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Playtesting games for kids 4-6 years old

6 replies [Last post]
Joined: 09/21/2010

I had created some games for kids 4-6 years old.
So my question is :
Is there a way for testing those games?
How game designers proceed in such cases?

Relexx's picture
Joined: 05/31/2010
It does depends, are you

It does depends, are you expecting them to change the rules. Regardless though I think the target read audience should be 4-6 years.

Bold colours are always good.

As for playtest groups, try local pre-schools.

rcjames14's picture
Joined: 09/17/2010
Recent Changes to the Law

I know this is an international forum, but a law went into effect recently (I think 2009) in America which requires that games or toys which are designed to be handled by children must be certified as safe. In response to the scandal of lead based paint in toys manufactured in China a few years ago, Congress passed a law which requires products designed for children to be tested before they can be marketed.

Although this does not necessarily prevent games for kids from being playtested, if you do want to sell them in America, you would have to spend a couple of thousand dollars in order to certify that they are safe. Of course, if you end up licensing the design to a major toy/game publisher, they will incur this cost. But, I believe this will have a chilling effect on their willingness to purchase any game designs for children's games which they do not believe will sell in very large quantities. It will also eliminate the ability for the indie publishers to manufacture games in small print runs which will in turn limit the number of outside designs they will consider.

Just FYI.

Joined: 09/21/2010
My goal is not to sell games...

My goal is not to sell games or even to contact a publisher to put them in the market.
I just wanted to know how playtesting works for kids 4-6 years old.
About my 2 kid-games I want just to know if they are perceived as fun. An adult could not judge such games.
One is based on the puzzle goat wolf cabbage and the other is some sort of initiation to the go game.
The two can be do-it-yourself.
Thank you for the comments.

ReneWiersma's picture
Joined: 08/08/2008
I think games for 4-6 year

I think games for 4-6 year old kids, should be playtested by 4-6 year old kids. I agree that an adult cannot judge whether a game would be fun for kids of that age.

Redcap's picture
Joined: 07/26/2008
I think though it would help

I think though it would help to have kids playtest the game, adults are pretty skilled at seeing what their kids would or wouldn't like. Does your game have ponies, matching, moving objects, cool mechanical devices like treasure chests that open up; then my kids would love it.

Is your game a strategy war game, or trick taking game; my kids would hate it.

In my opinion all you really need is common sense as to what children would hate, and then the majority of their enjoyment comes through just playing a game. Most 4-6 year olds won't play alone though, they will only open the box if an adult is willing to play with them. So if an adult likes it and is willing to play with their kid, you have a winner.

The kid games we buy are the ones we think we can have fun playing with our youngsters, and if we like it they in turn like it because ultimatley they just want to spend time with us.

Joined: 09/21/2010
Thank you all

Thank you all for your comments.
I reached the conclusion that even if you create free games (do-it-yourself) for kids 4-6 you could be in trouble : game too addictive or or...

Save the goats that is the name of onr of my 2 games.
It is build on the idea that one of the players in turn is the wolf and others are shepherds with some mechanic involving goats and cabbages.
I abandon...
Maybe the one initiating to the go game will deserve more work.

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