I just wrapped up my second round of summer board game classes! I love it so much.
I teach the classes because I enjoy doing so (especially getting to teach with my kids!) and I think it hits at the core value of what I'm trying to accomplish with my website and YouTube channel. With these classes I'm sharing easy and fun games with kids so they can go home already knowing the rules to games they're excited to play. Once you take the work out of it you are left with happy quality time!
I send out lists of the games we play after each of these classes and I really like the mix of play date type games that I open with and use as breaks between the "serious" games and the games that hit on whatever the theme of the class is.
I taught four days of classes in August. It was originally supposed to be just three but each of the classes had large waitlists so I opened up another day and it filled up quickly too! I'm starting to get a lot of repeat kids who have come to a class in the past and want to come again. Which is how it should be! If the games aren't fun then we aren't doing things right.
Class themes for these sessions: Alternatives to Chess, Educational Games, & Cooperative Games. Alternatives to Chess was an opportunity to share a lot of abstract strategy games and I would say Cinco Linko was the favorite game among the younger kids and Santorini was the favorite among the older kids.
I had two sessions of Educational Games and offered different games for each session because - spoiler - pretty much every game is educational in some way. Zeus on the Loose, Push, Concept Kids, and Mastermind Kids were all favorites and Similo was a surprise flop! I think it's because you really need an adult giving the clues the first few times you play through with younger kids otherwise they struggle. That's part of the challenge of running these camps - a lot of excellent games play a lot differently with hyped up kids playing in a group instead of one on one with a parent. I try to find games with fun themes and simple rules and quick turns and then I know we're going to be set up for success!
And finally Cooperative Games. Many parents choose this class because they are worried about their child being a poor sport if they lose, which surprisingly has really never come up as an issue in any of my classes! A perk of being in a group with peers rather than playing at home with parents is some of these behaviors don't really seem to come up. Cooperative games are so good and there are so many great options, this is one of my favorite class themes. The hits from this class were 5-Minute Mystery, 5-Minute Dungeon, and the older kids really liked Kraken Attack.
My next set of classes for kids will be in the winter but I'm running adult classes for retirees starting in the fall at our rec center. Because board games are for everyone! And I'm hoping the 55+ group won't need as many breaks to run around while playing The Floor is Lava. That has been a fundamental part of many of my classes for kids! Which is fine and wonderful - party type games have their place as well.