions or paths that will lead them to the goal. In fact, this game is ideal for promoting mental agility, it encourages them to look for different solutions and helps them to notice deeper connections between apparently unconnected clues, which is precisely the basis of creativity.
- Strengthens concentration. To solve the problems that escape rooms present, children must pay attention to the different clues, but they must also be able to abstract from red herrings or paths that lead nowhere. For this reason, this type of game is ideal for enhancing concentration and training attention.
- It promotes open-mindedness. If the children want to solve the puzzle, they will have to think outside the box. Some clues can lead to dead ends, so you’ll need to keep an open mind for any signs. This game will teach them to be open to all possibilities and not rule anything out in advance, an attitude that is very positive towards life.
- Improves mood. Beyond the cognitive and social benefits, the escape room is also a fun game that kids will really enjoy. This game teaches them the importance of persevering and helps them develop a tolerance for frustration. In the end, the children will feel satisfied with their performance and will experience a sense of empowerment that will strengthen their self-esteem and self-confidence.
Five kits to set up an escape room at home
Best of all, you don’t have to leave home to play escape room. You can set up your own escape game room at home so that the whole family can have a very entertaining time. There are different escape room kits on the Internet that will allow you to transform your living room into a haunted school or a lost temple like Indiana Jones.
In Stage Children we love all the possibilities that Escape Kit offers. Children can go on a pirate treasure hunt, put their magic skills to the test in a haunted school or try to save the world by embodying their favorite Superheroes. Another advantage is that in less than half an hour you can transform your home into a space for action and adventure. You just have to choose the theme and print the elements of the kit,which includes the puzzle cards, the answer book and many other elements to personalize different areas of the home. You’ll even have access to a YouTube playlist to make the adventure more realistic. And don’t forget the victory poster for a memorable selfie. Before choosing an adventure, check the age for which it is designed, which ranges from 6 to 14 years.
This escape room game is designed for children over 6 or 7 years old. The most interesting thing is that it offers 60 different puzzles with 4 levels of difficulty, so that children can play several times. It features 30 double-sided puzzle cards, 20 double-sided clue tokens, an electronic lock, a black light detective flashlight, a mirror card, a red filter, and the corresponding rule book. The children must solve the puzzle and search for the clues with the help of the detective tools until they find the secret code that allows them to open the lock before the time runs out.
3. Mystery Mansion
Designed for children over 6 years old, this game will guarantee them fun and will pose very entertaining challenges. The objective is to escape from a haunted house, for which they will have to follow the instructions of the butler who projects the flashlight found in the kit, in addition to solving the puzzles and defeating the monster. There are many different test combinations and because the challenges are random, each game is different. And if they need additional help, they can count on the magic book that will give them clues to decipher the enigmas.
4. The curse of the temple
This game, thinking for children over 8 years old, will give them a very fun time. The mission is to escape from a cursed temple before it collapses and kills one of the players, in which case everyone will lose. It is played in real time, all players roll the dice and perform actions simultaneously. And it has a soundtrack that gives it an extra realism. At certain points a countdown is triggered, so if players are not back in the “safe room” when the timer runs out, they lose one of their dice. This game has two expansion modules, Treasures and Curses, which can be used together or individually to increase the possibilities and complexity of the game.
5. The mysterious museum
Designed for older children, over 10 years old, this escape game is sure to have a very exciting time. The objective is to leave a museum where nothing is what it seems. Between paintings, frescoes, sculptures and relics, children will find many mysteries, clues and crossroads that represent a real challenge to find the key that allows them to solve each game. However, consider that the material in this kit is designed to be used, so it is a single-use kit.