Obviously, the main reason families, schools and youth organisations bring children to escape rooms is because they’re fun and kids generally enjoy them. The benefits don’t end there though. With young people increasingly suffering from low self confidence and social anxiety, it’s comforting to know playing escape rooms can give them a boost and get them working with their peers. Not only that, they get to experience puzzle and problem solving away from a computer screen or desk.
Self Esteem Boosting
One of the main effects we aim for in creating and running escape rooms is to make the players feel clever. Puzzles are varied enough that everyone, even kids, will find something they’re good at. Solving something either all by themselves or as part of a team effort can really help boost children’s self-esteem. Whether their strengths lie in deciphering words or number, spotting patterns, identifying colours or shapes, finding things, noticing things, having steady or dexterous hands or directing other kids, they will find something in an escape room that suits their particular skills. Even that kid who just seems to want to keep running up and down will find themselves useful in an escape room. Triumphs in an escape room, no matter how small, can be brought up again and again to help boost a child’s confidence in other areas and reassure them to have a little faith in themselves.
Most people who work with groups of children have seen the way a certain type of child, usually the sporty kind, will take over in competitive situations. Extroverted young people are always keen to make their opinions heard but this can sometimes detriment quieter more introverted kids who are often just looking for a chance to shine. In escape rooms, we often see a confident student trying to boss others around but finding that a quieter child has just sneaked off and solved something or found something important. It means children are suddenly much more inclined to listen to each other and work together. We even sometimes see the bolder kids encouraging and boosting the ideas of quieter ones. Because team work is essential in all of our escape rooms, even reluctant children are forced to find a way of working together so it’s an ideal activity for students who need to practice their interpersonal skills.
Escaping the Screens
Plenty of young people have oodles of experience with the sort of problem solving you encounter in escape rooms but it tends to be either at school or in a computer game. Coming across these types of problems to solve in a real life setting that requires physically moving around, looking, listening, talking to and listening to others can be a whole new experience. Escape rooms don’t have as confined parameters as computer games as a rule so require more independence of thought too. We think it’s the physical and real life tactile nature of escape rooms that make them really beneficial for children, especially after the pandemic, because so much of their lives can be dominated by what’s on a screen or on paper, it’s nice to bring the skills they’ve learned back into the real world. This is particularly beneficial for kids who learn and experience best by physically doing things rather than theoretical learning.
Something that has been a real joy for us in having increasing numbers of school groups in our escape rooms is how the students have not just surprised and pleased their teachers, but also pleasantly surprised themselves. We’ve had kids going in saying things like ‘I’m rubbish at this sort of thing’ then coming out buzzing because they felt like they’d really made a positive contribution to the group effort. If you would like to talk to a member of our team about what we can offer groups of young people, please get in touch by calling 01273 220388 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.