/ April 24, 2023/ Cooperative Games, Dice Games, English/Language Arts Games, Language Games, Writing Games/ 0 comments

When I was a kid, the kids who played Dungeons and Dragons were, well, nerds. And not in a good way. However, some friends of mine introduced me to it when I was in college, and I have been hooked since! Actually, it’s one of the reasons my husband and I met – he included that he liked to play D&D in his online profile, and I missed playing.

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you click on it and make a purchase I’ll receive a small commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, please check our Privacy Policy and Disclaimers and Disclosures.

Educational elements in D&D

Dungeons and Dragons has some really amazing applications for education. First, there’s the obvious of storytelling. A D&D game is a giant story, facilitated by dice and some calculations. But at its heart, it’s a story.

Dungeons and Dragons classes

There’s writing. Potentially quite a bit. There’s not too much on the character sheet usually, but it does need to be small and neat. However, many DMs (Dungeon Masters) will give extra XP (Experience Points) for a well-fleshed-out backstory. It is possible to do all this on the computer, so if you have a kiddo who is more comfortable typing, that’s also a possibility.

And then there is math. I started on 3.5 edition, and refuse to play any other kind (though I will, just for you, so I can review the others properly). Anyway, in 3.5, there’s a lot of math. I actually really like that; I’m a numbers sort of girl. However, in 5th edition, the numbers are really simplified, so if you have a kiddo struggling in math, 5th edition might be the way to go for you.

Dungeons and Dragons stats tables

Cons of Dungeons and Dragons

D&D feats

The biggest downside to D&D is that you need a DM; someone who is well-versed in the game that can run it. My husband is our resident DM, which usually, he doesn’t mind, but sometimes he misses just being able to play a character. All players help tell the story, but the DM is in charge of creating the world and the backbone of the story. They also have a lot more numbers to keep track of (not necessarily in their heads; most write a lot down).

However, most cities have groups that get together to play. Check your library, community centers, and local game stores, as there may be a game for kids already running near you. D&D has increased in popularity as people have been realizing not only how fun it is, but also how educational it can be for their kids. That, and many of the “nerds” that grew up playing the game, are now having kids of their own.

Dungeons and Dragons dice

Editions of Dungeons and Dragons

I have already mentioned 3.5 and 5th editions. Fourth edition is more like World of Warcraft (an online role-playing game). Some people like that, but many who love D&D do not care for 4th edition. I think the most popular tend to be 3.5 and 5th, with many today preferring 5th.

Variants of D&D

Do you have a younger kid, that maybe isn’t quite ready for full Dungeons and Dragons? That’s awesome! There are so many other games that are similar but designed specifically for kids.

I have heard amazing things about No Thank You Evil, Tales of Equestria, and Hero Kids. In No Thank You, Evil, any player who gets uncomfortable simply says, “No thank you, evil,” and whatever made them uncomfortable immediately stops. This makes it especially excellent for sensitive kiddos. I’ve even heard of families bringing this game element into the rest of their games, or even their lives!

The two other games my family has tried include Castles and Cats and Storm Hollow. Both are designed specifically for kids. Castles and Cats is simpler and a smaller kit, with the parent as the storyteller.

Storm Hollow is specifically designed to teach someone how to be the storyteller, which I really appreciate. I am not a great storyteller, but I feel that it provides enough scaffolding I can make that effort. I also really love that Storm Hollow uses so many characters from various folk tales, fairy tales, myths, and legends as the NPCs (non-player characters). And now I’m wishing that I brought it on the bus with us!

We have three other games that are somewhat related to D&D. Munchkin is very much a spoof on it, while Boss Monster is like Munchkin, but from the perspective of the monsters. Dungeons & Dragons: The Adventure Begins is like the junior version of the game.

What about you? Have you ever played a tabletop role-playing game? What did you think? What are your favorites?

Share this Post

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.