School ends in just a little while so that means instead of four of us here most weekdays (me, my kids and my niece) there will be five as my 8 year old nephew joins us. That means I need something to occupy us all on occasion and something that will help me in my sinister plan to plant deep geek seeds in my sister-in-law's children. Not to mentions RPGs are fantastic for math, storytelling, critical thinking and a whole slew of other skills.
First stop - two very simple and quick to learn rpgs, one for a walk outside and one for the table.
The Nighttime Animals Save the World! All you need to play this game is a pocket full of coins. Everyone picks an animal and imagine that the animal is traveling with them as they walk. From the environment, the game master picks obstacles and challenges, the kids come up with solutions and the coins are used to resolve success or failure. I can't wait to try this one
The Adventures of the Good Knights and Other Stories Looks simple (is a little vague actually) and has a fantasy theme. This, like the last one, puts a lot of emphasis on the GM's story telling skills.
Examples of play for both of these games can be found at Roleplaying Games for Kids.
A site that helped a lot when I was looking for RPGs was RPGS for Kids. It's a well thought out pages that includes links to games specifically for kids as well as ones that are suitable for kids (though not made for them) and ones that can be tweaked or simplified for kids and links to pages where you can find out how to tweak them. It also has links to articles and email lists so it's definitely the first stop for any budding Game Master.
At that site I found two games I am more than likely going to buy, I just need to figure out if I want them as books or in PDF form.
Faery's Tale Deluxe looks like a fantastic introduction to the more formal RPGs.
The Big Night has a Christmas theme, simple game play that a child could probably direct and seems like it has the potential for a lot of humour!
And now I have to go loo around the interweb because I am SURE I saw a whole creative writing program based on an RPG. If anyone knows what I'm talking about, please comment!
UPDATE: Found the creative writing program! I mention and link to it in this blog post.