3 Reasons Kids Should Play Werewolf

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It was a dark and scary night! The convention function room was silent, waiting for the little girl’s response. She hefted the mike, put a steely look on her face, and firmly told the villagers, “I am NOT a werewolf!”

It was all just a game, of course. My daughter was playing Werewolf, and doing pretty well considering that her father had just been exposed as a werewolf and she had a very good chance of being deemed guilty by association.

Some people may wonder: why do I let my kids play a game of pretending to be dark scary ravenous monsters? To which I can only say, “It’s good for them!”

Read on for three good reasons why:

3. Werewolf is a “Big Kids” Game

Werewolf is a game that is obviously not for kids. It’s got monsters. It’s got murder. It’s played in large groups that are mostly adults. When a kid joins a Werewolf game, she knows she’s playing with the grownups.

At the same time, the game is both accessible and safe for kids. The rules are simple. Most of the players are cooperating with each other. And the violence is abstract and often played for laughs. Getting knocked out of a Werewolf game is a lot like getting eliminated in Monopoly, but with the bonus that once you lose you can see what everyone else’s secret is.

2. Easy Rules and Lots of Them

Werewolf has simple rules, but it also has a lot of special rules. You can learn the basics in five minutes, but each game also gives you the chance to learn a new special role. My daughter hasn’t gotten to play a werewolf yet, but she’s been a Seer, a Witch, and a handful of other special roles.

Each special role is easy to learn, and there’s a moderator to help you play the role right. Kids enjoy a constant sense of growing mastery of the game, which is a great way to encourage positive feelings about learning in general.

1. Learning to Lie

Wait, should we be teaching kids to lie? Maybe, maybe not. But the reality is that the world is full of lies, and that’s something kids need to learn how to deal with.

At its core, Werewolf is a game of trust and deceit. It teaches you how to read non-verbal cues and think logically about what other people are saying. It teaches you when to go along with the crowd, and when to stand up to it. That’s a set of skills that any papa werewolf would be proud to see in his cubs.

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