We were asked about using tabletop RPG’s as an educational tool while integrating real life history and geography.
It’s a massive question and I could write an entire book about it, but here’s what I answered:
This is the Eric half of JenEric, I write the RPG stuff and most of the stories. My wife is the one who did the homeschooling but she felt this was a bit beyond her.
Thank you so much for that question. That is a great question and will depend a lot on your kids and your preferred style of play.
First I’d (selfishly) recommend using Oneshot – The Simplest RPG. It’s just the rules, they are very simple and you’ll be able to use them for almost any scenario.
As for the educational part, I’d recommend you make a list of things you want the kids to learn about and build around those goals. If you’re planning on different historical locations, you should break them down. I find it helps to break down each location/time and then list the characters, places, important events, and reason for the characters to be there.
If you’re jumping around in history and geography, you need to either make a series of small adventures or try maybe make it time travel related. With the time travel, the kids can get attached to a character that they’ll see grow and experience,
Another good way to keep it fun and keep them interested is to have a fun villain. I’m a big fan of cartoonish villains for kids, but you know your kids best.
Hook them into a story and they won’t even notice they’re learning.
As much fun as movies, tv, and books are; be careful not to use them too much as research. A good place to start is WIkipedia, each article has sources and those sources usually have a lot more information and further reading.
I hope this helps, Eric Desmarais
Anyone have further advice for gaming with children in an educational manner?
We saw FInding Nemo The Musical in Animal Kingdom. Dragon was fascinated by the characters and didn’t sleep during the show, despite the darkness of the theatre. She DID fall asleep during the Lion King show. (no pictures)