LARPBook has been busy identifying children’s larps; but what about actually writing and running one yourself? Where do you start in doing so? First of all remember that a childrens larp is like any other larp. There has to be a story, there have to be protagonists and you needs physical essentials such as a location and props. Once you have these you need to remember that this is a game for children.
Fortunately others have gone ahead and prepared some help. First of all lets link to an article and its PDF resource from Claus Raasted. Claus might be more famous for blockbuster larps like the College of Wizardry these days; but lets not forget he has a strong background in working with children and larps for youngsters.
Its excellent resource PDF is: http://clausraasted.dk/pdf/clausraasted_manual_for_kids_larp.pdf
I’m also going to ask you to take a look this excellent article (https://lamiradadegorgona.wordpress.com/2016/09/22/larp-and-family/) by Mirella Machancoses. It explains eloquently about how to run a game and the inclusion of children in larps.
After going through these two guides you will hopefully feel better informed about setting up a larp for the younglings; but what might one look like. Although I’ve attended games that have included teenagers and a few younger children we only have one video we can show you. Fortunately this was a game designed specifically for kids. The video itself is short but does give you an idea of the atmosphere.
This particular larp was run several times in one day as a short introduction to children (and their observing parents), to larp. This is what we learned.
- Kids love the feeling of being involved in a story.
- If you can physically represent something do so. The imagination of a child is a wonderous thing, but let it work on the story and characters and not anything more mundane.
- Be prepared for questions. Kids love questions
- Make sure you do things that include the shy as well as the outgoing. It’s important for everyone to have fun.
- Giving children moral choices as part of the game encourages interaction.
- Make sure things don’t dawdle. Keep the pace high enough to not allow boredom to seep in but not so high it creates undue stress
- Let parents see what is going on ot
As with all parts in this series about larp for children if you know of good resources that others may appreciate please let us know and we will be happy to incorporate the informatioon
Special thanks to Mirella Machancoses, Claus Raasted, The Wilderness Centre.